Friday, 25 April 2008

Just a small fish in a large pond?

It is not unusual for students who were the best in their year group at school to feel out of their depth when they start at university. Even Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf - at the age of eighteen - wrote to his mother on 4 December 1867:

There is such a colossal difference, while here [Bonn] one is a drop in the sea, there [Pforte] one was the foam that rides on the wave.

By then, he had already 'read critically' all extant Greek tragedies, including Rhesus.

[See W. M. Calder III, 'Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, an Unpublished Autobiography' pp. 561-577 in GRBS 12 1971 at p. 562.]


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