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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ugliness Described with Beauty

No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene;
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The suff'ring eye inverted Nature sees,
Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees;

- Alexander Pope, Epistle to Burlington (1731)

The Epistle to Burlington (also known as the fouth of the Moral Essays), was written on the subject of architecture, ridiculing the bad taste of the aristocracy. This passage (lines 115-120) is on a specific topic, which with the help of other works, Pope killed as a fashion single-handedly. (Arguably his greatest contribution to society.) What is this topic? Give up? Click the picture for an account of its death.

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