The Art Made Me Do It!: "Last weak I cud not spel artis. Now I are one."

"we [sic] were not made to live like beasts but to follow knowledge and truth.." [sic ]

These lines from Dante appear in countless online quotation banks, though Alquilar substitutes "knowledge and truth" for the customary "virtue and knowledge".

In the original: fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza. By virtue, Dante meant manly virtue - John Ciardi translates virtute e canoscenza as "manhood and recognition".

Dante did not intend this to be one of those little inspirational tidbits that people cut out and paste on things. The words are spoken by Ulysses in Hell (Inferno, Canto XXVI) as he describes how he exhorted his men before leading them to their doom.

Posted by Glen Wishard at October 9, 2004 1:54 AM

"Couldn't spell 'Shakespeare'" is a rather poor example, as, famously, neither could Shakespeare.

Posted by Oscar at October 9, 2004 7:48 AM

So it is said, but we don't live in that space/time but in this one, Einestine.

Posted by Van der Leun at October 9, 2004 9:32 AM

A contemprary of Van Den Puup, no doubt. [ See the Elite Designers against IKEA] I suspect, however, that is intended to be satire, while $40,000 art projects at public expense are not.

Posted by Stephen at October 9, 2004 9:42 AM

Einestine? Oh, you mean Ahskar. Or was it Osker? Maybe Oscirr? Oh the heck with it - call him Mr. Pedant.

Posted by P. A. Breault at October 9, 2004 10:37 AM

...and Taranto will be delighted that you worked "kerfuffle" in there.

Posted by J.R. at October 9, 2004 2:16 PM

Ah, I'd forgotten about that. No, wait, I lied. I hadn't forgotten. In fact, it it wasn't for Taranto I wouldn't have had that wonderful word come to mind.

Personally, I'm hoping to do for "philtrum" what Taranto has done for "kerfuffle," but I can't figure out how to work it in as often.

Posted by Van der Leun at October 9, 2004 3:05 PM

Another interesting comparison is the original painting she was attempting to copy.

We have yet to hear from the folks at Livermore who commissioned and paid for this work. Kind'a embarrassing I imagine. The Mercury News has a story today about a public art project that is going better than this one. Unfortunately the web version does not include the photos.

Posted by G.A. Dean at October 9, 2004 7:41 PM

I give up. What does "philtrum" mean?

Posted by J.R. at October 10, 2004 8:56 AM

It is the groove in the middle of the face that runs from the bottom of the nose to the top of the lips

Posted by Van der Leun at October 10, 2004 9:09 AM

Philtrum would seem to be a word of limited usage. It will be interesting to see how you set about popularizing it.

Posted by J.R. at October 10, 2004 1:33 PM