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About the Book
Excerpt from book: Ill THE "CULEX" It was apparently in the year 48 ? Vergil was then twenty-one ? that the poet attempted his first extended composition, the Culex, a poem that hardly deserved the honor of a versified translation at the hands of Spenser. This is indeed one of the strangest poems of Latin literature, an overwhelming burden of mythological and literary references saddled on the feeblest of fables. A shepherd goes out one morning with his flocks to the woodland glades whose charms the poet describes at length in a rather imitative rhapsody. The shepherd then falls asleep; a serpent approaches and is about to strike him when a gnat, seeing the danger, stings him in time to save him. But ? such is the fatalism of cynical fable-lore ? the shepherd, still in a stupor, crushes the gnat that has saved his life. At night the gnat's ghost returns to rebuke the shepherd for his innocent ingratitude, and rather inappropriately remains to rehearse at great length the tale of what shades of old heroes he has seen in the lower regions. The poem contains 414 lines. The Culex has been one of the standing puzzles of literary criticism, and would be interesting, if only to illustrate the inadequacy of stylistic criteria. Though it was accepted as Vergilian by Renaissance readers simply because the manuscripts of the poem and ancient writers, from Lucan and Statius to Martial and Suetonius, all attribute the work to him, recent critics have usually been skeptical or downright recusant. Some insist that it is a forgery or supposititious work; others that it is a liberally padded re-working of Vergil's original. Only a few have accepted it as a very youthful failure of Vergil's, or as an attempt of the poet to parody the then popular romances. Recent objections have not centered about metrica...
Book Details
ISBN-13: 9780217414623
Publisher: General Books
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Returnable: N
Spine Width: 7 mm
Width: 150 mm
ISBN-10: 0217414621
Publisher Date: 14 Aug 2009
Height: 225 mm
No of Pages: 118
Series Title: English
Weight: 181.6 gr
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