- Paperback: 460 pages
- Publisher: Paul Dry Books (March 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0966491319
- ISBN-13: 978-0966491319
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ovid's Metamorphoses : The Arthur Golding Translation of 1567
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From Library Journal
New publisher Paul Dry is starting out strong with this reprint of the 1965 volume edited by John Frederick Nims that is based on Arthur Golding's famous 1567 translation of Ovid's poetry. Golding's has been the favorite of writers and scholars the world over, including Shakespeare, who was a huge fan of his edition of Ovid. This version contains a new essay on Shakespeare and Ovid by scholar Jonathan Bate as well as notes and a glossary. Absolutely essential for academic collections, it will be an important addition to large public libraries as well.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Absolutely essential"Library Journal
"This 1567 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses is tough, surprising, and lovely To read it is to understand the Renaissance view of the classical world, storytelling and also Shakespeare's language and worldview."A. S. Byatt
"It is a tour de force of translation, and it deserves, more than 400 years after its composition, to be read."Rain Taxi
"The most beautiful book in the English language."Ezra Pound
"[Golding's translation] was the English Ovid from the time of publication in 1567 until about a decade after the death of Shakespeare in 1616. The Ovid, that is, for all who read him in English during the greatest period of our literature. And its racy verve, its quirks and oddities, its rugged English gusto, is still more enjoyable, more plain fun to read, than any other Metamorphoses in English."John Frederick Nims
"Ovid was Shakespeare's favorite classical poet. Both are writers who probe our humanity with great rigor, but ultimately do so in a spirit of sympathy for our frailties and indulgences. Ovid's world shuttles between human passions and natural phenomena. Shakespeare, with the assistance of Arthur Golding, carried the magic of that world into the medium of theatre."Jonathan Bate
Top customer reviews
But I purchased it because I thought something I'd read had come from it. And I see that it couldn't have because it's in a different meter.
Nevertheless, one has to have this book.
“An odd collaboration, that between the sophisticated darling of a dissolute society [that would be de Vere], the author of a scandalous handbook of seduction [i.e., Ovid]; and the respectable country gentleman and convinced Puritan who spent much of his life translating…John Calvin [i.e., Golding]. Hardly less striking than the metamorphoses the work dealt with” (xiv).
But what evidence do we have that the 15-year-old de Vere may have been the sole translator of Ovid’s first four books, published in 1665? Well, there’s the paradox already noted, that a Puritan who devoted himself to translating Calvin would have Englished Ovid’s salacious Latin into an even racier version. Would an earl have allowed someone else to sign his work? Yes. Marcy North has transformed our understanding of anonymous authorship in Elizabethan England. Only rarely did noblemen sign their own literary work during the lifetimes. And Paul Hammer (1997) has uncovered an instance of the Earl of Essex writing his own self-serving account of the Battle of Cadiz, but wanting it to be signed “R.B.,” “which some noe doubt will interpret to be Mr. Beale.” We have a letter from Essex’s secretary to Fulke Greville, asking if Essex could sign one of his works “F.G.” That is, using an “allonym,” which attempts to misattribute a work to another person.
Hendiadys [two similar or contrasting words linked by a conjunction] is another clue as to de Vere’s authorship. Since Oxfordians maintain that de Vere wrote the Shake-speare canon, it is fascinating to ponder the prominent role of hendiadys in the “Golding” Ovid. Scholars (see especially George T. Wright) know that Shake-speare used hendiadys much more than other Elizabethan writers. In the “First Book” of Ovid alone are 20 examples of hendiadys that are not found anywhere else in Early English Books Online. There are another 35 examples that are used from one to 200 times by subsequent writers, indicating the profound literary influence the translation had. “Woods and forests” is first used here. It is now the official name of a department of the British Civil Service.
Similarly, in Ovid's "Second Book" are 22 more unique word pairs; and 36 examples that were later used from one to 220 times by later writers (that phrase most echoed by subsequent writers is "sad and doleful"). Three unique word pairs (plunge and pinche; hand nor breast; rose and hovered) may be found within only nine lines of the Second Book.
Lest we assume it would be simply impossible for a 15-year-old to write such a masterpiece, let’s remember the poet Thomas Chatterton, who died at 17; and Arthur Rimbaud, who wrote one of his best poems when he was 15. For the greatest writer in the history of English literature, having been a childhood prodigy is entirely plausible.
As to this book, I like Nims' introduction to the Golding translation: you learn a lot about Ovid and his poetry from it although it would be nice if his numerous quotes from Latin, German, Greek, and French could be translated. Bate's essay on "Ovid and Shakespeare" seems thrown in to stake out the Stratfordian turf against claims that Edward de Vere, as a 17 year old student of Golding's, might have written the translation, or at least contributed to it. Bate doesn't mention that, and his essay is a pretty plodding piece of "academica," but a lot of the interest in the Golding translation now centers on it. Seems a big job for a seventeen year old, but if de Vere was the greatest poet in English, who knows? Bate's piece would have been more interesting if he'd come right out and said why he doesn't think de Vere could have written the Golding translation.
Most recent customer reviews
If Golding's Ovid is not, "the most beautiful book in the language," it's among the top...Read more