Catalogue


Ovid before exile : art and punishment in the Metamorphoses /
Patricia J. Johnson.
imprint
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c2008.
description
x, 184 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0299224007 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c2008.
isbn
0299224007 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6348259
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 155-166) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Patricia Johnson is associate professor of classical studies at Boston University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-06-01:
This brief study builds on recent critical work that explores ekphrasis in Ovid's Metamorphoses, particularly as commentary on Ovid's own artistic aims and concerns. Johnson's contributions lie in her focus on the process of artistic creation in the text and on the character of audience and judge, and in how she relates this portrayal to the realities of artist and audience in Ovid's Rome in the later years Augustus's reign. Highlighting Ovid's thematic assimilation of weaving and poetry, she pursues close readings of the futile contests of the Emathides and Arachne against the Muses and Minerva, and of Orpheus's initially successful but ultimately tragically curtailed songs. In addition to occasional factual inaccuracies, the book suffers from the author's overly straightforward relation of the characters' punishments to the situation of real poets under Augustan autocracy and from lack of detailed argumentation. That said, Johnson does offer useful interpretive observations, especially on Ovid's use of his Greek and Latin influences, and she always takes account of recent scholarship. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. D. Reed University of Michigan
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A]n engagingly-written and well-constructed book which should be of interest to students and scholars of Ovid alike."-Rebecca Armstrong,Journal of Roman Studies
“[A]n engagingly-written and well-constructed book which should be of interest to students and scholars of Ovid alike.”-Rebecca Armstrong, Journal of Roman Studies
"Johnson offer[s] useful interpretive observations, especially on Ovid's use of his Greek and Latin influences."-Choice
“A new and stimulating reading of three central episodes of Ovid’s brilliant Metamorphoses : the artistic contests between the Muses and their challengers, and Minerva and her challenger Arachne, and the more extended tale of Orpheus singing his lays of boy-love and forbidden female passions. All three narratives are set in the full dimensions of Ovid’s own literary and political context. Johnson’s scholarship is up-to-date, and her subtle interpretation is supported by translation of all passages discussed. It is at the center of current Latin literary studies, and should provoke lively and positive reactions.”-Elaine Fantham, Princeton University
"A very readable close analysis of the key episodes about artists and their relationship to their audiences and those in power. Johnson shows that the sense of foreboding about artistic freedom of expression that pervades Ovid's exile-poetry had set in even when he was writing the earlierMetamorphoses."-Martin Helzle, Case Western Reserve University
“A very readable close analysis of the key episodes about artists and their relationship to their audiences and those in power. Johnson shows that the sense of foreboding about artistic freedom of expression that pervades Ovid’s exile-poetry had set in even when he was writing the earlier Metamorphoses .”-Martin Helzle, Case Western Reserve University
"Johnson offer[s] useful interpretive observations, especially on Ovid's use of his Greek and Latin influences."- Choice
"A new and stimulating reading of three central episodes of Ovid's brilliantMetamorphoses: the artistic contests between the Muses and their challengers, and Minerva and her challenger Arachne, and the more extended tale of Orpheus singing his lays of boy-love and forbidden female passions. All three narratives are set in the full dimensions of Ovid's own literary and political context. Johnson's scholarship is up-to-date, and her subtle interpretation is supported by translation of all passages discussed. It is at the center of current Latin literary studies, and should provoke lively and positive reactions."-Elaine Fantham, Princeton University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The epicMetamorphoses, Ovidrs"s most renowned work, has regained its stature among the masterpieces of great poets such as Vergil, Horace, and Tibullus. Yet its irreverent tone and bold defiance of generic boundaries set theMetamorphosesapart from its contemporaries.Ovid before Exileprovides a compelling new reading of the epic, examining the text in light of circumstances surrounding the final years of Augustusrs" reign, a time when a culture of poets and patrons was in sharp decline, discouraging and even endangering artistic freedom of expression. Patricia J. Johnson demonstrates how the production of art-specifically poetry-changed dramatically during the reign of Augustus. By Ovidrs"s final decade in Rome, the atmosphere for artistic work had transformed, leading to a drop in poetic production of quality. Johnson shows how Ovid, in the episodes of artistic creation that anchor hisMetamorphoses, responded to his audience and commented on artistic circumstances in Rome.
Main Description
The epic Metamorphoses , Ovid’s most renowned work, has regained its stature among the masterpieces of great poets such as Vergil, Horace, and Tibullus. Yet its irreverent tone and bold defiance of generic boundaries set the Metamorphoses apart from its contemporaries. Ovid before Exile provides a compelling new reading of the epic, examining the text in light of circumstances surrounding the final years of Augustus’ reign, a time when a culture of poets and patrons was in sharp decline, discouraging and even endangering artistic freedom of expression. Patricia J. Johnson demonstrates how the production of art-specifically poetry-changed dramatically during the reign of Augustus. By Ovid’s final decade in Rome, the atmosphere for artistic work had transformed, leading to a drop in poetic production of quality. Johnson shows how Ovid, in the episodes of artistic creation that anchor his Metamorphoses , responded to his audience and commented on artistic circumstances in Rome.
Main Description
Ovid's epic masterpiece, theMetamorphoses, with its fiercely irreverent tone and its resolute defiance of the boundaries of genre, stands boldly apart both from the other poetry of its age and from the epic tradition that preceded it. A generation earlier, a high culture of poets and patrons had flourished, giving rise to the great works of Virgil, Horace, Propertius, and Tibullus. But, in this compelling new reading of theMetamorphosesin its social and political context, Patricia Johnson demonstrates that Ovid was writing in an artistic atmosphere succumbing to a stranglehold of implicit censorship that culminated in his exile from Rome in 8 AD. Johnson shows that, in the poem, danger permeates acts of artistic creation. In Ovid's portrayals of mythic figures-from Arachne and Minerva to Orpheus in the Underworld-artists who please their audience triumph; the defiant and subversive are destroyed. She reveals that in the poem, as in late Augustan Rome, the overriding criterion for artistic success was not aesthetic beauty but satisfying the expectations and desires of powerful audiences. She convincingly demonstrates just how unprecedented theMetamorphoseswas in the epic tradition.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
Ovid's Artistsp. 22
The Poetic Contest: Metamorphoses 5p. 41
The Weaving Contest: Metamorphoses 6p. 74
Songs from Hell: Metamorphoses 10p. 96
Ovid Anticipates Exilep. 117
Notesp. 125
Bibliographyp. 155
Indexp. 167
Index Locorump. 177
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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