Prijsvraag januari 2015

Prijsvraag januari 2015

Today he would deal with satire and irony, try to demonstrate the multiple profundities of Montesquieu in the Lettres Persanes. Out of these notes—these pencil-scrawls, these patches of typing with their interlineations, these scribbled marginalia, these afterthoughts which had become forethoughts, these forethoughts that became afterthoughts—would have to come the urbane and finished products. The notes were the rough quarry from which he must extract the block of marble. And then this mass, to be worked over for fifty minutes, to be carved with words into the proportioned statue, the Galatea. And finally, hardest of all, this statue to be brought alive by any verbal magic he could muster. Not only brought alive but borne alive into the heads (and if possible the hearts) of those four dozen yawning, alert, scratching, attentive, surreptitiously-Eagle-reading, argumentative, girl-dreaming, out-of-window-gazing undergraduates who would straggle in to take their places when the chapel-bell struck eleven.

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