The Aeneid vs. The Odyssey

From Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson:

“No man reads a book of science from pure inclination. The books that we do read with pleasure are light compositions, which contain a quick succession of events. However, I have this year read all Virgil through. I read a book of the Aeneid every night, so it was done in twelve nights, and I had great delight in it. The Georgicks did not give me so much pleasure, except the fourth book. The Eclogues I have almost all by heart. I do not think the story of the Aeneid interesting. I like the story of the Odyssey much better; and this not on account of the wonderful things which it contains; for there are wonderful things enough in the Aeneid;—the ships of the Trojans turned to sea-nymphs,—the tree at Polydorus’s tomb dropping blood. The story of the Odyssey is interesting, as a great part of it is domestick. It has been said, there is pleasure in writing, particularly in writing verses. I allow you may have pleasure from writing, after it is over, if you have written well; but you don’t go willingly to it again. I know when I have been writing verses, I have run my finger down the margin, to see how many I had made, and how few I had to make.'”

One thought on “The Aeneid vs. The Odyssey

  1. Pingback: The Aeneid vs. The Odyssey — SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE – alisoninnes

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