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Memoirs of Hadrian (1951)

by Marguerite Yourcenar

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,9251151,847 (4.15)199
Both an exploration of character and a reflection on the meaning of history, "Memoirs of Hadrian" has received international acclaim since its first publication in France in 1951. In it, Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian's own era.… (more)
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» See also 199 mentions

English (74)  French (10)  Spanish (9)  Italian (7)  Catalan (6)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Best book ever. ( )
  gomezborbon | Jul 27, 2022 |
8422618966
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
8434590433
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
Wonderful translation of a historical fiction told by Hadrian in letter form to his successor Marcus Aurelius. As a first-person narrator, Hadrian is justifiably obsessed with illness and death. I was expecting a bit more of a focus on his lovers and this never really materialized. "...we have understood nothing about illness so long as we have not recognized its odd resemblance to war and to love, its compromises, its feints, its exactions, that strange and unique amalgam produced by the mixture of a temperament and a malady." ( )
  dbsovereign | May 16, 2022 |
Beautifully written. Did not always captivate, but provided what felt like an honest depiction of a character so long gone. I particularly enjoyed the notes on composition in the back of the volume. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
'La mayoría de los hombres gusta resumir su vida en una fórmula, a veces jactanciosa o quejumbrosa, casi siempre recriminatoria; el recuerdo les fabrica, complaciente, una existencia explicable y clara. Mi vida tiene contornos menos definidos. Como suele suceder, lo que no fui es quizá lo que más ajustadamente la define: buen soldado pero en modo alguno hombre de guerra; aficionado al arte, pero no ese artista que Nerón creyó ser al morir; capaz de cometer crímenes, pero no abrumado por ellos. Pienso a veces que los grandes hombres se caracterizan precisamente por su posición extrema; su heroísmo está en mantenerse en ella toda la vida. Son nuestros polos o nuestros antípodas'.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yourcenar, MargueriteAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calderaro, MarthaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Creus, JaumeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duquesnoy, TheodorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick, GraceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hakamies, ReinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hornelund, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaffé, FritzÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandfort, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Storoni Mazzolani, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuin, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallquist, GunnelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Animula vagula, blandula, hospes comesque corporis, quae nunc abibis in loca pallidula, rigida, nudula, nec, ut soles, dabis iocos ... P. Aelius Hadrianus, Imp.
Dedication
First words
My dear Mark,
Today I went to see my physician Hermogenes, who has just returned to the Villa from a rather long journey in Asia.
Quotations
I am trusting to this examination of facts to give me some definition of myself, and to judge myself, perhaps, or at the very least to know myself better before I die.
Thus from each art practiced in its time I derive a knowledge which compensates me in part for pleasures lost. I have supposed, and in my better moments think so still, that it would be possible in this manner to participate in the existence of everyone; such sympathy would be one of the least revocable kinds of immortality.
Grammar, with its mixture of logical rule and arbitrary usage, proposes to a young mind a foretaste of what will be offered to him later on by law and ethics, those sciences of human conduct, and by all the systems whereby man has codified his instinctive experience.
natura deficit, fortuna mutatur, deus omnia cernit
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
014001358X 1978 Penguin
0140061711 1982 Penguin
0140087648 1986-1987 Penguin
0140181946 1989 Penguin Classics
0141184965 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
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Both an exploration of character and a reflection on the meaning of history, "Memoirs of Hadrian" has received international acclaim since its first publication in France in 1951. In it, Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian's own era.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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