06 November, 2009

I'm not sure this qualifies as "encyclopedic style"

Another gem of Wikipedia's:

Though of great historical value, the poem is devoid of all literary excellence, and at times is even extremely clumsy and barbarous.
Never mind the subjective evaluations. "Barbarous"? What does that even mean in a poem?

Update! It turns out that I can't blame Wikipedia for this at all. No, this is another place where Wikipedia lifted word for word from the Catholic Encyclopedia. It remains incomprehensible, though.


Brandon said...

Actually, I think makes sense in the context of the Catholic Encyclopedia, more so than in the context of Wikipedia -- which is interesting. Since we're dealing with a Latin poem, the CE would be more likely to be interested in the character of the Latin than a general interest encyclopedia, and 'barbarous' can have a (somewhat) well-defined meaning for Latin style -- i.e., not properly classical.

Still, probably not really encyclopedic in tone. I notice this about the CE a lot; one expects a Catholic perspective, but some of the article authors seem to have had difficulty distinguishing this from certain kinds of literary or aesthetic perspectives.

jack perry said...