When, O Cicero, do you intend to cease abusing our patience?
So I have, apparently, made a contribution to the study of Latin. What I did, see, was tell a joke.
I said that what Wheelock's needed was a villian. You've got Cicero-Ciceronis and he and his ilk are always going off on how one should avoid avarice and defend the repulic and it's all just boring. What we need is a good mustace-twisting villian. He could start with fairly tame villianious statements and get more and more wild and vicious. Every chapter you'd think, oh my, what will this left-handed enemy of wisdom and the republic say in the next chapter?
It was funny at the time and so I told a few more people a few more times and then the other day I told it to one of the Latin profs. He laughed and said was a good idea. Since Cicero is always talking about Catilina, saying he was "openly desirous to destroy the whole world with fire and slaughter" and stuff, he said, you could have the other side of the story, from the Catlinian point of view. And now he's apparently e-mailed some people and they think it's a good idea and are in talks about putting out a work book on the "dark side of Latin." I might even get a citation in the acknowledgements - and thanks to Daniel Silliman for telling a joke.