All the world has heard of Cornelius Agrippa. His memory is as immortal as his arts have made me. All the world has also heard of his scholar, who, unawares, raised the foul fiend during his master's absence, and was destroyed by him.

From Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley.

Is the highlighted sentence grammatically correct?

As far as I can tell, His memory corresponds to his arts, not to his arts have made me. I mean, the correspondence has to be 'word to word' or 'phrase to phrase'. Or maybe the sentence needs a relative pronoun or something?

In fact, what does this sentence mean exactly?

  • 1
    The parallelism in this sentence isn't perfect, but that does not make the sentence ungrammatical. – Peter Shor Jul 14 '14 at 1:52

It's a likening of the degree of immortality possessed by his memory to the degree of immortality conferred upon me by his arts:

His memory is immortal in some degree.
His arts have made me immortal in the same degree.

His arts have made me as immortal as his memory ... mutatis mutandis, then
His memory is as immortal as his arts have made me.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.