Humphries gelingt es, dieses großartige Werk dem Normalleser zugänglich zu machen. Das ist keine geringe Leistung. Stehen die "Metamorphosen" doch am Beginn der europäischen Literatur und sind sie neben der Bibel das meist zitierte Werk der abendländischen Literatur. Ovids Werk handelt von Verwandlungen verschiedenster Art. Meist geht es darum, dass Götter ihre Macht missbrauchen, um Sterbliche in Tiere oder Pflanzen zu verwandeln. Oft nachdem sie vorher von den Göttern missbraucht wurden oder indem sie der ungerechten Rachsucht der Unsterblichen zum Opfer fielen. Die Götter sind dabei nicht zimperlich. Hier kommen die meisten schweren Straftaten, die hierzulande vom Strafgesetzbuch erfasst sind, zur Anwendung: Mord und Totschlag, Entführung, Vergewaltigung, Inzest, usw. Nicht umsonst geriet "Metamorphosen" ins Blickfeld politisch korrekter Studenten in den USA, welche von ihren Professoren verlangten, das Werk mit einem entsprechenden Hinweis auf potentiell gefährliche Inhalte zu versehen. Sicher, "Metamorhosen" ist ein gewalttätiges und chauvinistisches Werk, dessen männliche Dominanz und Brutalität augenscheinlich sind, aber es steht in seiner Bedeutung für die europäische Kulturgeschichte auch einzigartig da. Man ist beim Lesen immer wieder überrascht, für wie viele europäische Mythen, die ins Allgemeinwissen übergegangen sind, bereits hier die Grundlagen gelegt wurden.
OVID's 'Metamorphoses' is a standard collection which contains stories about godly figures, hideous monsters and puny humans. On his writings, a lot of real world's most famous theater plays, characters, tragic and romantic stories are based. Read this and you will have gained a profound background-knowledge of the human psyche, put into a scenery of gods, mystic creatures, simple animals and humans. Explore feelings of unconditional love, jealousy, hatred; among the thirst for revenge, experience scheming and plotting individuals who conspire against other living beings for their own selfish needs. This book is a must-have, since it is the first of its kind, on which most of nowaday's soap-operas of our tv landscape are based on.
The Emperor Augustus did not appreciate Ovid in any large degree. He found Virgil and Horace much more agreeable, as those poets tended to buttress the status quo, whereas Ovid tended to undermine it. Personally I am a great fan of Virgil's. He was one of the greatest poets who ever lived. His Aeneid is just as vital today as the day he wrote it. Horace, on the other hand, has never incited much of a response. He's pretty dry in comparison. Ovid, on the other hand, probably would have been a blast to hang out with. His poetry is ribald, yet informed with a thorough knowledge of the myth and literature that has come before him. He would have been a man who had a vast sense of humor mixed with erudition, in other words. This is generally the sort I would choose for a friend if such were available in our present age. I don't know if this is helpful, but this is how I sometimes tend to classify writers. Some I admire, but wouldn't want to sit across from him/her at a dinner table (Eugene O'Neill, my revered Dostoevsky, Sylvia Plath, the redoubtable Celine - he'd be the last guy I'd want to break bread with- Sartre (what a bummer!), Ibsen, Kierkegard, etc. But I'd love to party with Seutonius, Ovid, Diderot, Voltaire, Moliere, Hugo and either of the Bronte sisters. What a high time that would be! Apart from the rambling, this is an excellent translation of one of the most important works, in terms of influence, in the western cannon. Ovid had a primary impact on every poet who ever picked up a quill or a pen or typed a phrase on a keyboard who came after him. Talk about seminal literature. He made the love poem modern. Everything, apart perhaps from Sappho, had been wooden and stilted before "The Metamorphosis." He was the D H Lawrence of Rome. That is the reason the Imperial censors tried to surpress his work, just as the modern courts tried to surpress Lady Chatterly. Thank posterity neither succeeded.
Rolfe Humphries propounds a beautiful rendering of Ovid's Metamorphoses, written by the Roman poet in dactylic hexameter, much adorned, and related with almost equally sumptuous depiction as the original, acting to preserve the past and further in the dissemination and promulgation of such poetry and names as Ovids across space and throughout time. Surely something that can survive forever, semper, perpetuo, is worth, at least, perusing. Indefatigable Ovid and His fain knight, Humpries, merit examination, don't You think
This book is great! I got it in London after reading the Aeneid and Odyssey for Classics A-level [in U.K.]. But, fot those who can't take in so much...try a "condensed" version which is excellent in its own right - "Tales from Ovid" by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. I have that as well.