Tales from Ovid
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Tales from Ovid : Twenty-Four Passages from the Metamorphoses

By (author) Ted Hughes , By (author) Ovid , Translated by Ted Hughes

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When Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun's ground-breaking anthology After Ovid (also Faber) was published in 1995, Hughes's three contributions to the collective effort were nominated by most critics as outstanding. He had shown that rare translator's gift for providing not just an accurate account of the original, but one so thoroughly imbued with his own qualities that it was as if Latin and English poetwere somehow the same person. Tales from Ovid, which went on to win the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, continued the project of recreation with 24 passages, including the stories of Phaeton, Actaeon, Echo and Narcissus, Procne, Midas and Pyramus and Thisbe. In them, Hughes's supreme narrative and poetic skills combine to produce a book that stands, alongside his Crow and Gaudete, as an inspired addition to the myth-making of our time.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 24mm | 359.99g
  • 05 May 1997
  • FABER & FABER
  • Faber & Faber Poetry
  • London
  • English
  • 0571191037
  • 9780571191031
  • 63,953

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Author Information

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber & Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998). He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.

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Review quote

"Brilliantly succeeds at bringing Ovid's passionate and disturbing stories to life."--James Shapiro, " The New York Times Book Review" "One of the few unquestionable successes in the revolutionary vein Pound opened at the start of the century."--Donald Lyons, "The Wall Street Journal" "Hughes is as broad as Ovid and as subtle, as violent and as erotic, as elegant and as folksy-and often all at the same time. It is simply a beautiful match."--Michael Hofmann, "The Times "(London)

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Review text

Hughes' translation of 24 selections form Ovid is not merely a translation of the original Latin text, it is a translation of its spirit, namely passion. Hughes's bold, active language brings Ovid's world of imperious, tragic Odione, the ascetic, obsessive Pygmalion and a host of other classical characters to life. It is a lively, reckless adventure that restores drama and magic, too often missing from translations, to these classical tales. (Kirkus UK)

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