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The Golden Ass (1469)

by Apuleius

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,136642,038 (3.85)230
Apuleius's Golden Ass is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel--the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. Aftersuffering a series of trials and humiliations, he is ultimately returned to human shape by the kindness of the goddess Isis. Simultaneously a blend of romantic adventure, fable, and religious testament, The Golden Ass is one of the truly seminal works of European literature, of intrinsic interest asa novel in its own right, and one of the earliest examples of the picaresque. This new translation is at once faithful to the meaning of the Latin, while reproducing all the exuberance of the original.… (more)
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» See also 230 mentions

English (48)  Spanish (10)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Latin donkey porn! lerg! ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
2019 ( )
  Queenofcups | Sep 13, 2019 |
Apuleius' comedic romp is a gentle, breezy tale told through in the 3rd person P.O.V. He manages to touch on many characters, settings, and themes in his work and the component parts all serve to augment the whole. Apuleius is quite a writer, and the old fashioned language rather serves to accentuate the power of the language rather than serve as a detriment to it.

All in all, a good show! 3.5 stars! ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 27, 2019 |
'The Golden Ass' is one of the earliest intact novels. Along with the more fragmentary 'Satyricon' it is our only significant window into Latin literary prose. The two have very different styles and being the only survivors of a vast canon I can only imagine what was lost and its hard to judge if this book is a typical or outstanding example of its kind. but I can see the influences that this work had on early novelists such as Cervantes where the narrative is broken up frequently with traveler's stories and folktales, the dangers of curiosity, and wordplay. It's practical sense of humor and disregard for rules I see as simply human. The novel becomes serious near the end as our narrator, Lucius, is inducted into the sacred mysteries of the Isis cult. Other aspects of Latin culture give this novel a sensibility very different from the comparatively recent 17th and 18th centuries.

This is an invaluable work and I can see its charms, but as with many of the early novels in English I grew tired of the digressions. The main plot is Lucius' transformation into an ass after stealing a witch's magic ointment. The novel is also social comedy in his comments about his stingy host, conversations, and (of course) the habits of women. The story frequently makes aside into stories, tales of witchcraft and bravery and the story of Cupid and Psyche makes up a large portion of the novel.

Much of Lucius and his culture is human, but it was hard for me to empathize with him during his struggles. An interesting artifact - I think I'd be more interesting in reading abut this work than in reading this again. ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Mar 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Valuable for those who have wit to understand it.
 
Le "Metamorfosi" si prestano a diverse chiavi di lettura: fino alla fine del decimo libro sembrano un romanzo realistico con elementi magici, avventurosi ed erotici. L'undicesimo e ultimo libro, però, è per toni e temi estremamente diverso da tutti gli altri: se nei primi dieci il romanzo è di una velocità travolgente, vivo come poche opere classiche, nell'ultimo, invece, è denso, criptico e oscuro, ma ugualmente affascinante; l'undicesimo libro sconvolge la prospettiva realistica e l'opera diventa la storia dell'iniziazione religiosa e della redenzione spirituale del protagonista. Le peripezie del curioso Lucio possono essere viste come il percorso ascensionale dell'anima umana; l'opera come un moderno bildungsroman (romanzo di formazione). Le due chiavi di lettura, in definitiva, si integrano e al romanzo d'intrattenimento si aggiunge un messaggio di salvezza spirituale che Apuleio voleva lasciare a contemporanei e posteri.
La lingua e lo stile dell'opera sono originali e piuttosto chiari; sono presenti delle tendenze virtuosistiche tipiche dell'epoca, che si traducono in un grande uso di figure retoriche; diversi sono anche gli influssi stilistici dall'oratoria. In ogni caso lo svolgimento della trama resta comprensibile.
 

