Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ovid - Metamorphoses

"I hate ovid and his fucking metamorphoses..."

"if i had a time machine i'd go back in time and give ovid a smack"

"i HATE Ovid ... i just want to jump back in time, slap him and tell him to grow up lol :)"

"I HATE Ovid's Pyrammus and Thisbe - how can you call that poetry?!"

"How beautiful can a book be with so much rape and murder?"

"Time spent on the 'to read' shelf: Around 4 or 5 years.

Days spent reading it: 2 weeks.

Why I read it: I had been reading a number of books that referred to Greek mythology, and specifically stories told by Ovid. So I thought I might appreciate this book.

Brief review: Metamorphoses was certainly a difficult book to read. Not that I was looking for easy, but it was challenging to pay attention to this epic poem. I found the difficulties in a few areas:

1. The narrator changed often. I almost never knew who specifically was telling the story, and sometimes I did not even know what story I was reading. It was so hard to follow. And sometimes there would be a story within a story, and then you'd come out of the one story, back to the 'main story' and then eventually leave that story as well.
3. The use of the gods names in Roman, not Greek. I realize Ovid was writing as a Roman, but I mostly know my Greek mythology with Greek names. I found it hard to equate the Roman name with the Greek name. Add to that the difficultly of using multiple names or odd descriptors for someone and the task of figuring out who is being talked about can be rough (son of _____ was very common, actually there's an appendix in the front of the book for all of these, it's a few pages long).

4. The concept of love in this poem is ridiculous. Love at first sight is not so much love as lust. And that's about the extent of how love is portrayed in this work. I wish Ovid had a better understanding of what true love really was. The love he describes is selfish, greedy, and superficial. Throughout this poem people do crazy things because they saw someone beautiful. Well get over it, and stop being crazy!
Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!"

"Sheesh...the Ancient Greeks were nuts."

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