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Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Long a master of the crafts of Homeric translation and of rhapsodic performance, Stanley Lombardo now turns to the quintessential epic of Roman antiquity, a work with deep roots in the Homeric tradition. With characteristic virtuosity, he delivers a rendering of the Aeneid as compelling as his groundbreaking translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey, yet one that--like the Aeneid itself--conveys a unique epic sensibility and a haunting artistry all its own.
W. R. Johnson's Introduction makes an ideal companion to the translation, offering brilliant insight into the legend of Aeneas; the contrasting roles of the gods, fate, and fortune in Homeric versus Virgilian epic; the character of Aeneas as both wanderer and warrior; Aeneas' relationship to both his enemy Turnus and his lover Dido; the theme of doomed youths in the epic; and Virgil's relationship to the brutal history of Rome that he memorializes in his poem.
A map, a Glossary of Names, a Translator's Preface, and Suggestions for Further Reading are also included.
W. R. Johnson confronts the inherent (and much commented upon) melancholy of Vergils poem, and gives us an interpretation as brilliant and as it is original. He questions accepted readings that emphasize Vergils faith in empire. Instead, he points to Vergils multiple allegories, his lyrical and enigmatic style, and the ways in which Vergil teaches us about darkness. Using close readings and comparisons to Homer, Johnson reveals how wise and moving the Aeneid can be. No poet,” he writes, not Dante himself, has imagined the disintegration of justice and truth with such precision and power, and for this reason no poet, not Homer himself, has shown how precious and how fragile are the formation and equilibrium of mans integrity of spirit.”
One of the best books ever written on one of humanitys greatest epics, W. R. Johnsons classic study of Vergils Aeneid challenges centuries of received wisdom. Johnson rejects the political and historical reading of the epic as a record of the glorious prehistory of Rome and instead foregrounds Vergils enigmatic style and questioning of the heroic myths.
With an approach to the text that is both grounded in scholarship and intensely personal, and in a style both rhetorically elegant and passionate, Johnson offers readings of specific passages that are nuanced and suggestive as he focuses on the somber and nourishing fictions” in Vergils poem. A timeless work of scholarship, Darkness Visible will enthrall classicists as well as students and scholars of the history of criticism—specifically the way in which politics influence modern readings of the classics—and of poetry and literature.
About the Author
Stanley Lombardo is Professor of Classics, University of Kansas. His previous translations include Homer's Iliad (1997, Hackett) and Odyssey (2000, Hackett), Hesiod's Works and Days and Theogony (1993, Hackett), and Sappho, Poems and Fragments (2002, Hackett), a PEN Center USA 2003 Literary Award Finalist.
W. R. Johnson is Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, University of Chicago. His previously published works include Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil's Aeneid (1976, University of California Press), Horace and the Dialectic of Freedom (1993, Cornell University Press), The Idea of Lyric (1982, University of California Press), Lucretius and the Modern World (2000, Duckworth), and Momentary Monsters: Lucan and His Heroes (1987, Cornell University Press).
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Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek and Roman