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  #11  
Old 02-10-2018, 03:36 PM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
A friend of mine argued in his Ph.D. thesis that Ovid may never have left Rome. He may have made the exile up:

Banished Voices: Readings in Ovid's Exile Poetry - Gareth D. Williams ...
https://books.google.com › History › Ancient › General

Cheers,
John
Harvard professor, Richard Thomas uses this theory rather well in his recent book, Why Dylan Matters, where he shows that Dylan's album, Modern Times, is riddled with allusions to Ovid. Tricksters both.

I do like Ovid. I teach Classical Studies in Denmark, and I am very lucky to have the superb modern translation of Metamorphoses by Otto Steen Due in accessible yet poetical hexameter.

Duncan
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:58 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hmm. I have the Rolfe Humphries rendering, which didn't really sing for me. I checked on Amazon and they don't know the Otto Steen Due.
Nice to know the "never left Rome" thesis has got some traction.

Cheers,
John
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2018, 04:02 PM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Well, it is in Danish, which is not yet Amazon"s domain.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2018, 04:27 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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:-)
My Danish is pretty limited: tryk and traek.
I found a monograph of his on Ovid there though.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2018, 04:35 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Originally Posted by Aaron Poochigian View Post
Ovid is more influential because he is easier. Those of us with better Latin, with more discerning, with--dare I say?--better taste recognize that Propertius' Elegies beat Ovid's in every category.

Here is a little equation entitled "Andrew S. is wrong":

Passion + Craft = Sublimity.

Wit + Craft = Cleverness.

Sublimity > Cleverness

Oh! You just got burned, dude!
Ah, yes, notable dunces all, whose simplicity led to such uncomplicated outpourings of verse. I also forgot that greater difficulty means something is better. Let's try out this Poochigian logic: Pounds Cantos are harder than Shakespeare: ergo, Pound is greater than Shakespeare!

Passion, shmassion. It's a phony put-on that Ovid saw right through. Propertius' passion poems border on maudlin; then poor sap died just when he started to push off in new directions.

Ovid has emotions; Ovid has insight; he lacks this "passion" that I'd suggest all poetry necessarily lacks in an authentic way.

Ovid beats Propertius in my eyes because he looks at the world as it is, and toys with it. Give me that poetry every day. And judge him--and my position--by the company he keeps, simpletons though we are.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:03 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Oh, if only Shakespeare had known Propertius as well as Ovid!

I understand your position--some people just prefer superficial poetry to poetry with depth.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2018, 05:59 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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It's true! Me, Dorus, and Milton, with our forced fingers rude, will enjoy the simple, country pleasures of Ovid. Shakespeare will be late, but tip a rustic ale. You, Ezra, and whoever else can have your fancy feasts and enjoy the depths of Propertius. They'll be berets, and everyone will pretend that there's something authentic about the whole ordeal. It will be good wine, I think, and I'll miss out.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:36 PM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
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Most entertaining controversy I ever read.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:21 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Andrew, I'm disappointed--you can't get past your failed "influence" argument (which has more to do with chance manuscript history than anything else) and say why Ovid's elegaics are better than Propertius' (they ain't).
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:44 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Not to make a claim as to my personal preference, but this is from the blurb for CUP's Ovid in the Middle Ages: "Ovid is perhaps the most important surviving Latin poet and his work has influenced writers throughout the world. [...] It elaborates the scale and scope of the enthusiasm for Ovid in medieval Europe, following readers of the canon from the Carolingian monasteries to the early schools of the Île de France and on into clerical and curial milieux in Italy, Spain, the British Isles and even the Byzantine Empire."
Here's hoping the volume goes some way to accounting for why Ovid remained a Europe-wide phenomenon across the span of several medieval centuries. I think it goes beyond the chances of manuscript transmission - indeed, it helps to account for that - though argument is always fun, and it's true, the period had some odd preferences.
I could do with looking at both more closely in Latin. I enjoyed the Latin Amores in high school, the Humphries Metamorphoses I find a bit prosy. Propertius - hmm. Catullus has passion. Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire, et quod vides perisse perditum ducas. And for music, I like Virgil and Horace. My Greek is too poor now to hear the Greeks.
Maybe one day I'll work on my Classics again.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 02-10-2018 at 11:48 PM.
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