Ovid's Metamorphoses [NOOK Book]

Overview

This translation of Ovid was acclaimed by Ezra Pound as "the most beautiful book in the language (my opinion and I suspect it was Shakespeare's)." Ovid's deliciously witty and poignant epic starts with the creation of the world and brings together a series of ingeniously linked myths and legends in which men and women are transformed - often by love - into flowers, trees, stones, and stars. Golding's robustly vernacular version was the first major English translation and decisively influenced Shakespeare, ...
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Ovid's Metamorphoses

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Overview

This translation of Ovid was acclaimed by Ezra Pound as "the most beautiful book in the language (my opinion and I suspect it was Shakespeare's)." Ovid's deliciously witty and poignant epic starts with the creation of the world and brings together a series of ingeniously linked myths and legends in which men and women are transformed - often by love - into flowers, trees, stones, and stars. Golding's robustly vernacular version was the first major English translation and decisively influenced Shakespeare, Spenser, and the character of English Renaissance writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Harold Bloom
Madeleine Forey's edition of Golding's Ovid (which was Shakespeare's is usefully modernized for the common reader, and is wonderfully introduced. The book is a timeless splendor.
Frank Kermode
Dr. Forey, in an introduction of considerable scholarly value, is of course right to call it a 'central text.' Students of the English Renaissance will be delighted to have Golding's book in this accessible and well-edited form.
Tom Paulin
Golding makes Ovid both dreamy and robust. Here we can listen to the English language as it moves confidently into the highest eloquence.
The New Yorker
Ovid's Metamorphoses, says Madeleine Foray, "changes in the hands of each new translator and adapter." Her introduction to a new edition of Arthur Golding's 1567 English translation of the Metamorphoses shows how he Christianizes Ovid, transforming his temples into churches with spires. The translation was influential with Shakespeare and Spenser, but its bombastic style later fell out of fashion. One recent editor complains that Golding turned "the sophisticated Roman into a ruddy country gentleman with tremendous gusto and a gift for energetic doggerel."

A few years ago, the sensual savagery of Ted Hughes's Tales from Ovid won wide acclaim. Meanwhile, novels like David Malouf's An Imaginary Life and Jane Alison's The Love Artist have built their narratives on what little we know of Ovid's actual biography. In Malouf's book, Ovid finds and civilizes a feral child, in a clever reversal of the people-to-animal transformations of the Metamorphoses. Most recently, Mary Zimmerman's award-winning play Metamorphoses presents the work as a parable about the healing power of love.

By contrast, Alessandro Boffa's comic novel, You're An Animal, Viskovitz!, sees metamorphosis as a cosmic bad joke; the hero is figured as a different animal in each chapter. During his time as a snail, he acts out an undignified parody of the Narcissus myth; Viskovitz is attracted by his own reflection in water, but the consummation makes for one of the oddest sex scenes of recent years: "I felt the warm pressure of the rhinophor slipping under my shell, and a strong agitation froze the center of my being."(Leo Carey)

Booknews
The Latin text of the poem's first five books including commentary and an introduction highlighting the central themes in Ovid's work which extends in time from the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar. The first five books are concerned with the relationship between gods and humans, featuring the stories of Apollo and Daphne, Diana and Actaeon, and Narcissus and Echo. Walter's introduction and notes provide background information about Ovid's life and work, the reception of the "Metamorphoses" during his day, and outlines central issues. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Times Literary Supplement

My research for a new book on the Elizabethans has made me all the more convinced of the centrality of translation to the flowering of English literature in that period... Especially welcome... [is] the Arthur Golding translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses... expertly edited by Madeleine Forey.

— Jonathan Bate

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

This is a very welcome publication of a major renaissance work, in a clear and well-organised edition, with a helpful critical introduction. It restores a widely-read work to its appropriate position as an affordable staple.

— Raphael Lyne

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940020391840
  • Publisher: London : J.F. Dove
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1826 volume
  • File size: 751 KB

Meet the Author

Madeleine Forey is a fellow of Oxford University's All Souls College.

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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