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Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics ed.) by Ovid

Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics ed.) (edition 1955)

by Ovid (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,99781465 (4.1)1 / 315
Metamorphoses--the best-known poem by one of the wittiest poets of classical antiquity--takes as its theme change and transformation, as illustrated by Greco-Roman myth and legend. Melville's new translation reproduces the grace and fluency of Ovid's style, and its modern idiom offers a fresh understanding of Ovid's unique and elusive vision of reality.… (more)
Title:Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics ed.)
Authors:Ovid (Author)
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Metamorphoses by Ovid


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» See also 315 mentions

English (70)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
If anyone wants to know where I go to get "stuff" for my books, and to what art I hopelessly measure up my "stuff," let me save you an interview. It's this book and very few others beside it. ( )
  EugenioNegro | Mar 17, 2021 |
Various myths and legends are strung together, with the common theme of physical transformations.

3/4 (Good).

I loved this book, and yet was also frequently bored. There are some bad stories, some great, and everything in between. When it's at its best, it's an unforgettable, etched-in-my-brain great. But even if they were all good stories, telling them in a single, giant poem, while impressive, is not helpful. ( )
  comfypants | Mar 3, 2021 |
testo latino a fronte con un saggio di Italo Calvino
  perseveranza | Feb 28, 2021 |
What a way to start off 2017. Charles Martin’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses has skyrocketed into my list of favorite books. I savored each page and made sure I was calm and focused each time I sat down to read so that I wouldn’t miss anything. If I had to quote the best part, I’d say it was: “My mind leads me to speak now of forms changed / into new bodies … and if there is truth in poets’ prophesies, / then in my fame forever I will live” (Book I:1 - Book XV: 1112).

I enjoyed Ovid’s grouping of history into four ages: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron. In the beginning, we had beauty, no need for laws, peace and nature. By the time we find ourselves in the Iron Age, we have war, greed, and despoiling of nature in furthering of those two desires. Ovid writes that in the age of Iron we dig in the ground to unearth gold and iron, the latter to kill and secure the former (p. 20).

I was fascinated with all the origin myths of the gods and heroes of the classical world. I am thankfully to have come to Ovid after having read so many other things from Greek and Roman mythology. Encountering Ovid first would have been confusing and not as wonderful an experience. As I’m a huge Homer fan and of the larger Epic Cycle, I enjoyed the “Ajax versus Ulysses” section of Book XIII, which deals with the awarding of Achilles’ armor after his death at Troy. I also enjoyed Pythagoras’s thoughts on the moral imperative of vegetarianism in Book XV. I loved seeing the seeds of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Ovid’s tale of Pyramus and Thisbe (Book IV, p. 125). Ovid didn’t invent this theme of forbidden love but I was so surprised reading this section that was written almost 1600 years before Shakespeare’s play.

The only part of this translation I didn’t enjoy was the “rap” part in Book V with the “The daughters of Pierus.” It just seemed full of pandering to stereotypes. One thing I found troubling, not with Ovid or the translation but with the mythology, was a thought I had in Book XI (though it built up over the entire work). Were all females, either goddesses or woman, raped to produce the male “heroes” of the classical world?

Almost all of Ovid’s metamorphoses (transformations) are of beings (gods or humans) being turned into flora or fauna. There are physical changes, mental fogginess, and the loss or change of spoken language. This death of personality can also be seen as a birth of sorts, whereby a new object comes into being, sometimes one beloved like various birds, trees or streams.

I’ll close this review with a note I wrote on the inside cover of my edition: “What wonder, to write when Homer, Ovid, Virgil and Horace wrote. To describe the world when it was new.” As a writer, I hope to try reinvent this newness and address it with my simple prose and verse. ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
I read this for one of those bucket-list reasons, having read a bunch of scholarly articles in college that constantly quote from Ovid... but I had NEVER READ THE ORIGINAL.

Alas. How many years has it been, with that guilt slowly creeping up on me?

So I did it. I read Ovid.

And I fell in love.

What the hell was I thinking? Avoiding this? I mean, how many damn mythology books have I read that go on and on about all the Greek classics, touted for their clear and concise styles, but really what I should have been doing is read the damn book of prose/poetry by the first-century master!

Even in translation, it's clear, entertaining, full of action and wit and subversiveness and plain JOY. And get this: it's not much longer than those full mythology books.

SO SILLY! Enjoy the ART! The action! The joy of beautiful text!

We even get poetical treatments of segments of the Illiad and Odyssey! But my favorites were Orpheus and the whole damn slew of the poor mortals getting f***ed over by the gods. :)

Granted, if you're not already familiar with the kind of name-dropping that comes with a world that normally knowns all these legends, it might seem rather overwhelming, but for all of you who've read at least one book on the Greeks and are tolerant of learning on the fly, I TOTALLY recommend Ovid.

I fairly danced with fun as I read this. I felt like I was watching the original Clash of the Titans for the first time. This had some really bloody sequences! The funny ones and the clever ones and even the LGBTQ ones are spread throughout, too! :) I'm frankly amazed we don't just have THIS to read in school. It's much better than most!

lol *shakes head* ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (746 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ovidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anguillara, Giovanni Andrea dell'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bernini, FerruccioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bosselaar, Didericus ErnestusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dryden, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ehwald, RudolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feeney, DenisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garth, Sir SamuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gay, ZhenyaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golding, ArthurTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregory, HoraceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane-Scheltema, M. d'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haupt, MorizEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Humphries, RolfeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Innes, M. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korn, OttoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelbaum, AllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, Hermann JohannesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Frank JustusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parramon i Blasco, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pattist, M.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepermans, G. M. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepermans, G. M. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Proosdij, B.A. vanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raeburn, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tarrant, R. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tissol, GarthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vondel, Joost van denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This translation of Ovid's seamless song
is inscribed to my brother in law and in love,
Leonard Feldman, and my sister, Rayma.
First words
Now I shall tell you of things that change, new being / Out of old: since you, O Gods, created / Mutable arts and gifts, give me the voice / To tell the shifting story of the world / From its beginning to the present hour.
My purpose is to tell of bodies which have been transformed into shapes of a different kind. You heavenly powers, since you were responsible for those changes, as for all else, look favourably on my attempts, and spin an unbroken thread of verse, from the earliest beginnings of the world, down to my own times. [Mary M. Innes translation, Penguin Books, 1955]
My soul would sing of metamorphoses.
(Tr. Allan Mandelbaum)
My mind would tell of forms changed into new bodies;  gods, into my undertakings (for you changed even those) breathe life and from the first origin of the world to my own times draw forth a perpetual song!
(Tr. Z Philip Ambrose)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Metamorphoses in translation.
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Metamorphoses--the best-known poem by one of the wittiest poets of classical antiquity--takes as its theme change and transformation, as illustrated by Greco-Roman myth and legend. Melville's new translation reproduces the grace and fluency of Ovid's style, and its modern idiom offers a fresh understanding of Ovid's unique and elusive vision of reality.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044789X, 0140422307

Indiana University Press

An edition of this book was published by Indiana University Press.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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