Thursday, April 30, 2015

Three views on the fall of Rome

I like the bit about Isaac Asimov:
Asimov being a first rate writer is very adept at retelling the ancient stories, with what he admits as "a little cribbin' from Edward Gibbon".  The tragic, heroic story of Belasarius for instance is taken almost unedited and dropped into Foundation and Empire as the story of General "Bel Riose".
Interesting about George Lucas, too.  I really can't argue.


Atom Smasher said...

I never really took to Asimov's writing. Too cold for me.

And Lucas never pretended he was doing anything original, storywise. He was doing something original by pulling all the pieces into a fun serial-homage movie.

Paul Bonneau said...

I always enjoyed Asimov, but I had missed the connection with Belisarius (actually read Graves' "Count Belisarius" much later). That book is highly recommended, by the way.

Paul Bonneau said...

BTW, I found this comment in Gibbon's condensed book:

Discussing the attempts of Augustus' generals to add to the extent of the Roman Empire early in his reign: "The northern countries of Europe scarcely deserved the expense and labour of conquest. The forests and morasses of Germany were filled with a hardy race of barbarians, who despised life when it was separated from freedom; and though, on the first attack, they seemed to yield to the weight of the Roman power, they soon, by a signal act of despair, regained their independence, and reminded Augustus of the vicissitude of fortune."
-- Edward Gibbon, from his condensed version of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"