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The Metamorphoses of Ovid
     

The Metamorphoses of Ovid

2.8 6
by Allen Mandelbaum (Translator)
 

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Through Mandelbaum’s poetic artistry, this gloriously entertaining achievement of literature-classical myths filtered through the worldly and far from reverent sensibility of the Roman poet Ovid-is revealed anew. “[An] extraordinary translation...brilliant” (Booklist). With an Introduction by the Translator.

Overview


Through Mandelbaum’s poetic artistry, this gloriously entertaining achievement of literature-classical myths filtered through the worldly and far from reverent sensibility of the Roman poet Ovid-is revealed anew. “[An] extraordinary translation...brilliant” (Booklist). With an Introduction by the Translator.

Editorial Reviews

Stuart Whitwell
It is staggering how literary developments of the era we call "postmodern" force us to read Ovid today with a familiarity missing, perhaps, for 2,000 years. Maybe that is why Christoph Ransmayr reframed the master's "Metamorphoses" a few years ago in his cunning, beautiful, and apocalyptic novel, "The Last World" (1990). At any rate, we can see now that the techniques of postmodernism have less to do with invention than with a nostalgia for faith and values in an age that forbids them: postmodernism is pretending irony when no irony is felt at all and hoping no one else feels the irony either. So it is that Ovid, in an age when a spot of atheism had begun to touch every thinking person's heart, decided to retell the myths of old. In such an atmosphere, plain telling of the ancient Greek myths would have made him seem a kindly buffoon, so by a series of devices, Ovid draws attention to the "act" of telling, switching abruptly from hymn to burlesque, forcing events to rhyme, enfolding tales within tales (even interrupting the teller), harping on motifs (like that of doubling), and in short, doing everything he can to let his audience say, "Didn't he tell that part well?"--and so believe and then unbelieve the moment the tale is over. And how could the respectable Augustine believe in these gods who rape, mock chastity, mock marriage, and bumble their way through disaster after disaster? Reading Mandelbaum's extraordinary translation, one imagines Ovid in his darkest moods with the heart of Baudelaire. Lines like these (much more circumspect in Humphries' famous translation) are brutal and black, particularly when they follow so hard on a passage of burlesque: "Then with a veil of heavy fog, the god / concealed a vast expanse of land; Jove stopped / her flight; he raped chaste Io." Mandelbaum's translation is brilliant. It throws off the stiff and mild homogeneity of former translations and exposes the vivid colors of mockery, laughter, and poison woven so beautifully by the master. Mandelbaum is not always the greatest poet, but he is the most extraordinary of translators, and this translation cannot be recommended more highly. We need Ovid. He is our brother. He is our face in the mirror.
Philadelphia Inquirer
"The best version of Ovid's Metamorphoses available in English today... It is readable, alive, at times slangy, and actually catches Ovid's tone."

New York Review of Books
No one can deny the merits of Slavitt's version. His English hexameter is a great success—a supple, fluid, and versatile medium that does Ovid's loosening of the Virgilian line full justice. And at his best he is very good indeed.

— Bernard Knox

New York Review of Books - Bernard Knox
"No one can deny the merits of Slavitt's version. His English hexameter is a great success—a supple, fluid, and versatile medium that does Ovid's loosening of the Virgilian line full justice. And at his best he is very good indeed."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156001267
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
528,397
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.45(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

David R. Slavitt, poet, novelist, critic, and journalist, has published more than fifty books. His translations include the Metamorphoses of Ovid, The Fables of Avianus, the "Eclogues" and "Georgics" of Virgil, and Seneca: The Tragedies, Vols. 1 and 2, all available from Johns Hopkins.

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The Metamorphoses of Ovid 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
RedWolfMoon More than 1 year ago
If I could, I would leave a zero star rating. I searched in the ISBN number of the book I required for my college course. I needed the Mandelbaum translation of The Metamorphosis of Ovid. However. I found this page and saw, to my delight, that there was an ebook version of THIS book. THIS version. I happily bought it, but was shocked to find out that the translator is different. It gives NO INDICATION of being a different translation. Barnes and Noble, I am extremely dissatisfied. You need to remove the ebook buyable version from this particular book unless it is the translation of Mendelbaum. I can't even return it, and it's your fault that this mix-up was made.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for all!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago