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Summary

Together with the Iliad, the Odyssey, The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost, the Aeneid is one of the true monuments of world literature. Like all these great classics, over the centuries it has become stultified by academic formalism, and its true glory as a narrative of thrilling power and richness has become very much obscured. This new translation seeks to highlight the vigor and immediacy of Virgil's epic while still respecting the grandeur of the original language.

In the words of the translator: "The Aeneid is a stupendous story, because whatever it is that draws us under the spell of imaginative writing in the first place - be it the creation of human character in its breadth and depth; the construction of resonant fables and alternative worlds; or perhaps the kind of language that reaches those parts that practical language can't and makes them tingle - the Aeneid does it in abundance. Quite as much as his gods, Virgil's protagonists are as lifelike as they are archetypal. As for his fable: well, what Goethe said of his Elizabethan precursor's version of the Faust myth: 'How greatly is it all planned!' - better applies to this epic than to Marlowe's tragedy. For it exemplifies, with a magical realism equal to Homer's, how to tell a story."

©2017 Howard Felperin - translator (P)2016 Voices of Today

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