Read The Golden Ass by Apuleius Jack Lindsay Claudio Annaratone Online


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 trThe 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....

Title : The Golden Ass
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780253200365
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Golden Ass Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2019-06-03 13:48

    If you remember the old toga movies from the '50's--the ones where all the Romans are played by Brits and all the Jews and Christians by Americans--then I am sure you also remember those orgiastic banquet sequences crammed with sweaty wrestlers, kinky dancers, amphora after amphora overflowing with wine, and culinary surprises like roast oxen stuffed with pheasants (the pheasants in turn stuffed with oysters), and golden salvers heaped high with hummingbird tongues.The Golden Ass is a lot like that. It has everything: comic misunderstandings and cruel mistreatment, amorous slave girls and lustful matrons, witches and ghosts, robbers and murderers, people transformed into animals, an account of religious conversion--plus a visit from the Queen of Heaven and a little bestiality thrown in for good measure. This picaresque work of late second century Roman Africa revels in its own excess and ornamentation, scattering its tales within tales with a spendthrift abandon, and yet preserving a sense of unity through its theme. It shows us how the individual's journey through pleasure and suffering, servility and beastliness, may eventually lead to humility and spiritual regeneration.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-05-31 18:32

    Lucius ( loosely based on the author ) is a very curious young man, interested in black magic, witchcraft, potions and spells, that can cause real damage , even mystery cults, being the mid second century , during the Roman Empire, in ancient Greece, people believe in the supernatural...A traveler visiting Hypata, the heart of the occult center, in Thessaly, so the public thinks , with a letter of introduction from a friend, to a rich man, Milo , a miser, though living in squalor, counting his money but not spending it. Given a tiny room in the ramshackle house, no food, he will have to get it himself, yet Pamphile the stingy man's wife, is a powerful witch, so informs the slave Photis in the household and soon lover of Lucius, she is very attractive and eager. He goes to the home of his wealthy Aunt Byrrhena, invited to stay he desires his freedom more than comfort, and is warned to keep away from witches, which he doesn't obey, Lucius wants excitement in his dreary, dull life and anxious to see them perform their evil. One cold night while the intoxicated Lucius, is walking back to the miser's house, and not seeing too well, three ruffians attack the noble citizen, but knowing how unsafe these streets are , he has his trusted sword and defends himself ably, but is arrested for murder, luckily it was not what it seems...Later Photis, tells him that tonight the witch Pamphile, in secret, will turns herself into a bird and fly, in order to spy on a would- be young lover, while her husband Milo is away, just what he has been so looking forward to, for such a long time. Things do not go as planned, the nervous Photis, gives him the wrong box containing a different ointment , after the witch was observed and left, turnings poor, foolish Lucius, into an Ass (in more ways than one) instead of a fowl, not to worry his love says she will get him roses, to consume, that will turn him back to a man in the morning. But a gang of treacherous robbers invade the home, stealing anything valuable in sight and taking the unfortunate Lucius, now just the dumb animal they need , to carry their loot, beaten badly, the heavy load causes painful bruises and wounds, quickly into the high mountains , they go up. The dusty roads are dismal but passable, the dizzy sights below , endurable, the tired criminals finally transverse the distant path, from where their thefts occurred, to the hideout . No sanctuary for the beleaguered ass though, threaten again to be slaughtered there , by cutting his throat, or thrown off a cliff by the cruel, unfeeling thieves, Lucius has to escape and does, running like a horse to salvation, but everywhere he arrives, the local people treat him with malice, work him almost to death, he suffers constant abuse, and cunningly fights back ( he gets his kicks in), can the ass survive until the roses spring up again ? The only Roman novel found in its complete form, quite funny but rather gruesome too, the Roman gods are not kind . For anyone interested in ancient civilizations, particularly the Empire of Rome, this book is about as close as a modern reader can get...feel the joys and barbarism of the era; and laugh too...

  • Kalliope
    2019-06-10 16:40

    Golden it is, but not the ass. For us the novel certainly has the value of gold since it is considered the earliest that has survived complete in the Western literary tradition. Originally called Metamorphoses, it is however far from being an epic like Ovid’s. Written around the middle of 2C by an Apuleius, an Algerian under Roman auspices, it probably acquired its “aureum” quality when another Algerian, Saint Augustin, gave it its second title some time later. And it was with this golden aura that it lived through the Middle Ages and survived till modern times.I read it in French translation (Pierre Grimal), thinking that it would ring closer to the original Latin, but then also downloaded Robert Graves’ English version and flicked through it.Apuleius’s Metamorphoses has the structure of an overall plot with embedded stories. So it is not just a man that is transformed into an ass but a story that undergoes several transformations. Some of the stories weld in more smoothly with the main line. Others do not, and can be considered as independent cameos. The most famous of these is Cupid and Psyche, and indeed this is the main literary source for this mythical story. Reading some of the Psyche passages made me feel a shiver running down my spine. I realized that Botticelli must have read this same text when painting his allegorical masterpieces. And so I went to find out more about the Golden Novel in the Renaissance and there I found that it had to be Niccolò Machiavelli who wrote his own version of the transformed ass. He did so in Dante’s rhyme but death arrived too early.With the privileged position of this novel in the literary tradition, we like to see in its structure of stories-within-stories one of the corns for the later and more elaborate The Decameron and the Arabian Nights, to name just a couple, with Apuleius playing a similar role as compiler as Boccaccio and the other authors. Its picaresque tone and elements are also seen to point at their later appearance in Lazarillo de Tormes and to a lesser extent in Don Quijote. The entertainment value provided by the lewd and grotesque passages are often presented as the flashlight for Rabelais.And indeed it is this more superficial diverting aspect that for us can blur the tint of religious aspects of a non-Christian creed. The moral content is blatantly there. We have the themes of Justice, the play of destiny, the dangerous drive of humans when wanting to simulate godly powers, and the overall story does have an element of final conversion with a more sacred tone. Apuleius’ contemporary readers would have been more sensitive to these matters.But to me the most memorable aspect was the role of the narrator. Apuleius begins by presenting himself to the reader, telling us about his origins and closes his introduction bowing to us with Lecteur, sois attentif et tu seras satis fait (view spoiler)[(Graves: “Now read on and enjoy yourself”) (hide spoiler)]. Once in the novel he continues to use the First Person to narrate the frame story and keeps in direct relationship with the reader, exploiting very craftily the irony in the situation of an “I in the shape of an ass with the mind of a human”. There is an unforgettable instance in which the Narrator, comes out forthright, with an abrupt “I”, defending his omniscience from a hypothetical criticism from the hypothetical reader. Mais peut-être, lecteur trop exact, critiquerais-tu mon récit, en me faisant observer ceci: Comment donc, âne plain d'astuce, enfermé comme tu l'étais à l'intérieur de la boulangerie, as-tu pu connaître, comme tu le prétends, les agissements secrets de ces femmes?" ..or, in Graves' version again another instance: Forgive this outburst! I can hear my readers protesting: 'Hey, what's all this about? Are we going to let an ass lecture us in philosophy?' Yes, i dare say I had best return to my story. Literary license at its best.Next week I am going to watch a dramatized version in which the characterized Narrator will take centre stage with a continuous monologue.I can’t wait.----Illustrations by Jean de Bosschère (1878-1953)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-06-18 17:21

