Ovid, the Love Poems

Ovid, the Love Poems

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Ovid's love-poetry was typically original and innovative. His witty analysis in the Amores (Loves) of the elegiac relationship develops with relentless irony its essential paradox - love as simultaneously fulfilling and destructive - to its logical conclusion: definitive disestablishment of the poet-lover's role as presented by Gallus, Tibullus, and Propertius. In its place he went on to offer in the Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) and Remedia Amoris (Cures for Love) an equally brilliant presentation of an alternative and more realistic conception of love as a game at which both sexes can play without getting hurt - providing they stick to Ovid's rules. Under the surface of Ovid's wit there runs an undercurrent of serious meaning: the theme of the poet's complete control of his medium and his art and a proud consciousness of his achievements. His claim to be `the Virgil of elegy' is arrestingly justified in these extraordinarily accomplished poems. Alan Melville's accomplished translations match the sophisticated elegance of Ovid's Latin. Their witty modern idiom is highly entertaining. In this volume he has included the brilliant version of the Art of Love by Moore, published more than fifty years ago and still unequalled; the small revisions he has made will enhance the reader's admiration for Moore's achievement.It belongs, like the Medicamina, in the class of a#39;displaya#39; or ornamental didactic, whose purpose is not to impart instruction but to show off the poeta#39;s ability to transform technical subject-matter into poetry. This was a Hellenistic development inanbsp;...

Title:Ovid, the Love Poems
Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA - 1999-01-28


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