Monday, October 15, 2007

On the issue of Suffenus...

As we all know, Catullus hates Suffenus for his bad writing, making a bad name for all writers alike. This relationship is similar to, of course, Dr. Gregory House of the FOX series, House M.D.

First, let's get acquainted with the contenders:
Dr. Gregory House- Professional Diagnostician, who doesn't wear a lab coat
Dr. Lisa Cuddy- Hospital Administrator
Dr. James Wilson- Oncologist/House's Friend
Mr. Vogler- A contributor of seven million dollars to the hospital
Catullus- Our poem's author
Suffenus- A rich person who thinks he can write but really can't

In earlier episodes of House M.D., Mr. Vogler stepped into the hospital ready to donate seven mllion dollars to the hospital; all that the hospital has to do in return is make Vogler the Head of the Hospital. Because the hospital has suffered money loss (especially from House's branch of the hospital), the hospital's administrator, Cuddy, is forced to comply with Vogler's demands.

Once Vogler was accepted into the hospital, he gains a dislike for House, and vice versa. Vogler constantly demands that House does his every whim, even forcing him to put on his lab coat. House looks down on Vogler and his commands, thinking that he is a bad omen for the hospital, using his money to gain respect in a field that he has no experience in.

Vogler versus House is like Suffenus versus Catullus. As Suffenus cranks out one horrible poem after another, or as Catullus states, "longe plurimos facit versus," he becomes more ignorant with the quality of the verses he produced, blinded by his money and his purchasing power to buy many luxuries that other poets can't afford. Catullus despises Suffenus for his ignorance and looks down on him.

However, as Catullus states in the very last line of poem 22, "sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est," (But we do not see our own packs on our backs), at the sight of Suffenus' terrible writing, Catullus is forced to look at himself and his flaws. This is also comparable to the relationship between Vogler and House. Once Vogler was dismissed from the hospital, House saw the intelligence behind Vogler's demands; he even put on his lab coat for one day on the job.