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Other titles in the New York Review Books Classics series:
Poets in a Landscape (New York Review Books Classics)by Gilbert Highet
Synopses & Reviews
Gilbert Highet was a legendary teacher at Columbia University, admired both for his scholarship and his charisma as a lecturer. Poets in a Landscape is his delightful exploration of Latin literature and the Italian landscape. As Highet writes in his introduction, “I have endeavored to recall some of the greatest Roman poets by describing the places were they lived, recreating their characters and evoking the essence of their work.” The poets are Catullus, Vergil, Propertius, Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and Juvenal. Highet brings them life, setting them in their historical context and locating them in the physical world, while also offering crisp modern translations of the poets finest work. The result is an entirely sui generis amalgam of travel writing, biography, criticism, and pure poetry—altogether an unexcelled introduction to the world of the classics.
Book News Annotation:
Scottish-born American classicist and public intellectual Highet (1906-78) here displays the verbal style that made his lectures, radio programs, and books so popular among the general public. He evokes the beauty of the different parts of Italy that produced seven of Rome's greatest poets: Catullus, Vergil, Propertius, Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and Juvenal. He combines excerpts from poems with biographical, geographical, and historical information in a manner that illuminates both the poet and the place. A final chapter looks at Rome herself, the urban magnet that drew them all to a greater or lesser degree. The 1957 edition was published by Hamish Hamilton, London. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Gilbert Highet (1906–1978) was a professor at both Oxford and Columbia. In the 1950s he hosted a radio program called People, Places and Books, which was carried by more than two hundred radio stations, and was a judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club. He served as a literary critic for Harper’s Magazine during the early 1950s and was the author of more than a dozen books, including works on literary history, essays, poems, and criticism.
Michael C. J. Putnam is the W. Duncan MacMillan II Professor of Classics at Brown University. His most recent book is The Virgilian Tradition, co-edited with Jan Ziolkowski.
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