Caroline Alexander on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and a line from Virgil:
The impulse to turn to time-hallowed texts, like the classics or the Bible, is itself time-hallowed. In the face of powerful emotions, our own words may seem hollow and inadequate, while the confirmation that people in the past felt as we now feel holds solace. And the language of poets and great thinkers can be in itself ennobling.
But not in this case. Anyone troubling to take even a cursory glance at the quotation’s context will find the choice offers neither instruction nor solace.
Out of Context (New York Times)