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Betty Rose Nagle, review - William Fitzgerald, How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can’t Read Latin Yet (2013) | Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.01.07
This engagingly written and cleverly organized book contains sophisticated discussions of a wide range of poets, periods, and genres, primarily in the form of close readings of the Latin originals. By what means, and how successfully, does its author accommodate that hypothetical Latinless reader? He does not do this by dumbing anything down; these are readings from which the proficient can profit, too. The poets and works included come mostly from the “greatest hits” list, but there are some unorthodox choices as well, such as Sulpicia in the chapter on love poetry, several Priapea included with Catullus and Martial in a chapter on invective, and Persius as the featured satirist. The first two chapters treat antithetical topics (love, hate); the middle two treat respectively a collection (Horace’s Odes) and a corpus (Virgil’s works) written during the same period; the fifth treats another pair of contemporaries, the Neronians Petronius [actually Lucan?] and Seneca; and the sixth, thematic again, pairs Lucretius and Ovid as philosophical and narrative “science fiction.” There is also an introduction for his readers, cleverly followed by a “Prelude” discussing two poems addressed to their readers, and a brief “Epilogue,” using Hadrian’s animula as a bridge to a few comments about the very different poetry of Christian hymns. Ancillaries include a pronunciation guide, suggestions for further reading, a glossary of terms, an index of names and topics, and another of poems. -- Oxford University Press - only hdbk on amazon.com - ebook available on Google_Books for c $20 - is OUP having a kindle fight? From Google preview, looks fabulous
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july 2014 by dunnettreader

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