ERASMUS-- I've been reading Erasmus' "The Praise of Folly" for Literature class (Hillsdale College). A great piece where a personified (in the form of a goddess similar to Athena or perhaps like Soloman's Wisdom or like Lady Liberty) Folly defends herself against her critics.
You have to wonder in reading it what Erasmus was thinking in writing throuhg Folly's eyes and if he was condemning those given to Folly or those who shun her, but I think my professor is wrong in his analysis. Dr. John Sommerville thinks that Erasmus was actually thinking about what he agreed with and what he didn't when he wrote it. I don't think he even knew. It was probably an experiment just to see what Folly would say to defend herself and to support her casue if she had the chance to say it. My bet is that Erasmus, like the rest of us, is sympathetic to some folly and apalled at other folly.
I don't think placing writers a rank or two above the rest of us actually helps understand them any better. It probably make things more complicated and more dificult.
Erasmus just had an idea (a very good one), said "I wonder how this would work," and tried it. He didn't know what to think anymore than the rest of us.