A classical dilemma

October 20, 1995

The ideal classicist is surely one who understands "the linguistic minutiae of the text" (THES, September 29), but who can also employ modern literary critical and anthropological theory in his or her analysis of a text. The literary critic with inferior linguistic skill produces bad scholarship. The philologist who closes his or her mind to literary criticism produces dull scholarship.

What is needed, I suggest, is a synthesis of the "traditionalist" and "modernist" viewpoints.

Helen Cullyer PhD student, department of classics Yale University

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