Dead Poets Society

Bookforum has a review of a new translation of the works of Gaius Valerius Catullus, one of the most famous Roman poets from the 1st century BCE.

“Catullus’s brash preciosity and bad-boy posturing made for good reading in the Clinton years. His immediacy in the context of a different administration rests with his hard-eyed preoccupation with civic breakdown?the images of civility mangled, ideals disillusioned, social bonds blown apart by ambition and greed?and with his capacity to reserve some poetic energy for the flights of imagination that sustain us for the fight against it.”

For those who want to get a taste of Catullus’s writng now, there is a web site featuring his works in several different translations.

Jason Pitzl-Waters