In the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, also known as The Golden Ass, we have the only Latin novel which survives entire. It is truly enchanting: a delightful romance combining realism and magic. The hero, Lucius, eager to experience the sensations of a bird, resorts to witchcraft but by an unfortunate pharmaceutical error finds himself transformed into an ass. He knows he can In the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, also known as The Golden Ass, we have the only Latin novel which survives entire. It is truly enchanting: a delightful romance combining realism and magic. The hero, Lucius, eager to experience the sensations of a bird, resorts to witchcraft but by an unfortunate pharmaceutical error finds himself transformed into an ass. He knows he can revert to his own body by eating rose-petals, but these prove singularly elusive; and the bulk of the work describes his adventures as an animal. He also retails many stories that he overheard, the most charming being that of Cupid and Psyche (beginning, in true fairy-tale fashion, 'Erant in quadam civitate rex et regina'). Some of the stories are as indecent as they are witty, and two in the ninth book were deemed by Boccaccio worthy of inclusion in the Decameron. At last the goddess Isis takes pity on Lucius. In a surprising denouement, he is restored to human shape and, now spiritually regenerated, is initiated into her mysteries. The author's baroque Latin style nicely matches his fantastic narrative and is guaranteed to hold a reader's attention from beginning to end. J. Arthur Hanson was at the time of his death in 1985 Giger Professor of Latin at Princeton University. His publications include Roman Theater-Temples. The Loeb Classical Library edition of Apuleius is in two volumes....
|Title||:||Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Vol 1: Books 1-6|
|Number of Pages||:||371 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Vol 1: Books 1-6 Reviews
The myth of Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius, is endlessly fascinating.-SR
I found this book an intermittently entertaining and impressive one, and its final chapter is a stunning one.I'm no scholar of the various translations of this 2nd-century novel, but this one was done in the 15th century. The language is, as you would expect, rather dated. After reading for a bit, though, a reader adapts to it and might even enjoy it.The basic story is that of the narrator, Lucius, who is turned into an ass through witchcraft. He ends up chaging hands between various owners, most of whom abuse him horribly. Through these various trials, Lucius overhears or bears witness to a wide range of tales. Some are comical; others tragic; and others are horrifying. The entire things reads a bit like a forebear of the Arabian Nights, being a single story tying together many other, completely unconnected, tales. By far the best story is that of Cupid and Psyche, which alone is worth a reader's time. Though involving the typical elements of love, wrath, and vengeace of Greek gods, the pathos with which it is told is captivating. The other tales are a mixed bag, but several are entertaining in their ways, if not especially memorable. They do, however, set up the phenomenal final chapter, which amounts to a solemn religious epiphany by the protagonist. With vibrant prose, Apuleius describes Lucius's embracing of worship to the gods Isis and Osiris. I'm not sure, but it may actually be an extremely early inspiration to later works liek Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or Camus's "The Outsider/The Stranger." I may not have loved every page of this book, but it's a good read with a few transcendant sections. It's hard to ask much more of a novel.
Originally, I obtained a copy to read the Cupid and Psyche myth in its entirety, I fell in love with the book. It you are a lover of myth and understand all the tidbits of ancient religious thought this is an absolute joy to read!!!
(Haven't read the whole thing.)
Actually just read a portion - the story of Cupid and Psyche in books IV-VI.
Some tout this as a "great" book. I find it gross. Lewd, nude and crude with a primitive (if any) morality, I can't figure why anyone would consider it "great" other than a great disappointment.
Quare Latino studere? Libros tales legere!
Charming shaggy dog story told in an ornate style. Regrettably drags when it breaks into plot.