I feel for A.D. Harvey and the research he put into writing the Neo-classical vs. Romantic section of this book Literature and History, especially in hunting down and examining the hundreds of epics written according to the Neo-classical guidelines in the late-18th, early-19th century, hoping to come up with something to rival the ancient Greeks.
I have hunted the early nineteenth-century epic through bibliographies and literary journals, ordering up hundred weights of volumes, some handsome quartos in crumbling calf, others cheap editions with mildewed uncut pages, rare, sometimes unique survivors of the piled-up brand-new volumes which once went forth from the warehouse with the pride of the epic poet and have been long since almost all consumed by the various destructiveness and impatiences of the world; I have turned page after page insistently different yet endlessly the same, like tombstones in a forgotten war cemetery; I have searched through the obscuring medium of French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Danish, Swedish and Dutch for a glimmer of hitherto unacknowledged genius, a unique sensibility attempting to liberate itself from the marble blocks of verse, a voice expressing a perception of something that needed to be preserved; and sometimes I have thought that all I was achieving with my growing lists of titles was that for the first time statistical proof was being given of how many boring people there were in the early nineteenth-century (137-138).
It’s rare that a scholarly volume will make me laugh out loud, but that did. Oh, those Neo-classicists and their sameness-inducing rule-bounded-ness.
In other news, I burned my brownies. :( Note to self: when the timer goes off, TAKE THE FOOD OUT. *facepalm*