In response to:
Tripping Over the Future from the April 26, 1990 issue
To the Editors:
In “Tripping Over the Future” [NYR, April 26], we are told by Robert M. Adams that Empedocles “carried away by Plato’s arguments” jumped into Etna. Did he intend this as serious history? Empedocles was a Pre-Socratic who may well have died before Plato was born (or who died during Plato’s youth). Perhaps he meant Parmenides, instead of Plato.
Is this another example of “Cultural Illiteracy” in the Modern World?
Dr. D.L. Ouron
University of Minnesota
Robert M Adams replies:
It’s not really necessary to invoke cultural illiteracy to explain a simple slip of memory. Actually, I was carried astray by a couple of tightly wrought lines in Milton’s Paradise Lost (III, 470-472), which brought in Cleombrotus to clutter my memory passages. But thanks for the correction anyhow.