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57,000 Carthaginians cut down in one day
For the record, considering that Livy is reporting on these events about 200 years after their occurrence, I wouldn't bet my bottom on the exactitude of the body counts. And something tells me that you can be pretty darn sure that he didn't err on the lower end when specifying the fallen enemies of the glorious empire of Rome.

 

Nevertheless, this does not diminish the enjoyment and wonder of reading about those long ago epic battles.

 

As I myself am in the early stages of cutting down thousands of pages of Tolstoy, the following just-read paragraph from War and Peace shows that Tolstoy knows of what I allude to:

 

[Context: Rostov is asked to recount the events of yesterday's action, during which he was injured]

 

He asked him to tell them how and where he got his wound. This pleased Rostov and he began talking about it, and as he went on became more and more animated. He told them of his Schon Grabern affair, just as those who have taken part in a battle generally do describe it, that is, as they would like it to have been, as they have heard it described by others, and as sounds well, but not at all as it really was. Rostov was a truthful young man and would on no account have told a deliberate lie. He began his story meaning to tell everything just as it happened, but imperceptibly, involuntarily, and inevitably he lapsed into falsehood. If he had told the truth to his hearers- who like himself had often heard stories of attacks and had formed a definite idea of what an attack was and were expecting to hear just such a story- they would either not have believed him or, still worse, would have thought that Rostov was himself to blame since what generally happens to the narrators of cavalry attacks had not happened to him. He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as he could from a Frenchman into the wood. Besides, to tell everything as it really happened, it would have been necessary to make an effort of will to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth, and young people are rarely capable of it. His hearers expected a story of how beside himself and all aflame with excitement, he had flown like a storm at the square, cut his way in, slashed right and left, how his saber had tasted flesh and he had fallen exhausted, and so on. And so he told them all that.

 

http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/war_and_peace/56/

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Just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante, a slim novel which didn't live up to the extravagant praise I've heard from Bukowski fans. Henry Miller and Hubert Selby did this kind of thing much better.

I'm currently reading Middlesex, has anyone else read it? I remember it being discussed elsewhere and people were criticizing the fact that it won the pulitzer prize. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize worthy

Several of the pieces in Paris to the Moon appeared earlier as Gopnik's monthly Letters from Paris to The New Yorker. His use of adjectives to describe the weather, the neighborhood, etc impressed me

Of course, of course.

 

Livy does, from time to time, specifiy that he does not have reliable data, and cites conflicting information from different sources. But then he goes and whacks out huge numbers which take some believing. I wonder if there is internal consistency; it sometimes seems that Hannibal has lost several hundred thousand men more in battle than he brought over the Alps. But then, he does pick up all kinds of mercenary troops along the way.

 

Just to be definitive, Wikipedia gives 30,000 as the total force of Carthaginians defeated at Metaurus. And Wiki, of course, is unassailable. Unless someone goes and edits it now. :P

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I don't know if this is within the guidelines, but she would look more convincing with a Bible and a bra.

 

 

Perhaps she's trying to point out that she's been a good girl?

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I don't know if this is within the guidelines, but she would look more convincing with a Bible and a bra.
Perhaps she's trying to point out that she's been a good girl?
Heck, it's not even polite to point with your finger.
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I don't know if this is within the guidelines, but she would look more convincing with a Bible and a bra.
Perhaps she's trying to point out that she's been a good girl?
Heck, it's not even polite to point with your finger.

The judge should have sentenced her to finishing school.

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for the first time since i desultorily skimmed it in my first semester of grad school, raymond williams' "the country and the city". such beautiful writing. that's really what's been lost with the poststructuralist turn (at least among the anglophones) in literary studies since the late 70s.

 

also, working my way through lukacs' "theory of the novel"--always weird to read a critical text whose writer says in an introduction added decades later that he repudiates everything in the book as naive and that it is interesting only as an artifact of a particular school of thought on its way out.

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strange that it should have come so much later though.

 

haven't got very far into it, but his notions about the perfect harmony of the world of the greeks seem of a piece with the kind of nostalgia about the pastoral that williams takes apart so elegantly in his book.

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