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The Metamorphoses of Ovid [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

Allen Mandelbaum
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 12 2001
Through Mandelbaum’s poetic artistry, this gloriously entertaining achievement of literature-classical myths filtered through the worldly and far from reverent sensibility of the Roman poet Ovid-is revealed anew. “[An] extraordinary translation...brilliant” (Booklist). With an Introduction by the Translator.

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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 Full of veiled political and historical references, The Metamorphoses lived on to become a permanent fixture in the canon of European literature.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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MY SOUL WOULD SING of metamorphoses. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Did you ever wonder where Keats garnered the inspiration for Endymion? Or why Shakespeare's plays always make reference to the Greek and Roman gods instead of the Judeo-Christian ones? In part, this book is at the foundation.
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.
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On Ovid: This is one of the best poems ever written. Period. I'm a big mythology buff and many of the Greek and Roman myth versions we know today come from this work. It also tells a compelling story. Shakespeare thought it was great, enough said.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Myths Sept. 5 2001
The Metamorphoses is an excellent work and Mandelbaum does a great job of translating. The book is full of the ancient greek myths of hero's, gods, and regular individuals. While not as readable as Homer or Virgil, Ovid gives a great account of many of the ancient myths. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Greek Mythology.
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