    997. Metamorphoses = the golden ass‭, Lucius Apuleiusتاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزهای ماه آگوست سال 2000 میلادیعنوان: الاغ طلایی؛ نوشته: لوسیوس آپولیوس؛ برگردان: عبدالحسین شریفیان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، اساطیر، 1379، در 316 صفحه، فروست: شناخت اساطیر کتاب دهم، شابک: 9643310450؛ موضوع: اساطیر یونان و روم، سرگذشتنامهالاغ طلایی یا کرّه الاغ طلایی، که به آن: یازده کتاب تناسخ؛ یا تناسخ‌های آپولیوس؛ نیز گفته می‌شود، مجموعه‌ ای از یازده روایت پیوسته به یکدیگر، و مربوط به روم باستان می‌باشد؛ که به زبان لاتین نوشته شده‌ است. نویسنده ی این کتاب رمان گونه، که در سده ی دوم میلادی آن را نوشته، و به لحاظ قدمت و محتوای خود؛ حائز اهمیت است، لوسیوس آپولیوس، نویسنده ی اهل رم باستان است؛ که ساکن آفریقا بود. احتمال دارد که شخصیت اصلی رمان، در واقع خود نویسنده ی آن باشد. چرا که اسم کوچک این شخصیت، «لوسیوس (لوکیوس) پاتراسی» و همنام با نویسنده ی کتاب (لوسیوس آپولیوس) است؛ بعلاوه در پایان رمان، نشان داده می‌شود که قهرمان داستان اهل ماداورا یا ماداوروس است، که اینجا زادگاه خود آپولیوس نیز هست. این نکات باعث شده‌ که برخی از محققان، راوی و قهرمان داستان لوسیوس پاتراسی را با نویسنده آن لوسیوس آپولیوس یکی بشناسند؛ و او را همان کسی بدانند که داستان، حول کنجکاوی‌های شخصیت او، و میل سیری ناپذیرش، برای دیدن عمل سحر و جادو، شکل می‌گیرد. این شخصیت، در حالی که برای انجام یک طلسم که او را به پرنده تبدیل کند، تلاش می‌نماید، ناگهان و بطور تصادفی به یک الاغ تبدیل می‌شود!، این واقعه به یک سفر طولانی، در مجموعه‌ ای مملو از داستانهای ادبی و استعاری، منجر می‌گردد. وی سرانجام از طریق مداخله ی ایزدبانویی به نام ایسیس، از آن وضعیت (خر بودن!) نجات پیدا کرده و در نهایت به فرقه ی او می‌پیوندد. خلاصه‌ ای از محتوای کتاب: الاغ طلایی داستان جوانی به نام لوسیوس را نقل می‌کند؛ که در جامعه ی رم وارد اجتماع شده، و می‌خواهد که حرکت خویش در آن جامعه را از جایی آغاز کند، امّا به بیراهه‌ ای عجیب می‌رود. در آن زمان، جامعهه ی رم، خود به جامعه ی فاسدی تبدیل شده‌ و در حال پوسیدن از درون است، به گونه‌ ای که همه ی فکر و ذکر مردمان رم، متوجه مادیّات و ظواهر زندگی شده؛ و مظاهر مادّی زندگی، همچون زن، زمین، ثروت، و...، نزد این مردم، همه چیز محسوب می‌شود، و علاوه بر این مظاهر مادّی، مادینگی و نرینگی و غرایز حیوانی نیز، برای آنها حائز اهمیت بسیار است. لوسیوس جوان، که خود روایتگر داستان است و از یکایک مشاهدات خود سخن می‌گوید، به اقتدای مادّه گرایی اجتماع رم، به سمت مادّه گرایی می‌رود؛ و با دل سپردن به لذات جسمانی و غرایز حیوانی، جز ماده و مادینگی، هیچ چیز دیگری را نمی‌بیند. در ادامه لوسیوس شرح می‌دهد که در این مسیر، تا به آنجا پیشروی می‌کند که ناگهان به سودای انجام یک طلسم مادی، کالبد انسانی خویش را از دست داده، به یک الاغ یا کرّه الاغ تبدیل می‌شود!! تبدیل لوسیوس به الاغ، در حالی است که شعور و قوّه ی ادراک انسانی اش، همچنان محفوظ و دست نخورده باقی‌مانده‌ است؛ و وی به روشنی و وضوح متوجه هر آنچه در اطرافش می‌گذرد، هست. نهایتاً لوسیوس در طی روند این مسخ، و تبدیل و تغییر کالبد انسانی خویش، به اوج درماندگی و فلاکت می‌رسد و عمق و ژرفای تباهی و فساد خویش و همینطور جامعهٔ روم را به نظاره می‌نشیند، و پوچی و انحطاط اشرافیت پوشالی آن دوران را با تمامی ذرات وجود می‌بیند و حس می‌کند. آن گاه، یعنی در زمانی که لوسیوس به منتهای درجهه ی فساد و تباهی خویش رسیده‌، ناگهان به خود می‌آید؛ و از وجود پلید خویشتن در قالب الاغ دلزده می‌شود. پس با تمام وجود، می‌خواهد که از آن پس کالبدی انسانی و رفتاری بشری، به معنای واقعی کلمه داشته باشد. دیری نمی‌پاید که آرزوی لوسیوس برآورده شده؛ و ایزدبانوی فراوانی نعمت، یعنی ایسیس، به یاری اش می‌شتابد، و او را به کالبد انسانی خویش برمی‌گرداند. لوسیوس از پی این زایش دوباره، از مادیت و غرایز حیوانی (مادینگی و نرینگی) و از لذات جسمانی می‌بُرد، و در مقابل به سمت روحانیت و معنویت رو می‌آورد. بدین ترتیب در حقیقت، داستان الاغ طلایی، داستان سیر و سلوک و فراز و نشیب یک سالک است، که گرچه به حضیض می‌رسد، امّا از پس این حضیض، دوباره برمیخیزد و بلند می‌شود؛ و بالا و بالاتر می‌رود، تا به اوج خویش برسد. ا. شربیانی

