The Metamorphoses V-VIII

Overview

Ovid's Metamorphoses is a work which displays his mature genius and is a treasure house of mythology. This volume continues the Metamorphoses in the same style as books I-IV; with a line by line translation and notes which trace Ovid's sources and his influence on literature and art. It has, however, been designed to stand or to be read as a sequel to the earlier volume.

This new translation reproduces in modern idiom the graceful, fluent style of one of the great ...

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Overview

Ovid's Metamorphoses is a work which displays his mature genius and is a treasure house of mythology. This volume continues the Metamorphoses in the same style as books I-IV; with a line by line translation and notes which trace Ovid's sources and his influence on literature and art. It has, however, been designed to stand or to be read as a sequel to the earlier volume.

This new translation reproduces in modern idiom the graceful, fluent style of one of the great poets of classical antiquity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Composed between 2 and 8 A.D., Ovid's (43 B.C.-?A.D. 17) epic poem purports to tell the story of the universe. Competing over the centuries with such formidable adversaries as the Bible, the Upanishads , Darwin, and modern physics, The Metamorphoses remains one of the world's most engaging cosmologies. The primary strength of Slavitt's ( The Fables of Avianus ) translation is its conversational diction, which accurately conveys the style of storytelling pervading the original. His departs from most existing translations by resisting slavish preoccupation with detail, allowing him to anticipate and engage a restless and modern reader. For example, in Book Seven, Slavitt interrupts the narrative to comment on Ovid's often long-winded style, and replaces ``forty lines of travel'' (Medea's) with 40 verse lines of his own criticism of the text. Another characteristic touch is the presence of innumerable loan words, mostly from French. Unfortunately, Slavitt's poetic line has the mildly irritating tendency to throw the reader off the back of its lumbering cadence. As poetry, the translation neither invigorates nor inspires, and much of it seems to have been written with a shrug, as if to Slavitt verse held a secondary position to subject matter. Otherwise, his Ovid displays poise and a refreshingly varied texture. His translation is constructed like a Shakespearian play: it satisfies those who want only to enjoy the vaudevillian spectacle of Jupiter and Juno's marriage, and relive the adventures of the Argonauts or the Trojan War. Yet it will also charm those stimulated by subtle references to postmodern ideas, by a liberal, multilingual vocabulary, and by the occasional lame joke. (May)
Library Journal
Slavitt's new translation of Ovid's masterpiece is a joy to read, taking a place beside the recent translation of Allen Mandelbaum (LJ 11/1/93) as well as those of May M. Innes (Penguin, 1955) and Rolfe Humphries (Indiana Univ. Pr., 1955). While Mandelbaum and Slavitt are good poets who work to preserve the poetry in their translations, the former is more accurate and the latter smoother and more fluent. Slavitt renders Ovid's witty verse narrative into modern idiomatic English, making it contemporary without relying on informality or losing the elegance of the original. If his diction and reworking of passages are not always faithful to the original, they are true to the original's tone and spirit. As such, while Mandelbaum is perhaps better for the serious student of classical literature (with or without Latin), Slavitt is a better introduction to the pleasures of Ovid for the general reader. For all libraries.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780856683947
  • Publisher: Aris and Phillips
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Series: Classical Texts Ser.
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1
Metamorphoses
Book V10
Book VI38
Book VII68
Book VIII104
Commentary 141
Bibliography 239
Index 245
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