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Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Thomas Banks

In Capti (The Prisoners), Stephani Berard has written a novel that deserves more of an audience than it will conceivably find. There may be a few relevant reasons for this paucity of readership, but the obvious one is the author’s choice to write his tale of intrigue, farce and metaphysics in Latin — the first novel to be originally published in this language in over 250 years. There are a few tempting presumptions that the reader should avoid upon hearing this: one, that Shakespeare’s pedantic classicist Holophernes has been given a second lease on life; two, that the dreariness of that man’s soul who has written a 600-page novel in a dead tongue could be matched only by his naiveté.

The reality is nothing of the kind. Berard, a professor of Spanish, German and Latin, is a lively writer with apparently nothing of the hubris that has bedeviled teachers of the humanities since time immemorial — namely, the belief that anything worth learning exists under the heading of that subject on which they wrote their doctoral dissertations. Berard flavors his book freely enough with quotations from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, but he shows an equal awareness of the more commonly patronized end of the cultural spectrum with more ...

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Above excerpt taken from the March 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe

March, 2012