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Tales from Ovid: 24 Passages from the Metamorphoses (AMERICAN) Hardcover – Nov 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre / Not Applicable (Nov. 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374228418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374228415
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,669,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Some translations of Ovid are slow. Not this one. The Humphries -- long standard -- is clear but slow and earthbound. This is the most poetic translation I have found. Plus Hughes keesp all the "good bits."
Not of course a full translation, but the right place for the curious to start.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who may have seen the brilliant Anthony Hopkins' movie, TITUS, a movie based on Shakespeare's most Ovidian play, 'Titus Andronicus,' and one which actually features Ovid's book, and who may now have a yen to read or re-read Ovid, could do worse than take a look at Ted Hughes' reworkings, in modern idiom, of Ovid's fascinating tales.
Hughes, in his brief but quite informative Preface, finds in both Shakespeare and Ovid a "common taste for tortured subjectivity and catastrophic extremes of passion." He continues : "Above all, Ovid was interested in passion. Or rather, in what a passion feels like to the one possessed of it. Not just ordinary passion either, but passion 'in extremis'" (pages viii-ix).
As a passionate man himself, one can understand the appeal that Ovid has for Hughes, and may suspect that he, if anyone, was the man to give us a modernized Ovid. Personally I found myself enthralled by Ted Hughes' versions of these tales. So what, if in furtherance of his poetic aims, he has reworked the tales to some extent? Hughes is an exceptionally talented poet, and I'll leave it to those who are his equals in poetic talent to argue with his procedures. I doubt there can be many.
Hughes' incredible skill as a poet is everywhere in evidence on these pages. His handling of image and sound and rhythm and line length, his lucid diction, and his stunning ability to find precisely the right word - as in such lines as "no earth / spun in empty air on her own magnet" (pages 3-4), or "Everwhere he taught / the tree its leaf" (page 5), or "Echo collapsed in sobs, / As her voice lurched among the mountains" (page 77), or "And there she was - the Arcadian beauty, Callisto. / He stared.
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Format: Paperback
Ovid's tales are fantastic, but few readers make it through all of his tales. Hughes picks only the most famous and makes memorable translations of them. I use this book in our high school English curriculum for mythology -- it's just enough that students learn the essential Greek myths, but not too much that it becomes overwhelming. Hughes' translations are emminently readable. Sure, he could have included more, but those he does include are fanstastic and very vivid.
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Format: Paperback
When I was introduced to these stories in grade school I was bored senseless and avoided them well into adulthood. This collection brings the stories and characters to life in such a way that now I want to search out other translations. The portrayals of Echo and Hunger still haunt me and I read their respective tales often. This may not be a "true" translation that academics want, but it's a wonderful read in an area this isn't read much of any more.
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