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Daphnis and Chloe (Pegasus Library)
ISBN 3791313738 / 9783791313733 / 3-7913-1373-8
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In 1831 Goethe called Daphnis and Chloe 'a masterpiece ... in which Understanding, Art, and Taste appear at their highest point, and beside which the good Virgil retreats somewhat into the background ... One would do well to read it every year, to be instructed by it again and again, and to receive anew the impression of its great beauty. 'Touching yet humorous, naive and at the same time highly sophisticated, Daphnis and Chloe is the story of a shepherd boy and girl who fall desperately in love yet find themselves facing great obstacles, because in their passion they behave, as the author says, even more awkwardly 'than rams and ewes.'. This sole surviving bucolic novel of ancient Greek origin was written by Longus, a poet about whom nothing else is known, and dates to about the mid third century A.D. The lyrical beauty and sensual frankness of the story have found admirers from Shakespeare to Jacob Burckhardt, and have exerted lasting influence on European literature. It was not until 1810 that the first complete manuscript of Daphnis and Chloe was discovered, in Florence. This provided the basis for the present, superb translation, done in 1956 by Paul Turner. Marc Chagall's illustrations to the pastoral tale, which is set on the island of Lesbos, were inspired by his first-hand experience of Greece. His lithographs combine the Mediterranean lushness of the realm of Pan and Eros with memories of Russian Jewish folktales, and celebrate the lovers in a setting whose marvels of colour evoke Eden with a sumptuousness that is inimitably Chagall. Art of the highest order united with poetry of timeless appeal - the result is an irresistibly delightful book. [via]