Ave Ovid The Metamorphoses of Ovid

ISBN 13: 9780801847974

The Metamorphoses of Ovid

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9780801847974: The Metamorphoses of Ovid

"The mark of success in a poet's career", writes David Slavitt, "was an epic that might stand on the shelf alongside Virgil's. But how was a poet like Ovid, with a more intimate, livelier, funnier and more self-mocking sensibility, to attempt such a thing? The epic form was not, I think, immediately congenital, and my guess is that Ovid recognized this himself. Accordingly, he transformed the epic, playing against its grain a lot of the time, and escaping its severe organizational and thematic demands by transforming it into something altogether different. The first metamorphosis, then, is of the idea of the epic itself". Written between AD 2 and 8, Ovid's long poem the "Metamorphoses" gave to a great number of Greek and Roman myths the form in which they are known today. David Slavitt, translator of "Ovid's Poetry of Exile", has fashioned a new English verse translation of what is perhaps the best known work of one of western civilization's major poets. In Slavitt's freely inventive but emotionally accurate renderings, the voice of Ovid speaks again to a new generation of readers.

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About the Author:

David R. Slavitt, poet, novelist, critic, and journalist, has published more than fifty books. His translations include the Metamorphoses of Ovid, The Fables of Avianus, the & quot;Eclogues& quot; and & quot;Georgics& quot; of Virgil, and Seneca: The Tragedies, Vols. 1 and 2, all available from Johns Hopkins.

From Publishers Weekly:

Composed between 2 and 8 A.D., Ovid's (43 B.C.-?A.D. 17) epic poem purports to tell the story of the universe. Competing over the centuries with such formidable adversaries as the Bible, the Upanishads , Darwin, and modern physics, The Metamorphoses remains one of the world's most engaging cosmologies. The primary strength of Slavitt's ( The Fables of Avianus ) translation is its conversational diction, which accurately conveys the style of storytelling pervading the original. His departs from most existing translations by resisting slavish preoccupation with detail, allowing him to anticipate and engage a restless and modern reader. For example, in Book Seven, Slavitt interrupts the narrative to comment on Ovid's often long-winded style, and replaces ``forty lines of travel'' (Medea's) with 40 verse lines of his own criticism of the text. Another characteristic touch is the presence of innumerable loan words, mostly from French. Unfortunately, Slavitt's poetic line has the mildly irritating tendency to throw the reader off the back of its lumbering cadence. As poetry, the translation neither invigorates nor inspires, and much of it seems to have been written with a shrug, as if to Slavitt verse held a secondary position to subject matter. Otherwise, his Ovid displays poise and a refreshingly varied texture. His translation is constructed like a Shakespearian play: it satisfies those who want only to enjoy the vaudevillian spectacle of Jupiter and Juno's marriage, and relive the adventures of the Argonauts or the Trojan War. Yet it will also charm those stimulated by subtle references to postmodern ideas, by a liberal, multilingual vocabulary, and by the occasional lame joke.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Buchbeschreibung The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Buchzustand: New. book. Buchnummer des Verkäufers M0801847974

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