A Footnote to the Alexandrian Fire

The high-heaped books of Alexandria, reaching critical mass, fire up, and the PhD’s get third degree burns so Minimus the Grammarian can save his gloss on Minor. Stoke the galleries, scholars, shovel the stacks like coal, and quit your hydrant of tears: not even the downleveling ardor of Troy freed so much hot air. Plato, if he could have seen this fire, though a hard-bound man himself, would have danced like Dionysus, drunk with disglossing the Ideal Text, several removes more near to the Real. And about the texts, old sirs— Alexandrian epics on the crash of Troy, do you think them worth the burns? Helen will be stolen, Troy burn, Achilles die through a million rhymes, though Alexandria were not. If you must have texts though, I’ve got a few, and you can fill up the margins, if you like, though I’ve not much more than a common Homer, and a few short pieces by memory. I cannot unremember the ones I love. Tell me—do you really value books there’s only one copy of?

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