Thursday, April 30, 2020

Just who we need …

… Eric Felten's Downtime: An Ovid for the age of Covid. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Classics professor Michael Fontaine has found a real-life Bellorius, a Renaissance German poet who composed verse in Latin and who is remembered, if at all, mostly for one work. The poet is Vincentius Obsopoeus. Where the fictional Bellorius penned a paean to an imaginary “virtuous, chaste and reasonable community,” the nonfictional Obsopoeus celebrated The Art of Drinking. This obscure poem has just been published by Princeton University Press under the unfortunate title How to Drink.
Unfortunate, because the new title loses the intended riff on and reference to Ovid’s The Art of Love. That’s a shame, because old Obsopoeus can function as a sort of Ovid for the age of COVID.

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