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Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – April 15, 2009
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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'a work of the highest quality which provides pleasure and information in generous measure.' JACT Review
About the Author
master of the elegiac couplet.
- Lexile Measure : 1180L
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0199537372
- Product Dimensions : 7.7 x 1.5 x 5.1 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-0199537372
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; Reissue Edition (April 15, 2009)
- Reading level : 13 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #92,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Seriously lame. I wish I had bought a different translation.
In all creation, be assured,
There is no death—no death, but only change
And innovation; what we men call birth
Is but a different new beginning; death
Is but to cease to be the same.
I wonder if the meaning of life—and death—cannot be culled from the tales of Ovid’s "Metamorphoses."
Ovid's scenes are beautifully woven: the rhetorics and structures, usually borrowed from existing stories, are clever, and the characters live and breathe. Although the effects of the many cross-currents among god and mortal, creature and nature, etcetera are, at least superficially, those of wild fantasy and myth, examples of the poet's subtle-yet-overriding Logoi can be found in passages like Narcissus and Echo, Tiresias and Pyramus and Thisbe, where the action seems as much fated and rational as ridiculous. That is, Ovid employs artifice wherein one conceit mirrors and affects another (and yet another and another and so on) in clear, logical fashion. For example:
When Apollo wielded his bow, writes Ovid, "He drew two arrows of opposing power./ One shaft that rouses love and one that routs it." Or when describing anthropomorphic pathos of nature and earth, the artist suggests, "Then hungry nature lacking nourishment/ Will faint and, starving, starve her furnaces." This inspired language is masterfully rendered by Melville, who likes to end passages with rhymed couplets like: "And in its stead they found a flower--behold/ White petals clustered round a cup of gold!"
Unlike so many contemporary translators, Melville is after more than mere information and "accuracy" here. He's striving for fidelity to the original, Latin text vis-à-vis the reader's experience, and with the help of E. J. Kenney's useful--if too short--introduction and the book's copious endnotes, I feel the effort yields success. Compared with Mandelbaum's disappointing The Metamorphoses of Ovid , an overly bland and technical piece for someone who displayed such remarkable prowess in The Aeneid of Virgil (Bantam Classics) , this Oxford edition transcends and entertains.
As it should, too, because Metamorphoses is great fun. So much so, it inspired a school-aged bard six centuries later.