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Marius the Epicurean (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 7, 1986

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About the Author

English essayist, critic and humanist, Pater is best remembered as an innovator in aesthetics. He has written several novels, essays and articles. His style is famous for its precision, subtlety, and refinement. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (January 7, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140432361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140432367
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Skowronski on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Pater was one of the most insightful and exacting critics of England, and his fiction exceeded even his own standards for beauty. Marius the Epicurean is the story of a young man's spiritual and aesthetic awakening in ancient Rome. He journeys from Stoicism to Cyrenaicism to Epicureanism, and finally to Christianity. The book is subtle and profound, and is written in Pater's characteristically lovely prose. I do not recommend this book to anyone who wants a traditional linear plot in which the protagonist is motivated by external events; rather, I recommend it to all who wish "to burn with a hard, gemlike flame," to all who make careful aesthetic contemplation their highest goal.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "guillaume186" on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Why does no one read Pater these days? He writes with the fervid delicate beauty of a butterfly defying the storms of winter. As literature becomes ever more commercialised, this sensual celebration seems even more important. A pleasure every bit as sensual and refreshing as a Turkish bath.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By reading man on March 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in Walter Pater, thjs is required reading, but to the average literate reader I predict it would be a slog of unrelieved boredom.

Pater's better experienced as an essayist, even though it's easy to grow weary of both his style and his "ideas".

He's an important figure in the history of English literature, however, much more important than Wilde, who has more admirers but less literary substance. W.H. Auden once characterized Wilde as a "playboy" rather than a serious writer, and that is a little severe, but he certainly is less significant than Pater in the history of English Aestheticism.
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