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Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

By Ovid, David Raeburn & Denis Feeney (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 10.20  
Retail Value $ 12.00  
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Item Number 424066  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   723
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.79" Width: 5.07" Height: 1.28"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  014044789X  
EAN  9780140447897  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Ovid's narrative poem embracing more than two hundred mythical tales dealing with the theme of transformation and change ranges from the creation of the world to the deification of the Emperor Augustus, incorporating many famed myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome. Reprint.

Publishers Description

Ovid's sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation--often as a result of love or lust--where men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings. Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best-known myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome, including Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy. Erudite but light-hearted, dramatic and yet playful, the Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes. Includes introduction, a preface to each book, explanatory notes, and an index of people, gods, and places

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More About Ovid, David Raeburn & Denis Feeney

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ovid--Publius Ovidius Naso--(43 bce-ce 17 or 18) was born into a wealthy Roman family and became the most distinguished poet of his time. He died in exile on the Black Sea, far from Rome and his literary life.

Ovid was born in 43 and died in 17.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Metamorphoses: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes  Feb 15, 2010

Title: Metamorphoses by Ovid

Pages: 416 (including literary introduction and criticism).

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: Around 4 or 5 years.

Days spent reading it: 2 weeks.

Why I read it: I had been reading a number of books that referred to Greek mythology, and specifically stories told by Ovid. So I thought I might appreciate this book.

Brief review: Metamorphoses was certainly a difficult book to read. Not that I was looking for easy, but it was challenging to pay attention to this epic poem. I found the difficulties in a few areas:

1. The narrator changed often. I almost never knew who specifically was telling the story, and sometimes I did not even know what story I was reading. It was so hard to follow. And sometimes there would be a story within a story, and then you'd come out of the one story, back to the "main story" and then eventually leave that story as well. I think this poem would be easier to read if one had an outline of the stories in it with them. I wonder if anyone has done that? A quick search on google reveals that indeed it has been done. Maybe I should have printed one out before I started reading!

2. The stories become a little repetitive. Love found. Love pined for. Love lost. Change lover/lovee into animal/plant/exotic object of your choice. It becomes a little redundant in my opinion. More flowers and trees were created in the midst of the tale than it took to print it.

3. The use of the gods names in Roman, not Greek. I realize Ovid was writing as a Roman, but I mostly know my Greek mythology with Greek names. I found it hard to equate the Roman name with the Greek name. Add to that the difficultly of using multiple names or odd descriptors for someone and the task of figuring out who is being talked about can be rough (son of _____ was very common, actually there's an appendix in the front of the book for all of these, it's a few pages long).

4. The concept of love in this poem is ridiculous. Love at first sight is not so much love as lust. And that's about the extent of how love is portrayed in this work. I wish Ovid had a better understanding of what true love really was. The love he describes is selfish, greedy, and superficial. Throughout this poem people do crazy things because they saw someone beautiful. Well get over it, and stop being crazy!

So it was hard to appreciate this poem. Am I glad I read it? Yeah, probably. Some of the scenes were actually interesting. Like when Ajax and Ulysses make speeches for who should receive Achilles armaments. That was a fun chapter, the insults were flying. But for the most part, it was difficult to read, more difficult to follow, and the return for me was not as great as the investment. This is probably a great poem to study in college, not so great to manhandle for fun.

Favorite quote: Ajax talking smack...
"I own that it is a mighty prize I strive for, but such a rival takes away the honor of it. It is no honor for Ajax to have gained a prize, however great, to which Ulysses has aspired. Already he has gained reward enough in this contest because, when conquered, he still can say he strove with me."

Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!
Love Ovid  Dec 4, 2009
The best collection of Greco-Roman myths, period.

I also love the cover, Bernini's Apollo and Daphne is one of the greatest sculptures ever made, you can even see her fingers becoming branches and leaves.
Read lots of the myths in college  May 25, 2009
Loved it! Especially Dionysus and the Zeus myths. A lot of sexual stuff in it. Those early cultures had no shame!
A Book Worthy of Patience  Jan 1, 2009
This is a lovely compendium of myths, legends, and flattery by arguably the best writer of the ancient world, and is considered one of the three canonical Roman poets, including Virgil and Horace. The Metamorphoses of Ovid are a huge undertaking, to have written, read, and translate. If one is familiar at all with subsequent literary history, you can see the telling influence of Ovid's work across time and genre. If nothing else, Ovid collected a large array of Greek and Roman myth, tales that might have been lost without him. To those with a careful eye, you can spot Ovid's influence from Chaucer to Shakespeare to Ted Hughes. The vivacity of many tales can be seen in European art, and even in musical representations, a la an early opera of Mozart's, a 2002 Broadway adaption, and a song cycle by Patricia Barber.

Despite the rich translation and enjoyable nature of the work, the fractured nature of the poem is also a negative aspect of the book, as it breaks up any sort of continuity, creating a lack of direction. It takes an effort to see the genius behind this spiraled purpose, but the effort is definitely worth while.
OVID  Oct 18, 2008
This is one of the most important and influential works of Western civilization. Kindle edition will please both casual readers of the work and scholars looking to get a little more in-depth.

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