Though various flips and wriggles across cyberspace (/my DW netork), I came across this post
, where someone I don't know quoted somebody else I don't know saying the line:
"[A]ll literature, highbrow or low, from the Aeneid onward, is fan fiction."
On the one hand, this is a very nice sentiment and, you know, in the context of the qualifying definition Michael Chabon provides, true
. On the other, however, I find myself yet again amused/annoyed that apparently the Greeks were actually
divinely inspired in the verve and originality of their literature. Or maybe this guy is just a really big fan of Catullus or something, but, if we play the averages, I suspect he might probably hang with the crowd that thinks Terence's Menander 'translations' were completely unchanged in their move to Latin and Ennius' tragedies just copied the oldies
despite making drastic changes even in the fragments we have
.But none of those are major parts of the Western textual canon!
you might say. The Aeneid is just making a big point, because everybody's heard of it!
Apart from the fact that every fifth century tragedian was essentially writing fanfic too, and, oh yes, yet again we see Homer as The Original Source Text Of All Texts Ever. Because, you know, the Muse actually
came down and told Homer what to say: 'he' was completely free of all outside influences - it was only when the Aeneid came along that the fanfic began. Uh huh.
I'm not even sure why I'm ranting about this. I love Homer and all his cleverdick ways (and he, whoever he was/were-in-the-plural-creators, really was a clever bastard), but, for heaven's sake, if everything from the Aeneid onwards is fanfic, then the Iliad and the Odyssey bloody were too.
IN OTHER NEWS: What do you think my fic says about my id?