Rickard A Parker wrote:
> Virgils's deathbed wish was that the Aenid be burned, destroyed at any rate.
> Instead it was published after his death.
> Shades of Emily Hale!
Thanks for the tale. I mis-asked for it and you provided the facts
consistent with my mis-asking. The deathbed was not the scene of the wish, as I
suggested--and I quote:
On leaving Italy for Greece, [Virgil] had instructed Varius to burn
the Aeneid ‘if anything should happen to him’. On his death-bed, he
seems to have wavered a little: he asked for the manuscript in order
to burn it, yet he did not insist when no one complied with his
request. [Brooks Otis, _Virgil: A Study in Civilized Poetry_ (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1963) 1.]
I appreciate the shade of Eliot being brought in, as the allusiveness of
both V and E are of interest to me. Both were steeped in literary traditions
and both had to find ways to become part of it. Virgil worked hard to find a
way to write an epic that would not be second-rate Homer.
However, Virgil's misgivings about the Aeneid were not based matters of
privacy. Varius played Max Brod to Virgil's Kafka. Only, as far as I know,
Kafka has had no way of knowing Brod didn't comply. How lucky we are for the
squeamishness of friends!