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How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet

Hardback

By (author) William Fitzgerald

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 214mm x 28mm | 460g
  • Publication date: 21 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199657866
  • ISBN 13: 9780199657865
  • Sales rank: 210,601

Product description

Latin is very much alive in the poetry written by the great Latin poets, and this book is about their poetry, their language, and their culture. Fitzgerald shows the reader with little or no knowledge of the Latin language how it works as a unique vehicle for poetic expression and thought. Moving between close analysis of particular Latin poems and more general discussions of Latin poets, literature, and society, Fitzgerald gives the un-Latined reader an insider's view of how Latin poetry feels and what makes it worth reading, even today. His book explores what can be said and done in a poetry and a language that are both very different from English and yet have profoundly influenced it. He takes the reader through the whole range of Latin poetry from the trivial, obscene, and vicious, to the sublime, the passionate, and the uplifting. Individual chapters focus on particular authors (such as Vergil and Horace) or on themes (love, hate, civil war), and together they explain why we should care about what the poets of ancient Rome had to say. If you have ever wondered what all the fuss was about, see for yourselves!

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Author information

William Fitzgerald is Professor of Latin at King's College, London.

Review quote

In this book William Fitzgerald acts as an expert guide through a carefully arranged selection of examples. ... the spirit of rediscovery which Fitzgerald invokes in his introduction will enchant the previously initiated. Astrid Voigt, Museum Helveticum William Fitzgerald is a distinguished professor of Latin. He writes with charm and lucidity [...] This books helps remind one of how poetry can be incredibly rich without being incomprehensible. Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph mercurial and bold. Fitzgerald animates the dead language, covering acres but often highlighting details, such as the expressive power of word order, or English derivations ... This attempt to return to Latin without being elitist and stuffy highlights a fault line in our discipline. The glass ceiling is still there; this book helps to demonstrate how we might smash it and why we should. Roger Rees, Times Higher Education William Fitzgerald's book on Latin poetry for those who "can't read Latin yet" takes us right to the heart of Latin literature [...] Fitzgerald's book makes demands, but the dividends are immense. The Scotsman, Michael Kerrigan The book can be warmly recommended to all curious about Roman poetry, even to those who have no intention of learning (or remembering) Latin any time soon. Roy Gibson, Times Literary Supplemen

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION ; GUIDE TO THE PRONUNCIATION OF LATIN ; PRELUDE: TO THE READER ; 1. Love, and a Genre ; 2. Hate, Mockery, and the Physical World ; 3. Horace: The Sensation of Mediocrity ; 4. Vergil: The Unclassical Classic ; 5. Lucan and Seneca: Poets of Apocalypse ; 6. Science Fiction: Lucretius' De Rerum Natura and Ovid's Metamorphoses ; EPILOGUE ; GUIDE TO FURTHER READING ; GLOSSARY