  • Hadrian
    2019-06-24 14:37

    When you think of ruins left behind by civilizations long past, it is easy to think of stone walls which have crumbled into dust. But there are many worlds lost there, and ruins in another sense, of works of art and literature destroyed and forgotten. This is the only complete novel to survive from the Roman period. So what's all this about? A strapping young Roman named Lucius goes on a journey through Greece, gets himself transformed into a donkey and goes on wacky hijinks. There is a narrative here, but a lot of it is broken up picaresque stories and folk myth. One of the more famous segments is the story of Cupid and Psyche, a famous Greek myth of star-crossed lovers enduring supernatural torments to be together. But beside the archetype of 'romance', I was surprised how funny this book is. Many of the stories deal with adulterous spouses and cuckolding, and a good deal of slapstick humor. A cruel child who abuses animals is chased and eaten by a bear.There is one other thing which stood out to me, and it's how the Romans were wary of supernatural forces. Not just the gods, which are flighty and malicious, but of witches and magic and other incantations. But even despite the different practices and names for their gods, there is some reverence for the unknown which I suspect we could almost recognize.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-28 21:32

    "What's this we have to put up with now? An ass giving us a philosophy lecture?" Book 10, chapter 33.The genre of the novel sprung full-formed out of Apuleius’s . . . Ass. The Golden Ass is one of those infamous contenders for the title of First Novel along with such masters as Rabelais, Cervantes, Richardson (come on, people! really?) and Madame Murasaki. It is the only surviving complete exemplar of the Roman novel. Give it some credit. It’s all there. Then there is also Petronius’s work whose incomplete status makes me weep. Do we learn something about the novel when its earliest instantiations are comic and satiric? Apuleius is oddly very contemporary. Perhaps this impression is due to my inordinate immersion in the postmodern aesthetic and its strategy of replenishing the possibilities contained within the genre of the novel by returning to original and ancient sources of fictioning. It might be due to my having recently read the Greek stories in John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse. Apuleius’ Ass may have been appended to that short collection and one wouldn’t have known the difference. The strategies of Barth’s fictions are here--the coast-line measurement problem (no end to the possible, infinitely more precise delineation of that shoreline); the relatedly Mandelbrot Set with its equally infinitely recursive possibilities; the arabesque; the frame-tale (why not slip in another fantastical story while we’re having lunch along the road?); the too clever by half first-person narrator; the consciousness of the fact that one is telling a story and the humility of perhaps not always being up to the task (that is, at the very beginning, the novel was always already meta-fictional). In a similar manner, Herodotus felt like a contemporary, having as I had at that time just recently read Infinite Jest. These books make our contemporary realist literature look pretty futzy.Plot? Well, yes, there is a plot. And it’s as self-indulgent as a donkey in a kitchen, munching on the meats and the sauces and the croissants and the chocolates. It’s also simple. In part it’s a road story framing a series of other stories, roughly 18 of these, perhaps, depending on your count. What’s a donkey to do but make the most of those long ears and listen in on his various masters telling this and that story? Overhearing those stories is a hell of a lot more pleasant than undergoing the kind of life in store for a donkey, what with all the whippings and beatings and death threats and threats of castration--well, it’s just awful! Fortunately, Lucius has a memory to outstrip any donkey’s memory and does us the favor of relaying to us all of these marvelous little morsels. Centrally located is the story of Psyche and Cupid, which is marvelously inserted without much ado about justifying its existence. But what else is a novel but an excuse to tell stories? And then add a few more stories in there? And then just a few more? And let me tell you the most wretched story which took place in this very household. . .I read the recent translation from Sarah Ruden who writes a delectably prancing contemporary English. Apuleius’s fancifully dancing Latin is quickly apparent. His skilled linguistic performance makes The Ass a candidate for repeated translation. His little novel is a trove of hapax legomena which are words appearing only a single time within all of the extant Latin corpus. That situation must be either hair-pullingly frustrating for a translator or an opportunity to let the language create itself, giving onto multiple possible renderings. I will give highest praise for the work which Ruden has created and simultaneously insist on Apuleius’s Latin providing a platform for additional Englishings. Of the reading of the Ass there is surely no end.“But perhaps, persnickety reader, you take issue with my narration, objecting in these terms: ‘All right, you little smart-ass, the mill’s walls were your restrictive boundaries. How could you know, as you claim to, what the women did in private?’ Learn, then, how a curious human being in the form of a pack animal found out about every act directed toward the destruction of my friend the baker.” Book 9, chapter 30.

  • Mala
    2019-06-07 13:24

    Picked it up on a whim & what a rollicking ride it turned out to be! It could very well be a tale told by the granny - full of magic & adventure (with all the salacious bits cut out of course, but that would make it a very short tale!).A parable, a road trip, a romance, with diversions, tales within tales, satire, containing tragedies bordering on the grotesque & farcical, bawdy comedy, sexual escapades & deviance of various sorts - ancient literature was so rich, no wonder our literary greats turned to these texts for inspiration!Written in the 2nd century AD, the only complete Latin novel to have survived,The Golden Ass' one singular feature is its contemporaneity—the book feels so modern! Whether it's in the tale or its narration or translation; is hard to say. The meta aspect, moral lawlessness & subsequent spiritual regeneration or metamorphosis are likely to strike a chord - the central placement in the narrative of the story of Cupid and Psyche is specially relevant in this regard as it's a commentary on the ordeal & final deliverance of the hero. It also presents a sharp contrast on the baser & higher forms of love & thus shows the Platonic influence of Apuleinus.This book will appeal to the philosophers ( with its rich grounding in philosophical thoughts & classical myths & legends) & the religious-minded.There is entertainment as well as edification here. Do give it a try.Here's a passage I liked:"Now, you sweepings of humanity, you beasts of the bar, you gowned vultures, do you wonder that nowadays all judges and juries put their verdicts up for sale, when in the very dawn of time, in a suit between gods and men, the course of justice was perverted by corruption and subornation? When a judge chosen by the wisdom of great Jupiter, a rustic shepherd-boy, sold the first judicial decision in history to gratify his lust and destroyed his whole race into the bargain? Yes, and there was that later case between the two famous Greek generals, when the wise and learned Palamedes was falsely accused of treason and condemned to death and Ulysses was preferred to Ajax, greatest and most valiant of warriors. And what about that verdict that was returned by the Athenians, those acute lawgivers with their encyclopedic learning? An old man of godlike understanding, whom the Delphic oracle had pronounced the wisest of all human beings, ensnared by the malignant envy of a vile faction on the charge of corrupting the young, whom he had always curbed and restrained, was put to death by the deadly juice of a poisonous weed, leaving his fellow countrymen bearing the stigma of perpetual shame -- when now, all those years later, distinguished philosophers embrace his doctrines as holy writ and in their devoted pursuit of happiness swear by his name. But I have allowed myself to be carried away by my indignation, and my readers may be objecting -- 'Do we now have to put up with an ass playing the philosopher?' So I will come back to where I digressed in my story." Book 10.

