Trying to write a PhD thesis and being in more or less constant self-doubt tend to be synonymous, I'm afraid, not least when the said thesis deals with something as elusive as the style of ancient poetry (Old English in my case).
It is strangely comforting to have one's doubts confirmed and somehow gently mocked by a witty quote, which is what happened to me today.
I share the quote with you because I think it's thought-provoking and because I'm sure that fpb in particular will have much to say about it, given his opinions on the matter differ quite dramatically from Stoppard's if I'm not mistaken.
Poetical feelings are a peril to scholarship. There are always poetical people ready to protest that a corrupt line is exquisite. Exquisite to whom? The Romans were foreigners writing for foreigners two milleniums ago; and for people whose gods we find quaint, whose savagery we abominate, whose private habits we don’t like to talk about, but whose idea of what is exquisite is, we flatter ourselves, mysteriously identical with ours.
(Tom Stoppard, The Invention of Love)