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Lecture 36 - rhetorician Augustine writing as an old man...

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For Augustine, Virgil is a key poet. The Confessions have Virgil as the center of education. There is an implicit link between the wanderings of Aeneas and the sins of Augustine. Errori, if you wander, you commit sin. Augustine was a serial adulterer. Augustine goes from Carthage to Rome just like Aeneas. Augustine leaves his mother in Carthage just like Aeneas leaves Dido. The Rome he is heading to is not the Rome of empire but the city of God. Augustine’s Confessions have a parallel in the Aeneid. Augustine says he is set on fire by the conversion of Valentinus, but not by the fires of eros but the love for God. The concern with language is right the way through. The narrative of his past life are significant above all. The narrative plot of the Confessions rests on a broad paradox as the events of his life carry him toward the Word of God and the Word changes that life. There is a simultaneous shedding of eloquence, especially the eloquence of the
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Unformatted text preview: rhetorician. Augustine, writing as an old man senile of the pride of rhetoric, is reborn through the Word of God. There is a tension between human and beyond human language. The first books suggest the insufficiency of language to talk of something beyond language, which is God. This insufficiency is seen with Job. Logical progressions in the first five chapters are subverted. There is a discontinuous mode of speech. Praise of God, the book is with God or almost that God writes Augustine. Heigl thought he was being written by the German language. All things mediate are contrasted with immediate things. Language amounts to simultaneity. There is a contrast between the immediate, the mediate, the in between and the absolute. He has a desire to fornicate with the world. This is his language. Language learned draws him into the orbit of community, and it binds it together when there is a reflection of speech between speakers....
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