  • Raya راية
    2019-06-07 20:34

    "إن إلهة الحظ تُعرّضنا لأحكام مريبة، بل خاطئة، فينعم السافل بسمعة الرجل الشريف، ويشقى البريء بصيت الرجل الشرير."يُقال إن هذه الرواية هي الأولى في التاريخ البشري، وعلى الرغم من قِدمها إلّا أنها تزخر بآيات الجمال والدهشة والإتقان.تدور أحداث الرواية في مكان ما من الإمبراطورية اليونانية القديمة حول شاب يُدعى أبوليوس لوكيوس الفضولي المغامر المُهتم جدًا بأمور السحر والتحوّلات، الذي قاده فضوله للتحوّل إلى حمار ومن هنا بدأت أحداث الرواية الكثيرة. تحتوي الرواية بالإضافة لقصتها الرئيسية عن تحوّل لوكيوس إلى قصص أخرى تدور أحداثها حول العديد من حوادث المجتمع آنذاك وقصص الآلهة العديدة والتي ينتقد من خلالها لوكيوس –المؤلف- المجتمع والناس في عصره.رواية شديدة الإبداع حقًّا، وأدهشتني بتفاصيلها وروعتها. ...

  • Yann
    2019-06-22 15:46

    Les Métamorphoses ou l'âne d'or est le seul roman latin qui nous soit parvenu de l'antiquité sans avoir été mutilé, comme le Satiricon de Pétrone. Écrit au IIème siècle par Apulée, un auteur du sud de la méditerranée, ce roman narre les tribulations de Lucius, un jeune patricien dévoré par une immense curiosité : avide de plaisirs et de nouveautés, rien ne le rebute tant qu'il s'agit de découvrir quelque sujet d'étonnement. Ses pérégrinations le mènent en Grèce, en Thessalie, terre plus que fameuse pour ses sorcières dont les voyageurs narrent les exploits à leurs acolytes avides de frissons. Il suffit que sa nourrice le mette en garde contre une voisine réputée pratiquer les arts occultes pour que notre héros soit irrésistiblement attiré par la maison de cette dame. Séduisant une des esclaves du logis, il parvient à la convaincre de lui permettre d'assister en secret à une séance de magie ordonnée par la maitresse de sa conquête. Témoins d'une métamorphose en oiseau de la sorcière, et brûlant d'essayer sur lui-même une expérience si palpitante, il gagne à être transformé non pas en animal volant, mais en quadrupède brailleur : un âne ! Cette transformation va être le prétexte d'un voyage de plus de dix livres à travers la Grèce, nous permettant ainsi de rencontrer les milieux les plus divers. Si cette trame permet de tirer quelques traits de satire, en nous peignant toutes sortes de sociétés et de caractères, ce n'est qu'un des moindres aspects du romans qui offre plutôt la part belle au fantastique, à l'horreur, au comique et à l'érotisme. On pourrait croire à une rencontre des mille et une nuits, du Don Quijote de La Mancha, du Décaméron et des mémoires de Casanova, en plus brut et en plus sauvage, tant la variété des sujets, des styles et des sentiments accompagne avec bonheur l'entrelacement des récits, contes, farces, qui se succèdent agréablement les uns aux autres. L'âne héroïque va jusqu'à philosopher, avec parcimonie, et presque en s'excusant pour ne pas ennuyer le lecteur. L'un des contes les plus fameux contenu dans ce roman n'est autre que celui de Cupidon et Psyché, qui ressemble si fort aux contes de Perrault, la mythologie gréco-romaine en plus. C'est une lecture fort distrayante, dont la force des inventions vivifie le charmant pittoresque de cette antiquité perdue, qui renaît sous nos yeux, parée de ses couleurs les plus authentiques.

  • Hend
    2019-06-01 17:33

    a masterpiece ,so interesting and entertaining as a read. for beneath the humorous and the sharp ironies lay a religious and philosophical thoughtful mind. Amusing tales within tales, recollections of characters of various misadventures and misfortunes ....Lucius A wandering spirit Suffering in his heedless traveling over the world in order to work out his salvation. Interesting how magic plays a prominent role in the everyday life.His deep love of life with his eager and curiosity , and mocking personality,And interest on magic transmogrifications,leads him to asks his new mistress to apply one of the forbidden magic spells on him. He aimed to become a bird, flying everywhere...She applies the wrong potion and Lucius turns into an ass.And here begins a series of adventures from which Lucius repeatedly changes masters while still an ass. The masters are invariably cruel, abusing Lucius , He is eternally beaten and degraded, and threatened with death and castration more than once .The novel serves a window into Roman society, one sees every level and division of society, which produces a more accurate view of life for the common man.the problems of misused power ,and wives whom cheat on husbands, and husbands who many times kill their wives' lovers. The importance of religion, especially for Lucius, comes to light upon Lucius rebirth into his human form by the work of the goddess Isis. After this rebirth Lucius seems to find his final and ultimate purpose for his life and realizes how the events that have taken place, leads him to what he was searching for..The myth of Psyche and Cupid is what I admired most in the novelA fascinating and exciting love story that can overcome all barriers and be blind to faults.Psyche’s beauty gives her no pleasure, but separates her from others. Her father, unable to find a husband for her, goes to the oracle for advice. Cupid falls in love with Psyche but conceals his identity from her, visiting her only at night. Fearing he is an evil person, she looks at him, although forbidden to do so. Cupid then abandons her.

