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The Metamorphoses of Ovid
by Ave Ovid
ISBN 0801847974 / 9780801847974 / 0-8018-4797-4
Publisher The Johns Hopkins University Press
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"The mark of success in a poet's career", writes David Slavitt, "was an epic that might stand on the shelf alongside Virgil's. But how was a poet like Ovid, with a more intimate, livelier, funnier and more self-mocking sensibility, to attempt such a thing? The epic form was not, I think, immediately congenital, and my guess is that Ovid recognized this himself. Accordingly, he transformed the epic, playing against its grain a lot of the time, and escaping its severe organizational and thematic demands by transforming it into something altogether different. The first metamorphosis, then, is of the idea of the epic itself". Written between AD 2 and 8, Ovid's long poem the "Metamorphoses" gave to a great number of Greek and Roman myths the form in which they are known today. David Slavitt, translator of "Ovid's Poetry of Exile", has fashioned a new English verse translation of what is perhaps the best known work of one of western civilization's major poets. In Slavitt's freely inventive but emotionally accurate renderings, the voice of Ovid speaks again to a new generation of readers. [via]