The Metamorphoses of Ovid Paperback – Bargain Price, Jan 12 2001
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Publius Ovidius Naso, whom we know as Ovid, was already established as a writer when The Metamorphoses was published in A.D. 8, when he was 52 years old. It had taken him a decade to compose his great poem, during which time he published little, but the Roman world was still abuzz with excitement over his richly erotic Art of Love. So, unfortunately, was the court of Augustus Caesar, and the emperor banished the poet to what is now Romania. Augustus may have taken exception to the poet's turn to the impolite realm of the body--or he may have objected to a rumored affair between Ovid and the emperor's nymphomaniacal daughter Julia, who figures so prominently in Robert Graves's Claudius novels. The poet who had declared Rome to be his only home could have found no worse punishment than exile, but no amount of pleading could sway Augustus, and Ovid died on the shores of the Black Sea a decade later. Full of veiled political and historical references, The Metamorphoses lived on to become a permanent fixture in the canon of European literature. In Allen Mandelbaum's hands, it lives on for a new generation.
From Publishers Weekly
Translator and poet Mandelbaum offers his rendition of Ovid's classic work of mythology and change.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
On Mandelbaum: I've read about 4 different translations of this work and Mr. Mandelbaum's is my favorite. He remains precise without being choppy. He keeps it poetic, which I like. There is a fine line translators must walk, being true to the original text while making the english understandable and keeping the imagery, flow, music and intent intact. This version does all of those.
This is THE book to get the knowledge of the myths that our modern and not so modern conceptions of Roman and Greek gods and myths come from. And it has served as inspiration for poets, writers, shepherds and talentless hacks for millenia.
Mandelbaum's translation is sufficient in that it is not an original work. A translator must before anything get the point across. Embellishments and other creative input into a translation add only defects. Mandelbaum's tranlsation suffices and is very readable and very understandable.
Edith Wharton's "Mythology" will help one get through it if the verse is incomprehensible to the reader and works well as a supplement to this book. A highly enjoyable and almost mandatory read.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm sorry I must disagree with all other reviewers on this edition. First of all let me quickly say I'm not really rating Ovid, but this specific translation. Read morePublished on March 5 2001
A marvelous translation of the Metamorphoses, difficult to put down, very poetic and evocative, leading one into one's own personal associations to the myths while being true to... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 1999