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Plus poetice quam humane locutus est

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by wordandutopia, May 7, 2013.

  1. wordandutopia New Member

    Portuguese
    Dear Forum,

    I would be incredible grateful if anyone could translate this sentence for me: Plus poetice quam humane locutus est. Does it mean "It is said that the most poetic thing is the human?"

    It appears in Pascal's Pensees, in the following fragment:

    Here's the original French version:

    Style. Quand on voit le style naturel on est tout étonné et ravi, car on s'attendait de voir un auteur et on trouve un homme. Au lieu que ceux qui ont le goût bon et qui en voyant un livre croient trouver un homme sont tout surpris de trouver un auteur (L 675-29).
    Plus poetice quam humane locutus est. Ceux-là honorent bien la nature qui lui apprennent qu'elle peut parier de tout, et même de théologie

    Here's in English translation:
    When we see a natural style, we are astonished and delighted; for we expected to see an author, and we find a man. Whereas those who have good taste, and who seeing a book expect to find a man, are quite surprised to find an author. Plus poetice quam humane locutus est. Those honour Nature well, who teach that she can speak on everything, even on theology.
    Thank you so so much!

     
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Pascal is quoting (a bit loosely) Petronius Arbiter, Satiricon c. 90: saepius poetice quam humane locutus es, “you spoke more like a poet than like a human being”. Pascal changed it to: “he spoke....”.
     
  3. wordandutopia New Member

    Portuguese
    Thank you!
     
  4. wordandutopia New Member

    Portuguese
    Dear fdb,

    I'm sorry to bother you again with a query. But can "saepius" be translated as "often"?

    Also if you know the context of this exchange in Petronius' novel, would you kindly share it with me?

    Wishing you a great afternoon!
     
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    “saepius” is literally “more often”. Petronius’ book is of course a satire. A friend of the protagonist has just recited some of his bad poetry in public and been greeted by a hail of stones from the crowd. The two escape from the angry mob and the narrator reproaches him with these words. Pascal’s readers would have been aware of the comical context of the quotation. The implication is that poets are somehow not real humans.
     
  6. wordandutopia New Member

    Portuguese
    Thank you!
     

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