The Metamorphoses : A New Verse Translation a New Verse Translation Paperback
Ovid's deliciously clever and exuberant epic, Metamorphoses is a verse translation from the Latin by David Raeburn with an introduction by Denis Feeney in Penguin Classics. Ovid's sensuous and witty poetry brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation - often as a result of love or lust - where men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings.
Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best-known myths and legends of Ancient Greece and Rome, including Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy.
Erudite but light-hearted, dramatic yet playful, the Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes. This lively, accessible new translation by David Raeburn is in hexameter verse, which brilliantly captures the energy and spontaneity of the original. The edition contains an introduction discussing the life and work of Ovid as well as a preface to each book, explanatory notes and an index of people, gods and places. Publius Ovidius Naso (43BC-18AD) was born at Sulmo (Sulmona) in central Italy.
Coming from a wealthy Roman family and seemingly destined for a career in politics, he held some minor official posts before leaving public service to write, becoming the most distinguished poet of his time.
His works, all published in Penguin Classics, include Amores, a collection of short love poems; Heroides, verse-letters written by mythological heroines to their lovers; Ars Amatoria, a satirical handbook on love; and Metamorphoses, his epic work on change. If you enjoyed Metamorphoses, you might like Homer's The Odyssey, also available in Penguin Classics.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 768 pages, map
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/11/2003
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9780140447897
Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.
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Review by CaptainBroadchurch
Were Metamorphoses contemporary it would be a tv clip show called "World's Most Amazing Transformations!", would be aired during the graveyard slot on a Tuesday night, and would be narrated by Jamie Theakston or some other washed up has-been whose one marketable quality lies in having a voice people might recognise. What's more, it would still be a thousand times better than this horrible book.
Review by ron_benson
I can't find the original version that I read in my classical civilization course. This is still the same. Ovid is an excellent writer and this compendium of translated "stories" is a beautiful read for those looking for a slice of classical mythology. My favorite is still Orpheus and Eurydice.
Review by gbsallery
A surprisingly pacey read; whilst somewhat lacking in structure, there is at least some overall thematic cohesion, and the writing itself is superb. If girls being turned into trees is your thing, then this is the epic poem for you. Also, rape.
Review by markbstephenson
Was Ovid the most talented poet of all time? Who outdid him?
Review by Smiley
Enertaining, enlightening, but ultimately light.All the known myths and stories from the Greek/Roman world, with the exception of a few from Homer and Virgil are contained in this lengthy poem to unending transformation.Ovid's boast in the epilogue, "Thoughout all ages, if poets have vision to prophesy the truth, I shall live in my fame." is certainly true.A note on this translation: I have only a smattering of Latin, but found this text to be far superior to the clunky Charles Martin translation, despite Bernard Knox's enthusiasm. The notes were especially helpful. The unnumbered notes are contained in the back of the book so a reader needs two bookmarks. Notes are for the convience of the reader, why put them at the back instead of the foot of the page? and unnumbered too?
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