Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Old Letter, New Post

I wrote this open letter to a historical figure, long ago. Here, I post it for your enjoyment.

3/16/14

Dear Peter Ramus,

Or rather, let’s call you by your real, non- “Latinized” name, Pierre de la Rameé, Pre-Age of Enlightenment thinker who denounced the ideas of Socrates, Aristotle, and Quintilian. History recalls you as Peter Ramus in a direct attempt at deception. The mask of “Peter Ramus” keeps us from seeing you as the silly, blabbering Frenchman that you really were, mocking your betters because you could never live up to them.

There is someone in our popular cinema who reminds me of you – the character Vezzini from The Princess Bride:

You attack Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria as though it were a scientific manual rather than a philosophical treatise and then congratulate yourself on an easy victory against an opponent no longer alive to defend himself or his work. Let’s not let history deceive us.

Yours truly,

Leslie D. Soule

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