CANADIEN DES ÉTUDES ANCIENNES
16.10.1 ~ 2010 07 02
~ ISSN 1198-9149
rédacteur: Guy Chamberland (Thorneloe University at Laurentian
page web: http://www.cac-scec.ca/fr/bcea.html
Published by e-mail by the Classical Association of
Publication électronique de la Société canadienne des études
President / président: Alison Keith (University of
Secretary / secrétaire: John
Serrati (McGill University,
Treasurer / trésorière: Ingrid
Holmberg (University of
In Memoriam: Herbert H. Huxley
Herbert Henry Huxley, Professor of Latin at the University of
Victoria from 1968 to 1979, died on 5 May in Cambridge, England at the age of
93. Educated at Manchester Grammar School and St John’s College, Cambridge, he
held positions successively at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester before
coming to Canada.
HHH had a wide-ranging interest in Latin verse of all
periods, contributing, for example, a useful article on the Latin poems of
George Herbert (1593-1633). In 1961 he published a school edition of Books 1 and
4 of Vergil's Georgics. His real talent, however, lay in writing Latin verses
(both translations and original compositions), in a variety of metres,
quantitative and accentual. Though his verse is characterised chiefly by its
elegance and wit, it takes on real poetic power on those occasions when it deals
with love and loss, with mortality and with religious themes. His version of
Landor's "Well I remember how you smiled" is at least as good as the original.
Guy Lee identified correctly the "inspired simplicity" of Huxley's style in a
poem like his "Eucharistic Hymn". "If one can write like that," commented Lee,
"one has not lived in vain."
Huxley's mind turned unerringly to the
quaint and recherché, perhaps as an antidote to a certain melancholy.
Characteristic titles of his publications are "Two Sanskrit Epigrams &
Epitaph on an Unknown Female Corpse (Kipling)" and "Sir Winston Churchill,
Aeneid VII and the Vocative Case". He claimed that his paper "It" had the
shortest title of any learned article in Classics. Wit was characteristic of his
conversation as of his writing. On one occasion a colleague who rejoiced in the
surname Currie happened to be late for a faculty meeting. As we waited, “Currie
a non currendo" murmured Herbert -- a mot that survives though the topic of the
meeting is long forgotten.
In relations with colleagues, alas, he could
be fierce and even destructive. But he could be charming in company, and was
amazingly patient and entertaining with children. He was particularly interested
in "town and gown" relations, offering many non-credit courses for mature
students and even co-leading a group to Greece. Shortly after coming to Victoria
he co-founded the Classical Association of Vancouver Island, which has grown and
thrived to this day and is his best Canadian memorial.
regular issue 2010 07 15 / Prochaine
livraison régulière 2010 07
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