HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Heroides

by Publius Ovidius Naso

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
440542,162 (3.8)15
In the twenty-one poems of the Heroides, Ovid gave voice to the heroines and heroes of epic and myth. These deeply moving literary epistles reveal the happiness and torment of love, as the writers tell of their pain at separation, forgiveness of infidelity or anger at betrayal. The faithful Penelope wonders at the suspiciously long absence of Ulysses, while Dido bitterly reproaches Aeneas for too eagerly leaving her bed to follow his destiny, and Sappho - the only historical figure portrayed here - describes her passion for the cruelly rejecting Phaon. In the poetic letters between Paris and Helen the lovers seem oblivious to the tragedy prophesied for them, while in another exchange the youthful Leander asserts his foolhardy eagerness to risk his life to be with his beloved Hero.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

English (3)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 3 of 3
I'll confess to being skeptical when picking this book up. I knew the Heroides had a low reputation (unfairly, I now realise) and I hadn't rated Pollard's own work that highly before.

However this turned out to be a great discovery. The Heroides deserve to be much better known, as they once were - and it seems clear that only misogyny has hampered their reputation in recent centuries.

Pollard herself does a fine job with the translation. Personally I found some of the decisions a little *too* anachronistic - e.g. the use of the word 'slag': which took me back to my schooldays, but doesn't achieve the Read-this-by-the-Trevi-Fountain magic that was aimed for. Beyond this, Pollard's direct style works perfectly: putting the emotion front-and-centre rather than cluttering it up with fussy syntax.

Glad to have been introduced to this. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Dec 18, 2020 |
My 1* rating is not for Ovid’s Heroides but for this translation. His introductions are awful (misogynistic) and the translation doesn’t work for me. Harold Cannon’s translation of this work warranted 5 stars from me, so check out his version. ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
31. Heroides by Ovid, translated by Harold Isbell
original date: circa 16 bce
translated 1990
format: Paperback
acquired: Half-Price Books in October 2016
read: July 8-22
rating: 4

There are, apparently, many different Ovids, or he was a writer who worked in multiple distinctly independent styles. I would have said that differently if I hadn't started Metamorphoses before reviewing, and I would have had a vastly different impression of this if I hadn't read Amores and The Art of Love beforehand. Ovid's love poems introduced me to a hyper-witty and hyper-clever really knowledgeable but insincere poet. This was not that voice.

Heroides is a collection of letters written mainly by spurned heroines in Greek mythology to lovers. Fifteen of the letters come from the likes Penelope, Ariadne or Medea, or more obscure women like Laodamia to Protestilaus or Canace to Marcareus. The sixteenth letter comes from Sappho. And six more are back and forth with lovers. Paris writes Helen to woo her, and Helen writes back with what amounts to something that is not no. And so on.

I'm sure the modern ear can find much to make fun of, and any reader in any age will easily pick up the many levels of satire. But, oddly, these aspects don't color these letters. On the surface they are sincere. The heavy satire is mostly in the situations, the set-up if you like. The letters themselves are straightforward... often romantic, even when or because they are bitter. And they are occasionally moving. Laodamia's letter to Protestilaus stands out. In mythology Protestilaus leaves for Troy shortly after their marriage, and becomes the first casualty in the Trojan war. He is brought back to life for three hours to see Laodamia, who afterward commits suicide. She writes this letter as an unknowing widow. I found it a memorable and touching letter of love, bitter in its irony and yet tangible. Phyllus writes to Demophoon who, when she fell for him only to be abandoned, was not only hurt, but ruined. And she writes longingly.

A note about the translator, Harold Isbell. There are many oddities about him that give me pause. He was a bank director, not a professor. He provides a summary of each major character, a wonderful resource, but they are iffy and partial summaries. Each is simplified leaving a clean and often appealing impression, but one that may contradict or disregard major versions of these stories. His citations of ancient literature are incomplete and a bit haphazard. And, despite all his notes, he never once brings up anything about the translation or original Latin. But, I really enjoyed reading this. So... ??


Ariadne to Theseus

You would have died in the twisting halls without
the string that I gave to be your guide.
You said to me, 'I swear by these perils that
as long as we live, you will be mine.'
We are alive, Theseus, but I am not yours;

---

Laodamia to Protestilaus

I'm told the winds detain you at Aulis;
where were these winds when you sailed from me?
Then the tides should have risen against your oars;
then was the time for a raging surf.
I could have kissed my lord and given him more
requests, I wanted to say so much.
But you were hurried away by a wind your
crew loved; it was not a lover's wind.

---

Leander to Hero (across the water)

she is so near, but 'almost' starts tears.

2017
https://www.librarything.com/topic/260412#6128883 ( )
  dchaikin | Jul 29, 2017 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ovidius Naso, PubliusAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bornecque, HenriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cannon, Harold C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isbell, HaroldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leto, GabriellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prévost, MarcelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

In the twenty-one poems of the Heroides, Ovid gave voice to the heroines and heroes of epic and myth. These deeply moving literary epistles reveal the happiness and torment of love, as the writers tell of their pain at separation, forgiveness of infidelity or anger at betrayal. The faithful Penelope wonders at the suspiciously long absence of Ulysses, while Dido bitterly reproaches Aeneas for too eagerly leaving her bed to follow his destiny, and Sappho - the only historical figure portrayed here - describes her passion for the cruelly rejecting Phaon. In the poetic letters between Paris and Helen the lovers seem oblivious to the tragedy prophesied for them, while in another exchange the youthful Leander asserts his foolhardy eagerness to risk his life to be with his beloved Hero.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Ovid's Heroides, written in Rome some time between 25 and 16BC, was once his most popular work. The title translates as Heroines. It is a series of poems in the voices of women from Greek and Roman myth - including Phaedra, Medea, Penelope and Ariadne - addressed to the men they love. (from blurb)
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 11
3.5 3
4 15
4.5 4
5 11

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,011,102 books! | Top bar: Always visible