Perseus and Cassandra

Chapter 9 of The Gutenberg Elegies sets out to critique Perseus , the compendium of ancient Greek literature created by Gregory Crane and colleages and published by the Yale University Press.

Birkerts is anxious that ready access to the Classics may lead students to confusion. "Does a gain in one area depend upon a loss in another?" he asks. "My guess would be that every lateral attainment is purchased with a sacrifice in depth. . . .  Will this dazzled student find the concentration, the will, to live with the often blurred and prickly language of the plays themselves?"

The chapter heaps scorn on the publisher's catalog copy, but contains no clear evidence that Birkerts has actually read Perseus itself.

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