The Love Poems
Ovid, A. D. Melville, E. J. Kenney
Ovid’s love-poetry was typically original and innovative. His witty analysis in the Amores (Loves) of the elegiac relationship develops with relentless irony its essential paradox – love as simultaneously fulfilling and destructive – to its logical conclusion: definitive disestablishment of the poet-lover’s role as presented by Gallus, Tibullus, and Propertius. In its place he went on to offer in the Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) and Remedia Amoris (Cures for Love) an
equally brilliant presentation of an alternative and more realistic conception of love as a game at which both sexes can play without getting hurt – providing they stick to Ovid’s rules. Under the surface of Ovid’s wit there runs an undercurrent of serious meaning: the theme of the poet’s complete
control of his medium and his art and a proud consciousness of his achievements. His claim to be `the Virgil of elegy’ is arrestingly justified in these extraordinarily accomplished poems.
Alan Melville’s accomplished translations match the sophisticated elegance of Ovid’s Latin. Their witty modern idiom is highly entertaining. In this volume he has included the brilliant version of the Art of Love by Moore, published more than fifty years ago and still unequalled; the small revisions he has made will enhance the reader’s admiration for Moore’s achievement.
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A 'a new, faithful yet engaging translation ... Ovid was a brilliant, innovative, elegant, witty and ironic poet, who has entertained readers for thousands of years and this new version will give pleasure to many more.' Day by Day 'Melville has worked a miracle ... It is difficult to imagine that there will ever be an English version so faithful to the Latin, and written in such sound and engaging verse.' David West, The Times 'Melville has worked a miracle. It is difficult to imagine that there will ever be an English version so faithful to the Latin, and written in such sound and engaging verse.' The Times.
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