  • Bruce
    2019-06-18 14:25

    This novel was written in Latin late in the second century CE. Apuleius was born in north Africa, in Algeria, traveled widely throughout the Mediterranean, including Athens and Rome, and lived most of his life in Carthage. He was a contemporary of Marcus Aurelius, whose Meditations cannot provide a starker contrast with The Golden Ass. This classic work, far different from the works of history, tragic drama, and philosophy that we usually associate with the Classical world, is more in the tradition of the comic dramatists. And it foreshadows later works by Boccaccio, Rabelais, Cervantes, and Chaucer, to name only a few.This is the story of the young man Lucius, insatiably curious, especially about magic. In the course of his bawdy and comic adventures, he tries to turn himself into a bird using magic spells and instead ends up an ass. Many adventures ensue, most resulting in his own misery. In the middle of the text, Apuleius interpolates the story of Cupid and Psyche, a tale that functions as the keystone for the entire work. On one level this is an amusing divertissement, but one wonders if Apuleius had a more serious intent. Is this a commentary on human hubris, on our endless desire to understand and explain the mystery of existence, on our apparent need to control fate, a need that again and again has unforeseen consequences and leads to suffering and disillusionment? And perhaps this is the point of the entire novel, in addition to its comic content and pure entertainment value.From this point on misadventure follows misadventure, with Lucius the Ass repeatedly finding himself in desperate circumstances with brief rescues occurring at critical moments. Some of the episodes are familiar, such as a variant on the Phaedra theme from Greek tragedy; some are also picked up and elaborated by subsequent authors. Able to think but not to speak, Lucius is incapable of appealing to human pity and making his situation known. He is fully aware of his predicament and does not pretend that everything will turn out well (unlike Candide and Pangloss in Voltaire’s novel), and he perpetually is unable to find and eat roses, the only means by which to reverse the spell he is under. The reader with a modicum of familiarity with Classical mythology and with a knowledge of Ovid’s writings will find his enjoyment of this present work much enhanced, since Apuleius abundantly sprinkles classical allusions throughout his text. Indeed, the dénouement involves Lucius’ appeal to “the goddess” in whatever form she might take to restore his lost humanity. The Queen of the Gods who answers his prayers is the synthesis of all the goddesses, Isis, revealing the extent to which Egypt’s influence had permeated the Mediterranean region by the time this work was written. Of course, religious syncretism was still much at work in this generally polytheistic culture, despite the recent appearance of Christianity. At any rate, the final book of Apuleius’ work describes the cultic rituals related to the worship of Isis and describes how Lucius ultimately becomes one of her priests. It must be admitted that this ending comes with a somewhat awkward shift in tone and a sense of anticlimax.This is an interesting and entertaining work, easy to read and filled with adventure and humor. It provides insight into the culture and society of its time and place, and it is also of interest in terms of its theme and genre that link classical themes and writings to subsequent literature.

  • Anwaar
    2019-06-03 20:28

    من مقتنيات مهرجان الكتب المستعملة الشكر موصول للغريب الذي ذيله بقلمه، الغريب الذي اشتراه منذ سبع سنوات، وكتب على مقدمته "تحفة " ,بعد أن علّم بداخله بخطوط مستقيمة _تحرج خطوطي المرتبكة_ ارفقها بعلامة تعجب مرسومة بإتقان جميل . الغريب الذي حفظ الكتاب في حالة جيدة ثم منحه .. لينتهى لدي :)

  • Teresa
    2019-06-15 21:29

    4.5In the opening paragraph, Apuleius' narrator promises us in this "Milesian discourse" (a romantic adventure tale that is usually bawdy) to "string together ... a series of different stories and to charm your ears ... with amusing gossip", to provide us with a "Grecian tale" written in Latin. We are given all this and more with this precursor to the picaresque novel. The narrator apologizes if he should "stumble and give offence" as an "unpractised speaker of the foreign idiom of the Roman courts", but considering what follows, the confident writer is likely being disingenuous, as his sentences are flowing, which is not typical of Latin, as the translator E.J. Kenney explains in his introduction.The narrator is being disingenuous as well in his setting this out as a mere romp. As a human, the main character Lucius indulges in acts of moral turpitude. As an ass, he is a witness to the same kind of salacious behavior -- and worse -- from others; and while he doesn't see in the moment the relationship of all this to himself, the reader will.Not too far into the book, a detailed story of Cupid and Psyche is told, the reason for this, again, becoming obvious to the reader. The telling is gorgeous and immediately reminded me of the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. In the same vein of there being 'nothing new under the sun', I was reminded while reading this book of a woman I recently heard lamenting of a child killing a younger child: "What is this world coming to?" I'm of the opinion that people who believe our time is worse than any other time period have not read widely enough. Here are more than enough ripped-from-the headline type of events, such as parents killing their children, to cause me to think of her.The translator made a couple of choices that I felt were jarring, e.g., calling the local prison the Clink, though his end-notes explained his reasoning well enough. The translation is lively and his introduction is excellent, though, as a first-time reader of any work, I always save the introduction for last.

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2019-06-17 14:36

    original read: 2006As odd and funny today as when it was written.

  • Penny
    2019-06-20 18:30

    WARNING: This rating is based on the opinion and feelings of a teenager ; )I don't remember exactly when I read this book. I do remember however, that it was a school assignment and that I might have been 13 or 14 years old. My judgment back then was vastly different from my judgment now and it wasn't a book I chose to read voluntarily but was forced to read it instead, which worsened things since I tended to hate every book my teachers wanted me to read on principle alone. Anyways, since I haven’t read it again, all I have as a guide are my thoughts about The Golden Ass from back then, so I do want to be loyal to my young feelings and just say what I thought of the book when I was still blooming:Generally speaking I found it dragging. OK, fine! I thought it was incredibly boring! I was a kid reading a huge classic what did you expect!(I know is not huge at all, it just felt that way to me :P) But! There was a part of the book that utterly enthralled me and I absolutely loved; it was where the myth about Cupid and Psyche was told. It was sooo beautiful that that’s when I got interested in Greek mythology for the very first time.So I started reading The Golden Ass and I was like:Then Cupid’s and Psyche’s myth started and I was like:The myth continued and I was like:Then the myth ended and we went back to the main storyline, and so until the very end I was like:The End.

