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Back Is Indeed What the Lady Has

June 11, 2010

This is an old–indeed, ancient–work of literature, but after certain proceedings proceeded to proceed on Wednesday night, I felt it would be uninappropriate to draw the reader’s attention to the passage. It is a remarkable composition I discovered years ago while perusing the Minor Works of Aristotle. I expect that you, too, will detect a connection between the Aristotelian composition (it appears to be a speech or lecture, to be read at a public ceremony of some sort) and a certain modern one. Perhaps you will be intrigued by the stylistic similarities and differences between the English translation of Sir R.O.A.M. Lyne, reproduced below, and the more well-known modern adaptation by Sir M. A. Lot. Haud dubium this reproduction of a translation of an ancient text will prove more enlightening than any blog content I could have written myself. To read it in the original Greek, consult the Loeb Classical Library’s Aristotle: Minor Works, available wherever obscure little green books are sold.

(459a) Truthfully, I consider large buttocks attractive, nor can the springlike reaction caused by
the ingress of a small-waisted, globulopygeal young lady be disavowed by you other males.
Having noticed the manner in which the fabric of her peplos closely surrounds her buttocks, you,
on the one hand, desire frontal proximity to it, while I, on the other, am not only captivated but
also unable to steer my gaze from the sight.
(459b) O maiden, would that it were possible for me to be in your vicinity, and to depict you in
painting or sculpture. Attempted warnings were uttered by my friends, notwithstanding which,
contemplation of your buttocks is causing me to become desirous of sexual congress. By Zeus,
that posterior exemplifies smoothness! To your request that I permit you to ride in my chariot, I
affirm that you may employ me in whatever manner you like, as you surpass average nubile
maidens with respect to form.
(459c) Indeed, I have beheld choruses of such women as this one. May courting rituals descend to
Hades, in the presence of a female who, persipring and hydrated, is moving like unto a young
racehorse in the meadow. Verses in praise of platypygeality are wearying to me. The majority of
Hellene men hold that girls of maximal gluteal endowment are maximally attractive.
(460a) O men of Hellas: is the maiden you are currently chasing beautiful a posteriori? If so,
command her once, twice, and thrice to sway those vigorous spoils. For the maiden’s buttocks are
very large. My preference is that they be spherical and sizable; and when I am philosophizing in
the agora, I find such a sight irresistible and begin to conduct myself in a bestial manner.
(460b) O maiden, I fervently desire that you accompany me to my domicile, in order that we
might proceed with several copulative performances. To gaze upon Caryatids affects me not in the
least, for marble appendages are the sphere of sculptors. Thickness and fluidity are the properties
of the liquid duality for which I harbour appreciation. Aristotle, repeatedly requesting a morsel
of the abovementioned duality, is in peril.

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