The Complete Odes and Satires of Horace: / Edition 1

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Overview

Horace has long been revered as the supreme lyric poet of the Augustan Age. In his perceptive introduction to this translation of Horace's Odes and Satires, Sidney Alexander engagingly spells out how the poet expresses values and traditions that remain unchanged in the deepest strata of Italian character two thousand years later. Horace shares with Italians of today a distinctive delight in the senses, a fundamental irony, a passion for seizing the moment, and a view of religion as aesthetic experience rather than mystical exaltation—in many ways, as Alexander puts it, Horace is the quintessential Italian. The voice we hear in this graceful and carefully annotated translation is thus one that emerges with clarity and dignity from the heart of an unchanging Latin culture.

Alexander is an accomplished poet, novelist, biographer, and translator who has lived in Italy for more than thirty years. Translating a poet of such variety and vitality as Horace calls on all his literary abilities. Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65-8 bce), was born the son of a freed slave in southern rural Italy and rose to become one of the most celebrated poets in Rome and a confidante of the most powerful figures of the age, including Augustus Caesar. His poetry ranges over politics, the arts, religion, nature, philosophy, and love, reflecting both his intimacy with the high affairs of the Roman Empire and his love of a simple life in the Italian countryside. Alexander translates the diverse poems of the youthful Satires and the more mature Odes with freshness, accuracy, and charm, avoiding affectations of archaism or modernism. He responds to the challenge of rendering the complexities of Latin verse in English with literary sensitivity and a fine ear for the subtleties of poetic rhythm in both languages. This is a major translation of one of the greatest of classical poets by an acknowledged master of his craft.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This new translation promises to be a grand adventure for the imaginations of graduates, undergraduates, and general readers. . . .
The Boston Book Review
Alexander's translations of the satires are unusually readable. . . . They project an image of the poet as a Socratic loner, edgy, irritable, ultimately at odds with the city he loves. . . . But having rendered the satires and the odes in one go, Alexander allows us glimpses of a more subtle Horace.
— Tom D'Evelyn
The Boston Book Review - Tom D'Evelyn
Alexander's translations of the satires are unusually readable. . . . They project an image of the poet as a Socratic loner, edgy, irritable, ultimately at odds with the city he loves. . . . But having rendered the satires and the odes in one go, Alexander allows us glimpses of a more subtle Horace.
From the Publisher
"This new translation promises to be a grand adventure for the imaginations of graduates, undergraduates, and general readers. . . ."—Choice

"Alexander's translations of the satires are unusually readable. . . . They project an image of the poet as a Socratic loner, edgy, irritable, ultimately at odds with the city he loves. . . . But having rendered the satires and the odes in one go, Alexander allows us glimpses of a more subtle Horace."—Tom D'Evelyn, The Boston Book Review

"Alexander's translations are accurate yet vigorous and fluent, avoiding both archaisms and contemporary idioms."—Library Journal

Library Journal
Alexander's translations join David Ferry's version of the Odes (LJ 1/98) and Peter Levi's biography (Horace: A Life, LJ 3/15/98) in a recent resurgence of interest in the great Roman poet. Friend and contemporary of Virgil and the Emperor Augustus, Horace was the embodiment of gentle irony and sophistication. Alexander, a poet, novelist, playwright, and Renaissance historian who has also translated Michelangelo and Guicciardini, sees Horace as the quintessential Italian. Alexander's translations are accurate yet vigorous and fluent, avoiding both archaisms and contemporary idioms. The accompanying introduction, textual notes, and bibliography are useful without being overwhelming. While it would have been nice if the Latin had been included on facing pages, as in Ferry's version, Alexander's is an attractive contribution.--Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Horace (65-8 BCE) was born the son of a freed slave in southern Italy and rose to become one of the most celebrated poets of Rome. Sidney Alexander translates the diverse poems of the youthful and the more mature with freshness, accuracy, and charm, avoiding affectations of archaism or modernism. An introduction explains how the poet expresses values and traditions that remain unchanged in the deepest strata of Italian character 2,000 years later. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
Boston Review
This difficult, dialectical Horace dominate Sidney Alexander's new translations of the odes and satires. … Alexander's Horace is a touchy guy…. Alexander's translations of the satires are unusually readable. They project an image of the poet as a Socratic loner, edgy, irritable, ultimately at odds with the city he loves. … Horace is important to us — too important not to try to translate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691004280
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/1999
  • Series: Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,326,726
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

FOREWORD, by Richard Howard xi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xv
INTRODUCTION xvii
NOTE TO THE READER xxix
ODES
Book I 3
Book II 55
Book III 91
Book IV 151
SATIRES
Book I 189
Book II 245
NOTES TO Odes 317
NOTES TO Satires 343
BIBLIOGRAPHY 353

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