Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Unwretched Wretch

From Augustine's Confessions (1:21):

Quid enim miserius misero non miserante se ipsum. 

My text has this footnote:

English struggles to capture the fugura etymologica here (triple anaphora of miser-). 

Indeed it does! I'm tempted to render the sentence as:

For nothing is more miserable than a miser not commiserating with himself. 

Don't like it? Okay, let's try this:

For nothing is more wretched than a wretch who does not consider himself wretched. 

That any better? Methinks Augustine thought he had much in common with the apostle Paul (Rom. 7:24). 

This is way too much fun.