Bad Things Come in Threes

In his commentary on Horace’s Soracte Ode (1.9), David West writes:

“Horace says sententiously, ‘When winds stop blowing, trees stop shaking’, meaning of course that unpleasant things do not last for ever. This could be said of a plague of locusts or a broken ankle or a professor with tenure” (Horace Odes I: Carpe Diem, Oxford 1995, 42-3)

The third unpleasant thing is odd at first glance, and suggests that West had at least one unpleasant colleague to put up with until he either died or retired.

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One Response to Bad Things Come in Threes

  1. James Enge says:

    It might just be self-deprecating humor on DW’s part… but I expect you’re right.

    It would be interesting if DW were wrong and the act of getting tenure somehow anchored the prof’s soul to a campus for eternity. Might be a horror/comedy plot in there somewhere.

    JE (aka JMP)

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