Monday, September 17, 2012
Le Guin's Lavinia Meets Blackwell's Companion: The Platypus Reads Part CXCVI
So, I've been working my way piecemeal through Blackwell's A Companion to Ancient Epic and noticed that Michael C. J. Putnam's take on the Aeneid seems to match fairly well with Ursula K. Le Guin's in her novel Lavinia. Both seem to see the Aeneid as a tragic work with it's titular hero failing (perhaps inevitably) to fulfill Anchises mandate to war down the proud but pardon the defeated. I already enjoyed Le Guin's take on the classic work, but seeing Putnam spell out the case for a more pessimistic Aeneid definitely increases my appreciation for her approach (deconstruct that as you will). Both works are contributing to my appreciation of Virgil's masterpiece as my wife and I read through Fagles' enchanting translation this Fall (I've read Hatto and Mendlebaum prior to this). I've never been as enthusiastic about Virgil as I have about Homer, so new insights on how to approach the man from Mantua are always welcome.