|10-07-2007, 05:44 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
Device: Sony PRS-500, PRS-505, Asus EEEpc 4G
Flaubert, Gustave: Salammbo, v1, 7 Oct 2007.
The source is PG, who do not give a translator.
Not much plot but some exotic Orientalist descriptions.
Salammb˘ (1862) is an historical novel by Gustave Flaubert, which interweaves historical and fictional characters. The action takes place immediately before and during the Mercenary Revolt against Carthage in the third century BC. Flaubert's main source was Book I of Polybius's Histories. It was not a particularly well-studied period of history and required a great deal of work from the author, who enthusiastically left behind the dreary subject-matter of Madame Bovary for this lurid tale of blood-and-thunder.
The book, which Flaubert researched painstakingly, is largely an exercise in sensuous and violent exoticism. Following the success of Madame Bovary, it was another best-seller and sealed his reputation. The Carthaginian costumes described therein even left traces on the fashions of the time. Nevertheless, in spite of its classic status in France, it is practically unknown today among English-speakers.
After the First Punic War, Carthage is unable to fulfil promises made to its army of mercenaries, and finds itself under attack. The fictional title character, a priestess and the daughter of Hamilcar Barca, an aristocratic Carthaginian general, is the object of the obsessive lust of Matho, a leader of the mercenaries. With the help of the scheming freed slave, Spendius, Matho steals the sacred veil of Carthage, the Za´mph, prompting Salammb˘ to enter the mercenaries' camp in an attempt to steal it back. The Za´mph is an ornate bejewelled veil draped about the statue of the goddess Tanit in the sacrosanct of her temple: the veil is the city's guardian and touching it will bring death to the perpetrator.
I have added a TOC and a picture (Muchaĺs poster of Salammbo) and checked the spelling as far as possible against my (different) translation.
Of making many books there is no end [Ecclesiastes, 12.12]
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