Characteristically, however, he would destroy a great deal of his juvenalia, the continued existence

chengping2043

Member
Taiwan- Chinese
The following sentence is from: Alexander Pope: A Brief Biography

Characteristically, however, he would destroy a great deal of his juvenalia, the continued existence of which might have detracted from the image of the poet as child prodigy which he desired, later in life, to propagate.

Could anyone please kindly paraphrase this sentence?

Thank you.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello chengping2043

    Perhaps it will help if I say that there seems to be a mistake in the text: the word "juvenalia" should be "juvenilia":
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
    ju•ve•nil•i•a ( jo̅o̅′və nilē ə, -nilyə), n.pl.
    1. Literature: works, esp. writings, produced in one's youth: His juvenilia were more successful than his mature writings.
    2. [...]​

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    juvenilia /ˌdʒuːvɪˈnɪlɪə/pl n
    1. works of art, literature, or music produced in youth or adolescence, before the artist, author, or composer has formed a mature style
     

    chengping2043

    Member
    Taiwan- Chinese
    Thank you very much for pointing out the misspelling of the word.

    1. Is it saying that Pope hoped to be regarded as a child prodigy so he wouldn't mind destroying the works he had produced as an adolescent?

    2. Those works that he had done at his youth have detracted from Pope's image as a child prodigy according to the passage above?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes, you've got the idea.:)

    He destroyed some of the works he produced as a child/adolescent, because he thought that people who read those works would see them as not of "child prodigy" standard - and that people might therefore stop thinking of him as a child prodigy.
     
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