» Add other authors (316 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
ApuleiusAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlington, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Annaratone, ClaudioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ayrton, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ģiezens, AugustsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braarvig, JensIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlesi, FerdinandoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Darton, F. J. HarveyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gockinga, RenéIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagreen, PhilipIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanson, J. ArthurEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helm, RudolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunink, VincentTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kenney, E.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marziano, NinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matoses, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mørland, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quintáns Suárez, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Relihan, Joel C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roncoroni, FedericoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, M.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vendrell, SalvadorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vliet, Johannes van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, P.G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whibley, CharlesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, MaaikeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The world grows stranger as we stare,
with vortices of maddening change.
How understand what we unbare
as through the ragged scene we range?

When transformations mock control
and the split atom is our all,
what monstrous faces crowd the soul.
The seed's corrupted by our fa.

It seems that Apuleius guessed
the curious things that happen when
the gap is widening betwixt
reality and the minds of men.

Now Isis cannot save us; yet
the answer's truly here explained:
redemption from the faceless threat,
and earth regained.
J. L.
Dedication
TO RANDALL SINGLER
First words
Business directed me into Thessaly.
We generally know little of the life of an ancient author if he did not happen to play some part in the political scene. (Introduction)
In this Milesian Tale, reader, I shall string together a medley of stories, and titillate your agreeable ears with a merrily whispered narrative, if you will not refuse to scan this Egyptian paper written with a subtle pen of Nilotic reeds. (Preface)
Quotations
Cupid and Psyche (I)
'Once upon a time there lived a king and queen who had three very beautiful daughters.'
Now Cupid being more and more in love with Psyche, and fearing the sudden austerity of his mother, returned again to his tricks, and did pierce on swift wings into the heavens, and arrived before Jupiter to declare his cause: then Jupiter alter that he had eftsoons embraced his dear relation and kissed his hand, began to say in this manner:

‘O my lord and son, although thou hast not given due reverence and honour unto me as thou oughtest to do, but hast rather soiled and wounded this my breast (whereby the laws and order of the elements and planets be disposed) with continual assaults of terrene luxury and against all laws, yea even the Julian law, and the utility of the public weal, hurting my fame and name by wicked adulteries, and transforming my divine beauty into serpents, fire, savage beasts, birds, and bulls. Howbeit remembering my modesty, and that I have nourished thee with mine own proper hands, I will do and accomplish all thy desire. But still thou shouldest beware of spiteful and envious persons, and if there be any excellent maiden of comely beauty in the world, remember yet the benefit which I shall shew unto thee, by recompense of her love towards me again.’
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This is TRANSLATIONS of Apuleius' Metamorphoses (theGolden Ass). Do not combine editions including Latin texts or other works by Apuleius.
This is the LATIN edition of Apuleius' Metamorphoseon Libri XI (the Golden Ass). Do not combine it with translations into other languages (Classical Languages rule), or Latin editions of Apuleius' Opera (Collected Works).
BUR classici greci e latini include Latin or Greek text + Italian translation. Do not combine with translations without the Latin!
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Apuleius's Golden Ass is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel--the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. Aftersuffering a series of trials and humiliations, he is ultimately returned to human shape by the kindness of the goddess Isis. Simultaneously a blend of romantic adventure, fable, and religious testament, The Golden Ass is one of the truly seminal works of European literature, of intrinsic interest asa novel in its own right, and one of the earliest examples of the picaresque. This new translation is at once faithful to the meaning of the Latin, while reproducing all the exuberance of the original.

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Book description
Apuleio, africano di Madaura, fu fondamentalmente estraneo alla cultura latina tradizionale ed è anche l'autore latino più sperimentale, sia nell'opera che nella vita. Roma per lui fu soltanto una tappa del suo continuo peregrinare. Superiore a tutti nell'arte del 'pasticcio' linguistico e stilistico, con "L'asino d'oro" scrive un'opera che suscita ancora perplessità per la sua composizione. Il narratore è Lucio che narra la sua trasformazione in asino e che alla fine del romanzo ritornerà persona, quando riuscirà a divorare una corona di rose portata in corteo da un sacerdote di Iside.
(piopas)
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