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The Golden Ass: The Transformations of…

The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius (edition 1998)

by Apuleius, Robert Graves (Translator)

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2,893None1,987 (3.84)153
Title:The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius
Other authors:Robert Graves (Translator)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1998), Paperback, 294 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:classic, greek

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The Golden Ass by Apuleius

1001 (26) 1001 books (31) ancient (36) ancient literature (37) Ancient Rome (48) antiquity (43) Apuleius (47) classic (66) classical (47) classical literature (72) classical studies (25) classics (197) fantasy (29) fiction (307) Greek (24) humor (35) Isis (26) Latin (116) Letteratura latina (78) literature (147) myth (26) mythology (145) novel (68) Penguin Classics (27) read (29) Roman (80) Roman literature (72) Rome (66) to-read (34) translation (53)

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English (31)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This Ass is packed with tales that are as full of characters as they are hard to follow. Make sure you get yourself a good translation of this if you want to have half a chance of following what’s going on as there are stories within stories. I reckon this is where they got the idea for Inception from.

The very basic moral is that messing with magic doesn’t pay. Experimenting, Lucius the author and narrator turns himself into an ass, albeit a very nice one. The solution to his plight turns out to be simple: eat a rose. But before he can do so, he is stolen by a band of robbers and his adventures begin.

I tried very hard to keep up with the plot/s but lost it/them several times. So, I found the book a bit confusing and sometimes it took a while before I realised where I was and what had happened. But then, I felt the same way about Ovid’s Metamorphosis too. I’m just thankful I wasn’t born 2000 years ago and only had this to read.

However, this is an extremely important and influential book, not least because it is the only complete novel we have left to us in Latin. Many writers have been influenced by it and the stories it contains. As a result, how I felt about it doesn’t count for much. This is on the 1001 list and so it should be. ( )
  arukiyomi | Feb 22, 2014 |
Graves' translation of this 1800 year-old novel is genuinely funny and entertaining, occasionally naughty or fantastic, and entirely deserving of a wider readership. ( )
  Bill_Bibliomane | Aug 1, 2013 |
A witty, fairly smutty, surprisingly good read for a book written approximately 1850 years ago. ( )
  ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this earliest of novels right up till the end. The preposterous scenes, the ribald stories, and the beautiful Cupid and Psyche story- it's one of those books that made me grin time after time. I'm sure if I were a better Classics scholar it would be an even richer experience, as the notes after the text give me to understand.

That being said, the last chapter made me think of those early Weekly Reader pictographs of 6 things, 5 of which belonged together in some way, and 1 of which did not. Maybe after I go to class today, I will learn more about why this odd appendage hangs on the end of the book. I suspect it's more my lack of scholarship than the book's fault.

Recommended. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
a masterpiece ,so interesting and entertaining as a read. for beneath the humorous and the sharp ironies lay a religious and philosophical thoughtful mind.
Amusing tales within tales, recollections of characters of various misadventures and misfortunes ....
Lucius A wandering spirit Suffering in his heedless traveling over the world in order to work out his salvation.

Interesting how magic plays a prominent role in the everyday life.

His deep love of life with his eager and curiosity , and mocking personality,And interest on magic transmogrifications,leads him to asks his new mistress to apply one of the forbidden magic spells on him. He aimed to become a bird, flying everywhere...

She applies the wrong potion and Lucius turns into an ass.

And here begins a series of adventures from which Lucius repeatedly changes masters while still an ass. The masters are invariably cruel, abusing Lucius , He is eternally beaten and degraded, and threatened with death and castration more than once .

The novel serves a window into Roman society, one sees every level and division of society, which produces a more accurate view of life for the common man.the problems of misused power ,and wives whom cheat on husbands, and husbands who many times kill their wives' lovers.

The importance of religion, especially for Lucius, comes to light upon Lucius rebirth into his human form by the work of the goddess Isis. After this rebirth Lucius seems to find his final and ultimate purpose for his life and realizes how the events that have taken place, leads him to what he was searching for..

The myth of Psyche and Cupid is what I admired most in the novel
A fascinating and exciting love story that can overcome all barriers and be blind to faults.
Psyche’s beauty gives her no pleasure, but separates her from others. Her father, unable to find a husband for her, goes to the oracle for advice.
Cupid falls in love with Psyche but conceals his identity from her, visiting her only at night. Fearing he is an evil person, she looks at him, although forbidden to do so. Cupid then abandons her.

( )
  ariesblue | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (303 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Apuleiusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlington, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary 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
Quintáns Suárez, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Relihan, Joel C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roncoroni, FedericoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, P.G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whibley, CharlesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, MaaikeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Business once took me to Thessaly, where my mother's family originated; I have, by the way, the distinction of being descended through her from the famous Plutarch.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140435905, Paperback)

Lucius, a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to believe he can be transformed into a bird, instead becomes a donkey. Whirled off by robbers, he embarks on a series of adventures and misadventures. Confronted eventually with the prospect of a stage performance where he is supposed to demonstrate his sexual prowess with a woman, he is overwhelmed by a religious vision and is finally initiated into the cult of the goddess Isis.

It has been long disputed whether Apuleius meant this last-minute conversion seriously or as a final comic surprise and the challenge of interpretation continues to keep readers fascinated by this work. Apuleius’ Golden Ass is the most continuously and accessibly amusing book that has come down to us from classical antiquity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After Lucius is transformed into an ass because of his curiosity and fascination for sex and magic, he suffers a series of trials and humiliations before being transformed back into human shape by the kindness of Isis.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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