NABOKV-L post 0009026, Sat, 13 Dec 2003 10:31:14 -0800

Fw: Wilamovitz
> ----------------------------
> On M. Livry, Aleksey Sklyarenko writes:
> >I'm not a fan of his writings and am not interested in his
> view of Tragedy which is said to be "on the level of
> Wilamovitz" (whoever that may be).<
> While there is no reason that Aleksey should ever have heard
> of him, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848-1931) was
> arguably the greatest philologist and classical scholar who
> ever lived. It's impossible to sum up his achievements in a
> short post; he was perhaps the last person whose learning
> encompassed the entire fields of ancient Greek and Roman
> literature, history, religion, art, myth, etc., and he made
> important contributions in every area. His works are still
> cited today in nearly every article and book on a classical
> subject--someone has even written an article on the
> phenomenon of the "Wilamowitz footnote"--the kind of
> footnote designed to show that a grad student has done his
> homework and has the proper attitude of reverence toward his
> scholarly ancestors.
> In short, to say that someone is on the level of Wilamowitz
> is similar to saying that as a writer he's better than
> Nabokov -- or wait, didn't someone say that recently?
> Ironically, in view of M. Livry's earlier mention of
> Nietzsche, if Wilamowitz is remembered at all today outside
> of classics, it's because of two pamphlets he wrote against
> Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy after that book appeared in
> 1872 (both men were still in their twenties). The
> controversy may (or may not) have contributed to Nietzsche's
> decision to resign his professorship at Basel after only ten
> years despite a fairly spectacular early career as a
> classicist.