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Edited by Robert Cummings
RRP: GBP£ 45.00
You Save: GBP£ 4.50
Price: GBP£ 40.50
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ISBN: 978 1 857546 68 2
Categories: 21st Century, Ancient Greek and Roman
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 2010
216 x 135 x 56 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
In his translations of three major works from the Roman world, collected in a single volume for the first time, Robert Graves brings the myths, legends and history of the classical world to life. His translations influenced a generation of readers and writers when they were first published in the 1950s. As Robert Cummings demonstrates in his introduction, Graves sometimes overrides the demands of accuracy; his interpretations of and responses to his material are at times idiosyncratic but, ‘Whatever complaints are lodged against Graves’s translations, he remains, after fifty years, eminently readable.’ Graves himself recognised the translator’s problem: ‘how much is owedto the letter, and how much to the spirit’. It is the novelist’s narrative virtuosity, his flair for catching a character’s individual voice, and above all his endless curiosity about the world, that make these translations as compelling as they were to their original audience; they also mirror Graves’s interest in myth in The White Goddess and his imaginative recreations of the classical world in I, Claudius and Claudius the God.
The Golden Ass is an essential work in European literature, a magical, sometimes bawdy adventure, to which Graves responds with exuberant delight. In contrast, Lucan’s Pharsalia, an account of the civil war between Julius Casear and Pompey, raises for Graves issues of the writer’s moral responsibility, the rejection of rhetoric, that in his own time, he writes, had sent poets ‘marching through the Waste Land’ after the Great War. The Twelve Caesars exemplifies the writer’s responsibility to the truthful record in its vivid accounts of the corruptions of arbitrary power.
Editor’s Introduction by Robert Cummings
THE GOLDEN ASS
Introduction by Robert Graves
Apuleius’s Address to the Reader
Chapter I The Story of Aristomenes
Chapter II At Milo’s House
Chapter III The Story of Thelyphron
Chapter IV The Festival of Laughter
Chapter V Lucius is Transformed
Chapter VI The Bandits’ Cave
Chapter VII Cupid and Psyche (I)
Chapter VIII Cupid and Psyche (II)
Chapter IX Cupid and Psyche (III)
Chapter X Defeat of the Bandits
Chapter XI At the Stud-Farm
Chapter XII With the Eunuch Priests
Chapter XIII At the Mill-House
Chapter XIV With the Market-Gardener and the Centurion
Chapter XV At the Councillor’s House
Chapter XVI Under the Trainer
Chapter XVII The Goddess Isis Intervenes
Chapter XVIII The Ass is Transformed
Chapter XIX At the Bar
Appendix Lucian’s Ass
DRAMATIC EPISODES OF THE CIVIL WARS
Introduction by Robert Graves
THE TWELVE CAESARS
Foreword by Robert Graves
Chapter I Julius Caesar, afterwards deified
Chapter II Augustus, afterwards deified
Chapter III Tiberius
Chapter IV Gaius Caligula
Chapter V Claudius, afterwards deified
Chapter VI Nero
Chapter VII Galba
Chapter VIII Otho
Chapter IX Vitellius
Chapter X Vespasian, afterwards deified
Chapter XI Titus, afterwards deified
Chapter XII Domitian
Pedigrees of the Julian and Flavian Houses
Praise for Robert Graves 'There is eloquence, wit and a formal shapeliness in abundance from first to last.'
Michael Glover, Financial Times 10/02/01 'While poetry schools came and went, Graves went on writing until his death in 1985, in an elegant, classically inspired style.'
Andrew Crumey, Scotland on Sunday 07/01/01 'No one else offers his precise combination of eroticism, nightmare and epigram.'
Sean O'Brien, The Guardian 13/01/01 'Graves experiences in the trenches of the First World War are most vivid and moving.'
Robert Nye, Scotsman on Sunday, 16/12/00 'In his attitude to verse he remained a Georgian, an eccentric one.'
Eric Hester, Catholic Times 20/02/00 'Graves enshrines his archetypal motifs of obsessive love in legendary contexts from which the contemporary world is resolutely excluded.'
Mark Ford, The London Review of Books 'One of the twentieth century's major writers.'
Richard Foster, Yorkshire Evening Press Graves is a poet and a visionary in his prose writings, always stimulating and frequently enlightening.
Patrick Reilly, The Herald
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