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Old 09-06-2008, 07:33 AM   #1
Cookie Monster
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Which Ovid should I get next?

I've been reading some of the ancient authors, Arrian, Plutarch, Livy. I fancy a bit of a change so I'm going to read some poetry.

I decided on Ovid but should i get Metamorphoses or Amores ? Also any recommendations for translators would be appreciated?
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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Ted Hughes (Mr. Sylvia Plath) famously translated an abridged version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

There's an interesting article about his approach to translation online.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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I'd suggest neither, but the "Ars Amatoria" ("The Art of Love"). Hillariously funny advice on "how to get the girl".

There's an excellent Penguin translation called "Ovid - The Erotic Poems". I don't know if it's available as an eBook or not. It includes both "Ars" and "Amores".
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
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I ended up buying both Metamorphoses and the Erotic Poems. The best of both worlds
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:26 AM   #5
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Buying? I would have guessed that the copyright expired on these some time ago.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackVoid View Post
Buying? I would have guessed that the copyright expired on these some time ago.
Very true - and you can freely download them, free of copyright, in Latin - eg from:

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com

However, if you want to read them in English, then the translation has its own copyright, and depends on the date of death of the translator.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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On a slightly different tack, have you read David Malouf's An Imaginary Life? Its premise is to follow Ovid's personal metamorphosis after his exile to Tomis.

I recall it as being one of the few school-set texts that I actually enjoyed, though I must admit to not ever having read anything by Ovid.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by montsnmags; 09-10-2008 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #8
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However, if you want to read them in English, then the translation has its own copyright, and depends on the date of death of the translator.
For translations of Ancient texts the ones out of copyright are often very old and the language more so.

Look how they describe anything sexual. The translators often use funny euphemisms. The number of ways they describe homosexuals is probably the most variable. I've seen close friend, effete man, bosom friend; i remember once seeing a translation that actually used pervert.

This sort of censorship only really ended around the 60s. Now you can find out what the women in Herodes mime 6 bought from the tanner without actually learning Attic Greek. You can also now know what half the humour of Aristophanes' Lysistrata is about
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