11 feb. 2004

A year ago on this blog I wrote:

Saintsbury's prose is extraordinary. Ungainly and elegant, redundant and pithy by turns. This is the conclusion of his remarks on Edward Bysshe, an early 18th-century prosodist:

"I think he was utterly wrong--wrong most of all in discarding feet; wrong in dwelling too much on accent; wrong in countenancing 'elision'; wrong in his estimate of various metres; wrong everywhere and every way except in some points of rhyme. But he was wrong with a fascinating and logical sequaciousness; and he was wrong, as a theorist, in the manner of a real and eminent heresiarch."

Earlier he talks of how Bysshe is either "immediately above or immediately below nullity." Try to picture that.