  • Hend
    2019-06-12 20:33

    رواية كلاسيكية رائعة وشيقة ممتعة الى اقصى درجة تشعر و كانك تقرا الف ليلة وليلة اليونانيةهو عمل رائع , استثنائى ,آسر , تحفة فنية مسلي في أي وقت ولأي ثقافة فهو كتاب ترفيهى ويقدم نقد لاذع للمجتمع فى ذلك الوقتاجمل ما فى الرواية هو قصة حب كيوبيد وبسايكي, أحب كيوبيد بسايكي الفتاة الجميلة حبا شديد ولكنه لم يكن يريد أن تعلم هي بحبه لها بسبب خوفه من غضب أمه فأمر والدها أن يذهب بها إلى جزيرة بعيدةو على اعلى صخرةعالية فى الجبل ، يتخلى عن ابنته و اخبره أنها هناك ستتزوج ,و قال لها أنها ستتزوج شخص لن يظهر لها إلا في المساء وأنها لن ترى منه غير طيفه وحذرها من محاولة رؤية زوجها ولكن فضولها دفعها لمعرفة من هذا الذي تزوجته

  • سلطان
    2019-06-06 18:41

    يكفي أنها الأقدم، يكفي تميز فكرتها منذ البداية، يكفي جنون كاتبها

  • Pierce
    2019-06-03 13:26

    This is the only Roman novel to survive in its entirety, and I for one wish more of them had made it. The Golden Ass is one of very few books I've read more than once.Lucius (a character very loosely based on the author) is a young citizen growing up in a Roman provincial town in Greece. After completing his studies in Rome, Lucius decides to go on a trip through Boiotea, the region around Thebes. (Thebes was, in the ancient world, a literary punching bag that became almost synonymous with nefarious magic and divine mischief, having been the setting for most of the weirder classical Athenian tragedies, such as the exploits of incestuous Oedipus and his messed up kids). Apuleius provides a uniquely Roman perspective on what had been traditionally Greek themes of divine retribution and magic by saturating his tale with the kind of X-rated sexual, fecal, and slapstick nonsense that Roman Senators and American teens seem to love. "Lucius'" sexual appetite and relentless curiosity find a way to change the young Roman citizen into a ne'er-do-well donkey whose travels become significantly more fun because of his new perspective. The tone of The Golden Ass is much like a report of findings and observations during an exploratory journey to a new world, but the majority of the book is composed of vignettes telling the stories of countless people meeting there demise under hilarious circumstances. The book can be loosely labeled a comedy of errors, but more accurately features several comedies with myriad errors that in some way affect a hapless donkey. How could that not be fun?The distribution of fun tales is very similar to but less structured than in the later Canterbury Tales. The difference is perhaps a product of TGA having be written in prose, but also because Apuleius performs the doubly-difficult duty of developing (whoa...alliterative much?) small tales capable of standing on their own while also starting, developing, and completing a much larger story and still having everything work together seamlessly. Maybe Chaucer felt he had to be fancy and write a poem instead because his pretense for sticking all his tales together was, when you think about it, kind of lame. ("I'm going to church. You are, too? Yay! Let's tell stories.")TGA is also a valuable first-hand (well, sort of first-hand) account of Imperial Roman provincial life. Close examinations will reveal a complicated system of Roman magistracies and gruff centurions interwoven with a much older and highly religious Greek culture that still features (ostensibly) "Athenian" trial courts and what seem to be a few localized monarchies. The author and his homonymic narrator often rely on common cultural features such as religion to provide a setting and explanations, and to move a very ambitious story along. However, Apuleius' Greco-Roman theology becomes confusing at times (wait...Cupid is Venus' lover? ew.) and for some reason Egyptian deities play a much more prominent role in Apuleius' story, and Apuleius presents them as being greater than and/or composed of all their Olympian counterparts. Yeah...I dunno.Disclaimer: The Golden Ass is not a children's book. I don't think the MPAA has a rating high enough for some of this stuff. But, hey, the classical world wasn't as easily offended by vulgarity. And, since we still read Aristophanes and Catullus today, clearly we aren't either, so just calm down and allow yourself to enjoy old literature. This book is worth the time.

  • L S
    2019-06-22 17:33

    Apuleius is eerily familiar to a modern eye. His seamless blending of suggested mystery cults, Platonic references, and frolicking humor and sexuality make The Golden Ass an entertainment worth repeating. Whether or not the reader is intent on making a sustained foray into the issue of book 11 and treats the book as a religio-philosophical piece or reads it just as a romp through Latin humor and lustiness bears little weight on the ultimate pleasure of the novel as a good read.Not so much the Florida, I'm afraid.

  • Andrew
    2019-06-20 18:29

    The novel emerges from the muck for the first time, albeit still clinging in many ways to the conventions of ancient Roman poetry, folklore, and theater. More mythology than anything else, The Golden Ass tells the story of a dude who gets utterly fucked time and time again, and-- in true mythic fashion-- is only delivered by the mercy of the gods. We also get the story of Cupid and Psyche, just for the fuck of it, in the middle. Necessary reading for anyone interested in how fiction as we know it came to be.

  • umberto
    2019-06-09 13:32

    Reading "The Golden Ass" translated from Latin by Robert Graves is all right if you don't mind various episodes related to 'the God' or 'the Goddess', for instance, as mentioned in the last chapter. For instance:"At length the Goddess advised me to return home. ... (p. 288)" or... "The God added that under his divine care this man would achieve fame in a learned profession and that Asinius himself would be richly rewarded for his trouble." (p. 290)It seems vague to me since, I think, it's written in the ancient times some 1800 years ago when there were no religions like we have nowadays. I can't help wondering how the hero conceive him/her, if it's a kind of revelation, whether they appear in his dreams, etc.The good point is that his fine translation is readable and enjoyable, therefore, we need to compare this version to some new ones published recently. I hope to find a few copies to read as soon as I can. Finally, I would like to invite my Goodreads friends to share your ideas on the newly-translated ones, thanks.

  • Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
    2019-06-17 18:46

    Bestiality. Kidnapping. Mugging. Ye olde carjacking. Burglary. Assault. Murder. Female paedophiles. Incest. Male rape. Adultery. Animal cruelty. Serial killers in the making. Poisonings. Homosexual priest gangbangs. Shapeshifting. Gods and goddesses. The Seven Deadly Sins. Evil mother-in-laws. Drama. Comedy. Tragedy. Adventure. Romance. Horror. Urban legends. Stories within stories. Inspiration for that Hannibal episode where a person was sewn into a dead horse's belly.What doesn't The Golden Ass have?At this point I should probably be comparing The Golden Ass to the brutality shown in Game of Thrones, only this is much less about political maneuvering and Machiavellian plotting, but still, they're both not for the faint of heart. The Golden Ass is one of the first, or the first, human-to-animal transformation stories that run in the same vein as Disney's Brother Bear and The Emperor's New Groove.With all of the beatings Lucius received as a helpless slave in donkey form, carrying loads too heavy for his four-legged form, having his fur set on fire, never allowed rest when he most needs it and forced to continue on or have his feet tied together to be hurled off a cliff - because that's what they did to lame animals - I feel like I need to donate to The Donkey Sanctuary.For a 1,900 year old novel, you realise that nothing's really changed in that time, socially speaking.Sex scenes are surprisingly good. There's no hesitation. No repressed sexuality. No self-esteem issues. And all manner of positions are attempted. 'The only redeeming feature of this catastrophic transformation was that my natural endowment had grown too.'Typical man. Turned into a donkey and he's impressed with the increase in the size of his manhood.Yelling 'FIRE!' when being burgled and in need of help:'Then, leaving him there fatally crucified, he climbed to the roof of his hovel and shouted at the top of his voice to summon the neighbours; calling each one by name he gave out that his house had suddenly caught fire, reminding them that this involved the safety of them all. So everybody, frightened by the danger next door, came running in alarm to help.'Well, it's been proven. Video games don't make kids violent, a lack of video games does. Imagination is a dangerous thing. So many inventive ways to torture and kill, to humiliate and degrade. The devil makes work for idle hands, as they say. So parents, quickly stuff a Playstation controller into your little one's hands before they turn their minds to dastardly deeds.Certain aspects of The Golden Ass really do get you thinking about contentious issues. How do you define bestiality? Lucius is a man turned into a donkey. When it's proposed that he'll be allowed his choice of horses with which to procreate - is that bestiality? Is Lucius's fornication as an ass with a human woman bestiality? Does the fact that he has a human mind inside an animal body change the status of the sexual relationship?Surprisingly, Apuleius doesn't deliver the stereotype paedophile. A lusty married woman sets her sights on her stepson. Oddly this is labelled incest though there appears to be no blood connection. And it's the same with rape. A cuckolded husband rapes his adulterous wife's toyboy lover as punishment. Perhaps male paedophiles and rapists were stereotypes even 2,000 years ago.The feminist in me feels compelled to point out the unbalanced female representation. Many women were demonised as witches who pee on men's faces, who steal body parts from the dead, who are complicit in evil deeds, who are nymphomaniacs, adulterers, paedophiles, vain and jealous grudge-holding goddesses. Psyche (myth), Photis (Lucius's servant lover) and Byrrhena (Lucius's aunt) are the only exceptions. The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe BouguereauDuring Lucius's journey, the stories he hears are mostly told at the dinner table, around the fire, as a distraction on a long journey, or as a comfort to distraught kidnap victims. Understandably storytelling was their main form of entertainment. Well, that and gossip, which was free or you provided a meal for the teller. I really enjoyed the mythical telling of Psyche and Cupid.Each of the 11 'books' are self-contained chapters of about 20 pages with a spoiler-y summary of what's to come at the beginning, so it was easy to dip in and out. I wasn't particularly happy with the ending, in fact I skimmed and skipped around at that point. I can understand Lucius's gratefulness at the chance to become human again, and I'm aware of that ancient tradition of 'a life saved, is a life owed' [see Azeem of 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves], but I have an issue with blind faith. Lucius walks away from his previous life to devote himself and his future to worshipping his rescuer. That's just weird, from my 21st century non-religious perspective.The translation very much played a part in my enjoyment of this ancient novel. I carefully researched which was right for me. I chose the Kenney edition as it seemed the least stilted of those available, and I'm glad I made that choice. I never thought I'd enjoy a 2,000 year old novel, but I did. And you might, too.My funny mishap in trying to find a copy of The Golden Ass.*Read as part of The Dead Writer's Society's Around the World challenge.

  • Meg
    2019-06-15 19:50

    This is one of my favorite books. I read it for a class on the origins of the cult of the Virgin Mary. As a graduate student in the History of Art, I was using this class to better understand the early Christian representations of the Virgin (pre 8th century). The professor had placed it on reserve so I had to read it within the library. I never expected to be able to read it in one sitting, but once I started the book I just could not put it down. I had to move to a corner where there were no students because I could not help myself from laughing out loud quite frequently. No one prepared me for this delightful, sideways walk on the wild side of the Roman Mediterranean in the 2nd century.Apuleius was a devout worshiper of Isis. For the class, we were instructed to pay close attention to the attributes of Isis, since Mary would eventually take on these same abilities. After all, Isis was the Egyptian mother goddess whose son, Horus, died and was reborn (only his birth/death cycle happens every year -- corresponding with the seasonal flooding of the Nile, if I remember correctly), so it was only logical that Mary would become her in many ways. Jesus took on the many attributes associated with Mithra (his feast day being Dec. 25th for one), as well as Horus, Osiris and even a little bit from Apollo too. Mary's cult developed much later (somewhere in the 6th century). As Christianity spread across the globe, it was famous for learning about the local deities, and if they were not able to directly convert the population, the priests would in effect say "that god you are worshiping is just like saint so & so, and if you pray to him to intercede for you to Jesus & God the Father, your prayers will be answered". This type of absorption/conversion by taking a local deity and transforming it into a saint is responsible for why it is very difficult to trace the original roots of some of the early saints to an actual person. Yes, there were actual people who were martyrs, and some of them became saints that developed into cults, but there is a large group of early saints who have conflicting origin stories, and therefor many religious historians doubt they were actual people but were created to absorb, and transform the local deities into a saint to Christianize the area.At the time this book was written, the Isis cult was one of the major faiths, if not the most popular throughout the Mediterranean. In fact, as an art historian, The familiar mother & infant poses of Mary and Jesus that were so popular during the Middle Ages, were direct copies of the poses used to depict Isis and Horus together.The professor also told us to notice Apuleius' treatment of the other popular religions of his day, but especially the degrading way he portrayed a female worshiper of Jesus Christ.Apuleius' raunchy romp is meant to be absurd, but also shows great truths of the Roman world, as well as prejudices and stereotypes from the perspective of a worshiper of Isis. This is why the ending is not out of joint from the rest of the book -- Lucius has struggled with his faith, has in essence gone through the trials of Job, and has prevailed and been rewarded.As others have mentioned, this book was known throughout the centuries to the well educated and clearly influenced The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, some of Shakespeare's Comedies, and even Dante's Divine Comedy. The Golden Ass needs to return to the required reading list for a complete education. I believe that a critical reading of this book cannot help but expand the reader's mind and general world perspective; and because of all the farcical sexual encounters, the process will be a fun one. Sadly, this country's extreme conservative temperature will not tolerate returning this book to its rightful place of required reading until perhaps at the University level (and some would not even have it there, probably wishing to burn it -- especially for the way Apuleius portrays the Christian woman).

