Why we still dream we can live on through fame – Stephen Cave – Aeon

Why we still dream we can live on through fame – Stephen Cave – Aeon.

Yes, we live in a celebrity culture. But as is clear from reading Homer’s account of the Greek heroes, we are far from the first to do so. Thoughts of posterity have always inspired poets and politicians, sportsmen and scientists, just as they do today. In 1380, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a major poem examining the inhabitants of the ‘House of Fame’. A few centuries later, John Milton wrote that ‘Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise… to scorn delights, and live laborious days’. A few centuries after that, the Spanish man of letters Miguel de Unamuno noted that ‘the man of letters who shall tell you that he despises fame is a lying rascal.’

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