The Poet and His Work
Translated by G. M. Goshgarian
The Roman poet Ovid is enjoying a renaissance. Though relegated to the margins in the Romantic period, since the mid-1980s he has become popular again, not only with classicists and other lovers of ancient poetry, but also with poets and prose writers. He himself is the protagonist of a number of recent novels and stories, including Jane Alison's The Love Artist, Derek Mahon's Ovid in Tomis, and David Malouf's An Imaginary Life. Ovid's greatest work, the Metamorphoses, has inspired authors such as Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes to publish retellings of certain of his stories of transformation.
The distinguished classicist Niklas Holzberg offers a highly readable, concise yet comprehensive overview of all of Ovid's varied works, giving each stage of Ovid's career its due and allowing no text to be diminished by serving as a prelude or epilogue to others. In addition, Holzberg's own insightful, frequently witty observations infuse the book, resulting in a rounded vision of a storyteller Holzberg finds to be distinctly modern.