After Ovid: New Metamorphoses

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Overview

Ovid's Metamorphoses is one of the great works in classical literature, and a primary source for our knowledge of much of classic mythology, in which the relentless theme of transformation stands as a primary metaphor for the often cataclysmic dynamics of life itself. For this book, British poets Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun have invited more than forty leading English-language poets to create their own idiomatic contemporary versions of some of the most famous and notorious...

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Overview

Ovid's Metamorphoses is one of the great works in classical literature, and a primary source for our knowledge of much of classic mythology, in which the relentless theme of transformation stands as a primary metaphor for the often cataclysmic dynamics of life itself. For this book, British poets Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun have invited more than forty leading English-language poets to create their own idiomatic contemporary versions of some of the most famous and notorious myths from the Metamorphoses.

Apollo and Daphne, Pyramus and Thisbe, Proserpina, Marsyas, Medea, Baucis and Philemon, Orpheus and Eurydice--these and many other immortal tales are given fresh and startling life in exciting new versions. The contributors--among them Fleur Adcock, Amy Clampitt, Jorie Graham, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Lawrence Joseph, Kenneth Koch, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Les Murray, Robert Pinsky, Frederick Seidel, Charles Simic, and C. K. Williams--constitute an impressive roster of today's major poets. After Ovid is a powerful re-envisioning of a fundamental work of literature as well as a remarkable affirmation of the current state of poetry in English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[This anthology aims] to play fast and loose with Ovid's text and themes just as he played fast and loose with the old myths. After Ovid is racy, memorable, and vividly contemporary. The themes are most certainly ours: sex-change, multiple rape, cross-dressing, the random cruelties of war. The poets re-imagine, reflect on, and generally reinterpret the originals--something of which Ovid himself would surely have approved. Reading Ovid in these versions, and even in the original, is a bit like a good evening at the cinema: rapid scene changes; sudden close-ups; unexpected shifts of attention."--The Economist

"The old magic has worked anew and several major figures have obviously found themselves hooked. . . . The contributors' list is a roll-call of remarkable distinction. . . . The effect is to bring Ovid from a dead to a living language."--The New Statesman & Society

Library Journal
The editors commissioned 42 poets from America, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, and New Zealand to "translate, reinterpret, reflect on, or completely reimagine" Ovid's famous Metamorphoses. What results are updated versions of the classic history of transformations of humans and inanimate objects. In these versions, which are not literal translations but adaptations utilizing characters and themes from the original, the sophisticated hexameters and great length (over 12,000 lines) of Ovid's masterpiece give way to fable-narratives in widely varying free verse and rhymed modernist rhythms. There are brief, insightful commentaries and long, stylistic imitations. Ovid's worldliness, use of shock, unorthodox emphasis on extremes of psychological behavior, and, as the editors observe, "distinct cinematic qualities" appeal to the contemporary mind. The best of these adaptations (those by Alice Fulton and C.K. Williams) show an exuberant reinterpretation of the passion of Ovid's fabulous gods with a thoughtful application of ancient stories to contemporary life. For most collections.-Frank Allen, West Virginia State Coll., Institute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374524784
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/30/1996
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 1,491,984
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Hofmann is a poet and frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost translators of works from German to English. He lives in London.

James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York. He has published two novels as well as several collections of short stories and poetry. He has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the Los Angeles Times, T. S. Eliot, and Forward prizes in poetry; and he was the winner of the inaugural U.K./BBC Short Story Prize. His nonfiction has been published in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Creation / Four Ages / Flood 3
Flood 21
Deucalion and Pyrrha 27
Give: Daphne and Apollo 28
Io 59
Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun 65
The Grip of Envy 79
Jupiter and Europa 83
Cadmus and the Dragon 85
Creation According to Ovid 92
Bacchus and Pentheus 94
Pyramus and Thisbe 110
Salmacis and Hermaphroditus 114
Cadmus 118
Atlas 120
Perseus and Andromeda 122
Pyreneus and the Muses 138
The Pomegranate 140
Ascalaphus 142
Arethusa Saved 143
Arachne 145
Spiderwoman 146
Niobe 147
The Lycians 151
The Flaying of Marsyas 154
Down Under 157
Tereus, Procne, Philomela 161
Medea 169
The Plague at Aegina 180
Scylla and Minos 185
Perdix 188
The Log of Meleager's Life 189
Achelow and Pamela 190
Baucis and Philemon 194
Erisychthon 198
Hercules, Deianira, Nessus 213
A Ballad of Iole and Dryope 216
Iphis and Ianthe 219
Orpheus and Eurydice 222
Death of Orpheus 226
Orpheus Dies, and the God Seeks Out Silenus 230
Apollo and Hyacinthus 234
Pygmalion and Galatea 237
Ivory and Water 240
Myrrha 241
Venus and Adonis 245
A Flowering 259
In Phrygia, Birthplace of Embroidery 260
Mrs Midas 261
Peleus and Thetis 264
Aesacus, the Diver 266
Hecuba 270
Aurora and Memnon 273
Acis, Galatea, Polyphemus 274
Circe 278
Picus 280
The Cercopes 285
Olive Tree 286
Phoenix 287
According to Pythagoras 288
Index of Translators 291
Biographical Notes 293
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  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!

    Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!

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