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Old 05-02-2017, 08:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
Just a question about this result. If we aren't having a run-off vote, should it not be the first one to receive the four votes, which would make the winner 1501-1800?

ETA. Oh, I see - it was the first one of these two categories which was nominated, by bfisher.
My reply here.

I posted my response in the welcome thread mainly so that it will hopefully help me to remember it more easily next time, and I suppose any further discussion on the topic would be more appropriate there.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:14 PM   #17
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I nominate the Golden Ass by Apuleius. A very interesting book!

From Goodreads:
The Golden Ass by Apuleius is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel - the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived in entirety from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. After suffering a series of trials and humiliations, he is ultimately transformed back into human shape by the kindness of the Goddess Isis. Simultaneously a blend of romantic adventure, fable, and religious testament, The Golden Ass is one of the truly seminal books of European Literature, of intrinsic interest as a novel in its own right, and one of the earliest examples of the picaresque. It includes as its famous centrepiece the myth of Cupid and Psyche, the search of the human soul for union with the divine, and has been the inspiration for numerous creative works of literature and art since the Renaissance. This new translation is at once faithful to the meaning of the Latin, whilst reproducing all the exuberant gaiety of the original.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:01 AM   #18
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I will nominate the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. From Goodreads:

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Written in Greek, without any intention of publication, by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe.

Ranging from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the nature of moral virtue, human rationality, divine providence, and Marcus' own emotions.

But while the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, in developing his beliefs Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection of extended meditations and short aphorisms that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers through the centuries.
And I would add to that, a beautiful work to read. I was reminded of it when we read The Memoirs of Hadrian some time ago.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:55 AM   #19
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I nominate Daphnis and Chloe by Longos. A beautiful book!

From Goodreads:
A tender novel describing eager and inept young love, Daphnis and Chloe tells the story of a baby boy and girl who are discovered separately, two years apart, alone and exposed on a Greek mountainside. Taken in by a goatherd and a shepherd respectively, and raised near the town of Mytilene, they grow to maturity unaware of one another's existence - until the mischievous god of love, Eros, creates in them a sudden overpowering desire for one another. A masterpiece among early Greek romances, attracting both high praise and moral disapproval, this work has proved an enduringly fertile source of inspiration for musicians, writers and artists from Henry Fielding to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Maurice Ravel. Longus transforms familiar themes from the romance genre - including pirates, dreams, and the supernatural - into a virtuoso love story that is rich in insight, humorous and ironical in its treatment of human sexual experience.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:27 AM   #20
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I nominate Agamemnon by Aeschylus.

Aeschylus developed the modern form of tragedy. Agamemnon, the first play of The Oresteia trilogy, deals with the return of Agamemnon from the siege and sack of Troy, and his murder by his wife Clytaemnestra in revenge for Agamemnon's sacrifice of their daughter Iphigenia.

Although Greek culture glorified war, much of Agamemnon deprecates war, often dwelling on its inglorious consequences. I was drawn to this work by the literary quality of the translation of Robert Fagles.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:34 AM   #21
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i just remembered that there are no seconds to a nomination in this round. Thus, I've deleted this post.

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Old 05-05-2017, 11:09 AM   #22
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A couple of hours left for nominations. I'm going to give one more once I decide from a few.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:52 AM   #23
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It was hard deciding between four that I wanted to nominate, including the Decameron, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Plato, but I'm going with:

One Thousand and One Nights, aka Arabian Nights

It was written over centuries starting around the 10th and is quite large with many different versions. I'm not nominating any particular version or translation or length except that I'm sure we all will read an abridged version of some sort (the 'full' text is thousands of pages!); everyone can pick which they prefer but there are plenty available as ebooks in all price ranges (including free) and lengths. You can choose to read a short version of a few hundred pages or less, a medium version of around 400 pages or so, a longer (or much longer version), or pick a longer version you like and only read portions of your own choosing.

I don't have time to investigate further, but a quick Google search on best versions brought me these three links as some of the top results that I've only glanced over so far but seem to have some good info for choosing an edition/translation:
Annenberg Learner
Metafilter
Reddit

So far the Dawood looks tempting to me- has an ebook, lauded, fairly short for a version trying to be somewhat well-rounded, includes the frame story and earlier and later stories. The Haddawy also sounds good but is longer and in two editions, one including earlier stories and one including later, and includes less of the frame story. It sounds extraordinary but I don't think I've ever read any part of these stories, though I'm familiar with some of them through films and such.


PS- It may be a while (later today) before I have time to properly list all the nominations in the first post and begin the vote, so until I do nominations will remain open.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:56 PM   #24
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Nominations are closed and voting is now open!

Voting will close exactly four days from this post.

Each person has SIX votes to use.

Please refer to the first post for all other information.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:24 PM   #25
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I'll give one vote each to:

Epic of Gilgamesh
Meditations
Daphnis and Chloe
Agamemnon
One Thousand and One Nights
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:46 PM   #26
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I'll start with two votes for the Meditations.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:56 PM   #27
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I find my library can help with the Haddawy but not the Dawood. Do you want to specify a particular version, sun surfer, or do you think any one of several would do? The Burton sounds as if it should be avoided! I'll hold my vote for now, but I do like the idea of reading at least some of The Thousand and One Nights.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:38 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
I find my library can help with the Haddawy but not the Dawood. Do you want to specify a particular version, sun surfer, or do you think any one of several would do? The Burton sounds as if it should be avoided! I'll hold my vote for now, but I do like the idea of reading at least some of The Thousand and One Nights.
No specific version; if it wins it would be more of an 'everyone choose your own version'. It would be the same as the (long ago) month when the short stories of Saki won. There were so many assorted stories that neither the complete collection nor any particular collection were nominated; it was left to each of us to read the stories we chose from among all of them. There are so many versions of One Thousand and One Nights that it could be interesting to compare and contrast if we choose different versions amongst us, and if someone prefers a version or translation that's longer they can decide to pick and choose which stories to read if they don't want to plow through the entire thing.


Separately, I wanted to mention about the page lengths included on the first post that they may be less accurate than other months, mainly because of larger variances in these types of books because some include only the original text and others include sometimes very long scholarly criticism and such. I faithfully stuck to my procedure for estimating page counts on all of them (averaging the first five page count results on its Goodreads editions), but in particular Epic of Gilgamesh by itself is probably only around 80 or so pages, so less than half the page count listed, and Agamemnon might be sub-100 too. And I've already mentioned about One Thousand and One Nights having many versions of varying lengths; the average of its first five results ended up giving it almost 600 pages, but on the first page alone of Goodreads editions results there's a version that's almost 5,000 pages and a version that's only around 250 pages (and the next page has a few versions under 100 pages), so there's an extreme variance there.

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Old 05-06-2017, 03:58 AM   #29
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Thanks sun surfer.

Two votes for The Thousand and One Nights.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:53 AM   #30
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This is a really excellent set of choices. 😊😊 I'll add a comment about a particular version of The Arabian Nights for those who might like to explore the stories at a later date if it isn't the choice this time.

I have a number of translations of The Thousand and One Nights. One that I like very much is the three volume edition of Edward Lane. It has brilliant informative notes on the social and religious contexts of the stories which are still much admired. I found these notes--some of which run to several pages--absolutely fascinating. There were times when I would read the story straight through and then go back and read all the notes with equal enjoyment. Lane wanted his translation to be read by the general Victorian public; hence he eliminates the courser passages which Burton, Payne and more modern editions retain.

The old hard cover edition I have includes some wonderful atmospheric illustrations by William Harvey. Possibly they are also present in the free Project Gutenberg version.
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