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Ovid - Metamorphoses Books V-VIII

We've been talking about it for ages - let's read it! This will be an ongoing meetup, that will be posting every other week. More details to come.

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  • Rick O.

    I couldn't resist so I looked it up - Dante tells BOTH Lucan and Ovid to 'sit back and let me show you how's it done" - from Canto XXV Inferno:

    Now let Lucan be still with his history
    of poor Sabellus and Nassidius,
    and wait to hear what next appeared to me.
    Of Cadmus and Arethusa be Ovid silent.
    I have no need to envy him those verses
    where he makes one a fountain, and one a serpent:
    for he never transformed two beings face to face
    in such a way that both their natures yielded
    their elements each to each as in this case. He then goes on to do his own metamorphosis of sinners with reptiles. You can see why he had to spend some quality time in the Pride levels of Purgatorio.

    3 · May 8, 2014

    • Imran M.

      The guy's major religious experience was falling in love with an 8 year old he was too shy to talk to, so writing privately got all mixed with up his religious sensibility early on. He decided he would move her, and later just serve and memorialize her, by writing about her "what had not been written of any woman" by any of the great writers before him. He put himself in competition with the great writers already as a kid, in major part to prove himself as a lover. The girl would come to him in dreams after she died to critique and guide his writing. When he's describing those experiences autobiographically he's actually self-deprecating and at least aware of his flaws most of the time.

      May 8, 2014

    • Imran M.

      His attitude toward himself as a writer may have been prideful, and he could have embellished the writing about his visions to give himself an interesting back story later in life, but it makes sense to me that writing became deeply tied with his religious zealotry: he needed to prove he was driven by the most pristine muse in the most direct way, that his purpose as a writer was more narrow and important than his pagan predecessors, that writing itself was so important as an art that those who practice it well could move humanity toward salvation...

      May 8, 2014

  • Imran M.

    This is largely about Ovid's exile, which apparently had a lot do with the promiscuity of Augustus' daughter:

    April 24, 2014

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