  • César Lasso
    2019-06-10 13:44

    3,5 *Delicioso retrato picaresco de la sociedad grecorromana, hace casi dos mil años. Una de las primeras novelas de la Historia de la Humanidad. Novela en sentido moderno.Cuando la leí, allá por mi segundo año en la Universidad, disfruté de lo lindo. Sólo que al final, después de tanta aventura mundana narrada con verdadera gracia, el autor-protagonista parece tener un arrebato de moral. ¡Qué decepción en el momento en que lo leí!De todos modos, resulta curioso que esa moral fuera enfocada desde el punto de vista de una de esas diversas religiones de la espiritualidad y el amor que proliferaron en los dos primeros siglos del Imperio romano instaurado por el césar Octavio Augusto. Todo olía, desde mi anticlericalismo de aquel entonces, a otra pequeña secta de aquellos tiempos que, ya desde el siglo IV, llegaría a convertirse en una de las más importantes religiones de la Humanidad, y a cuya sombra nos hemos criado muchos lectores de Goodreads.

  • Hend Aboul Gada
    2019-06-15 19:46

    رواية جميلة جداااااااااطول ما انا بقراها وفكرة انهاتعتبر اول رواية فى دماغىعجبنى الانتقال من قصة لاخرىتشبه الف ليلة وليلة فى حاجات كتيرالعبيد والاسياد والخيانة الزوجيةوحب العفاريت والالهة للانس بجد نحفةيعيبها بسس الوصف الطويل شويةبس فكرتها جميلة وبتبين ميل الانسان الفطرى للدينوانه هو سبب خلاصه من كل الالاممن اجمل المقولات:لست فضوليا وانما اود معرفة ما تخوضان فيه كله او اكبر قدر منههب هاتين العينين المغمضتين الى الابد نعمة الشمس برهة

  • Ruba AlTurki
    2019-05-31 19:44

    أول رواية في تاريخ الإنسانية. رائعة وممتعة بحق لا أستطيع وصف المتعة و الانسجام الذي تجده عند قراءة النص، فلم يقتصر الوضع على قصص ممتعة وحبكة متفردة بل بأسلوب غاية في الإمتاع ..شبيه بحكايا ألف ليلة وليلة .. بعض القصص الواردة تستحق أن يفرد لها رواية كاملة منفصلة لشد ماكانت مثيرة وممتعة ومحققة لشروط الرواية التي يعجز عن تحقيقها كثير من كتاب اليوم..سيكون هذا الكتاب ضمن قائمة الكتب التي ساقتنيها واعاود قرائتها يوما ما أن شاء الله.

  • Kay An P.
    2019-06-04 14:32

    It's astonishing, truly, how a novel written in the second century AD can be so foul-mouthed, lewd, sexually explicit, violent, and crazy. Makes one bitterly regret christianity's cultural downturn even more. Loved its outspokenness about conventionally delicate themes.

  • Carole-Ann
    2019-06-02 19:44

    I have a 1950 Penguin edition of this, inherited from parents, but haven't a clue as to when I first read it :) Probably late 50's when I was into all that Greek Myth and everything :)

  • mai ahmd
    2019-06-05 14:44

    ...كما يقال هذه الرواية هي أول رواية مكتملة في تاريخ الإنسانية وهي نفسها التي قبعت في مكتبتي لأعوام طوال ربما لولا أنه تم اختيارها مادة للقراءة في نادي الرواية على تويتر لما خطرت في بالي لعل المشكلة كانت في العنوان أو ربما هو الغلاف وكونها أول رواية توقعت صعوبة كبيرة في إجتيازها وفي عملية هضمها كل ذلك صرفني بعيدا عنها توقعت إنها لن ترضيني ! لكن الحمد لله إن كل توقعاتي خابت وجاءت الرواية في منتهى السلاسة والمتعة هذه الرواية مسلية من الدرجة الأولى كما قلت إنها الرواية التي تصلح للقراءة قبل النوم تنسى كل همومك وتضحك من مصير بطل الرواية تذكرت المثل الذي يقول الفضول قتل القطة !وصاحبنا لم يقتله الفضول إنما حوله لحمار غير إن هذا الحمار يختلف عن بقية الحمير فمازال يفكر بعقل إنسان لكن لم يمنعه ذلك من تلقى الصفعة تلو الأخرى لكي ينجو بحياته وهكذا في أسلوب ملىء بالسخرية والطرافة والنقد الذي طال حتى الآلهة يتعرض بطلنا إلى الكثير من المغامرات والكثير من الحكايات المسلية التي تنتقل من فم لآخر تسرد كحكايات ألف ليلة وكقصص علي بابا أو دليلة والزيبق هذه الحكايات المليئة بالسحر والعواطف النبيلة ، البطولات والخيانات حكايات المجرمين وحكايات الآلهة والتي لا تخلو من فلسفة تنتهي حين يعود الحمار إلى هيئته الأصلية برعاية الإلهه إيزيس وأسرارها المقدسةمن اللافت للنظر أن يعتقد أهل ذلك الزمان على الرغم من تعدد آلهتهم بأن الدين هو المخلّص ويأتي الدعاء من قلب مخلص كحل لقضية ذلك التحول الذي جاء نتيجة للفضول الإنساني المبالغ به كما إنني لاحظت ما تفعله الأحلام في تلك الحكايات فهي تأتي لتفك لغز جريمة أو تخبر خبرا عن خيانة ويبدو أن هناك إيمان شديدا بالمادة التي تأتي من الحلم .. لم ينتصر دائما الخير في قصص لوكيوس على لسان تلك الشخصيات الحكائية لكن مع ذلك لا يترك الشرير حتى ينال جزاءه كان وقتا ممتعا ونلتُ حظي من التسلية والحق إنني وددت لو لم ينتهي هذا الكتاب لشدة ما أمتعتني تلك الحكايات

  • Erik Graff
    2019-06-17 18:41

    Spending every summer of childhood in a cabin in the woods without television, I became quite a reader early on. Much of what I read was determined by what I could find--mostly books owned by my paternal grandmother, Lajla.The Golden Ass was a desperate choice. It had the advantage of not being a detective or a mystery novel, her apparent favorites. It wasn't an abridged book either--she had quite the collection of those. I had some interest in ancient history, if only from the movies and the gross distortions which passed for ancient history in elementary school. Besides, it looked to be funny--a man turned into an ass--isn't that a dirty word?I took it down to my bedroom, opening it in warm, late afternoon sunshine, and read the introduction by Robert Graves. In that he attacks other translator's, showing how his work is better, in part because he does not censor the spicy bits. He gives an example of such a bit. My penis hardens. This has never happened before. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Surely, it is shameful, but it's nice too. I'm committed to reading a second century Roman novel and finish it in record time.Years later, I wonder what was so exciting. The passage in question was a brief one about a slave girl in loose shift stirring a pot. The novel, while funny and sometimes bawdy, is actually a religious confession, like Saint Augustine except dedicated to Isis and her mysteries. Unlock that and you'll understand something about how different ancient religion was from what we think of as religion.