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Los Idus de Marzo

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  634 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Drawing on such unique sources as Thornton Wilder's unpublished letters, journals, and selections from the extensive annotations Wilder made years later in the margins of the book, Tappan Wilder's Afterword adds a special dimension to the reissue of this internationally acclaimed novel.

'The Ides of March', first published in 1948, is a brilliant epistolary novel set in Jul
Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 2005 by Edhasa (first published 1948)
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This is the perfect book for lovers of three types of readers: those who love Ancient Roman history, love epistolary novels, and those who love reading the Star Magazine. It's a gossip filled train wreck heading for a certain date in history. If you were turned off Thornton Wilder during high school due to the obligatory reading of Our Town, do yourself a favor and dive into the squirrelly squabbling sneaky lives of the Ides of March. Julius Caesar, Catullus, Brutus and Little Missy Crocodile ha ...more
Thornton Wilder's Ides of March is a polyphonic improvisation on the events and people surrounding the death of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44 BCE. This is an epistolary novel, each letter like a set piece, produced as a distinctive monologue and with a distinctive voice. Wilder's most accomplished re-creations are Caesar himself and the poet Catullus. Caesar is depicted as a man so committed to the philosophical notion of skepticism as opposed to his own belief in what is right that he cannot be ...more
Erik Graff
Aug 15, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
In high school we were forced to read Our Town. Didn't much like it--too dated even then. Tried to read The Bridge of San Luis Rey in junior high. Didn't much like it. Don't think I finished it--a rare event. Gave Wilder his, to date, last chance with Ides of March, an epistolary novel leading up to the assassination of Caesar, on the theory that the topic would excite some interest. It didn't. For one thing, Wilder plays loose with the facts, introducing impossible events and meetings. At least ...more
Three very interesting ideas at work in the Ides of March:
The use of the epistolary novel form. This is a particularly appropriate technique for a novel about ancient Rome, as the Romans were great letter writers. Not only does the form gain plausibility, but the author gains from having so many stylistic models. Not that Wilder necessarily imitates Roman epistolary style, but he does at least reflect the tenor of some of the writers. I don't think imitation was at all a goal for Wilder: rather,
This book is an absolute wonder to me. Wilder has taken a reasonably well-documented period of ancient history and convincingly and thoroughly fleshed out the characters to turn a dusty history into a vibrant pageant of characters, intrigues, and events that continue to shape the world today. Caesar especially, who in his own writing went to such lengths to remove as much of himself as possible, becomes a truly human dramatis persona, one who has the hopes and dreams and worries and fears of eve ...more
Excellent food for thought. Just what I needed at the holidays. I picked this up on a whim from the library for some airplane reading. It looked alright. Imagine my delight when I realized that I had stumbled upon a work of genius.

After reading a few other reviews, I feel compelled to add that this is historical fiction used as a vehicle for ideas. Wilder states right up front that he has taken some very big liberties with the facts and dates and that he is using the historical setting and peopl
У книги между строк отчетливо читается "Автор зхакончил Йель или Гарвард." Приятно почитать книгу, написанную эрудированным человеком. Причем эрудированность Уайлдера не такая махровая, как, например, у Эко. Эрудированность Эко после первых же десяти страниц будит чувство интеллектуальнорй неполноценности и отправлет на пятичасовую экскурсию по Википедии. У Уайлдера эрудированность приятная: парочка выражений на латыни, несколько интересных исторических фактов, которыми можно при случае сверкнут ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Wayne is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wayne by: Curiosity about the Past

Reading other people's diaries/letters CAN be more tedious than revelatory.
And I've yet to overhear a private mobile call that had me riveted and prepared to miss my train/bus stop.

Here we are plunged into the private conversations of Ancient Rome's
Who's letter.

Gossip, passion, politics, abuse, invites to dinner, cunning, humour philosophising, frustration, manipulation
...and ALL from the pens of such Luminaries as Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Catullus the Poet, Cicero t
The first thing to remember is that this is a "fantasia" - it is not historically accurate. I kept wondering what happened to Calpurnia and why Catullus was still alive. Once you get over that it's fine.

Wilder explores the events leading up to the assassination of Caesar through the letters - private and public - of various characters as they plot, explain and obfuscate their way to the Ides of March.

Caesar emerges as a complex character, who has realized that he has to leave aside his needs as
Milagro Espinosa
Este libro se convirtió en uno de mis favoritos, esta lleno de sentencias morales, de pasajes históricos, no más que divertidos, y de una fascinación exhaustiva por el gobierno, los gobernantes y la forma de gobernar. Desde la primera página este libro es un deleite, recomendado.
Ann Agayan
You will definitely like it if only you are willing to travel so deep into the history and meet Julius Caesar...
Never read a book quite like this: the layered communications of this epistolary novel, the end days of Julius Caesar. Through this medium, Wilder imagines a man worshipped as a god and reviled as a tyrant, a man beyond both love and susceptibility to adoration, wistfully yearning for a meaningful legacy, to be exalted through poetry, a man still deeply inquiring yet deeply tired by a life that puzzled him, disappointed him, yet still had the power to move him. Wilder evokes Rome at this time mo ...more
Jutta Ortlepp
"Die Iden des März" ist ein außergewöhnlicher (Brief-)Roman über die letzten Monate vor der Ermordung Cäsars. Sehr gut recherchiert, exzellenter Stil, brillant konstruiert. Einmal angefangen, fällt es schwer, das Buch noch mal aus der Hand zu legen, denn es ist alles enthalten, was die Lektüre interessant und spannend macht: Liebe, Betrug, Politik, Eifersucht, Machtgerangel, Intrigen, Klatsch, Skandale, Mord, kurz - ein wunderbar geistreicher Historienroman und eine klare Empfehlung für alle Lie ...more
Jane Davis
This humorous little book written as a series of letters sent around the Roman Empire from real and fictional characters is a treat to read. Is loaded with witty lines as when Cicero is nicknamed "Nobody up there but smoke." Because of the format of the book and the detail to public and private Roman life, I once found it cataloged as non-fiction history in a school library! To bad the real Rome had a more serious nature.
This excellent book makes you admire later authors a little less. Like Pierre Grimal, Robert Graves and Mary Renault, Wilder re-invented historical novel and made it fresher and more modern.
(Sadly, it also made the way for much of the pseudo-historical crap we're having lately-but that's the price you pay)

Catullus and his beloved Lesbia, Caesar, Cleopatra and Brutus come alive and feel very real in this book. Wonderful.
A.H.  Salem
"...I've never heard it said that there is a limit to wisdom. The way is open to better poets than Homer and to better rulers than Caesar."
- Julius Caesar.

Those whose dreams came true say that they had days when they doubted their dreams. Today is one of those days for me. Not so much that it might not happen but when it will happen. The earlier the date, the closer the dream.

This is an amazing book. It took me about two months and a half because I was busy. But it was the perfect book for th
One of the few books I was forced to read in high school that I immensely enjoyed. I read it so long ago but thought it was fantastic, an epic. The book center around Julius Caesar and the plot to kill him. My second favoirte book of alltime. I definately recommend this book to anyone. Have to reread to provide a more indepth review.
One of the best, most engaging books I've ever read. I highly recommend it for any Thornton Wilder fan. It's an epitolary novel about the final months of Julius Caesar's reign, and heavily inspired by Gertrude Stein's ideas about history and human progress. Wonderful.
Buen libro, aunque, teniendo en cuenta que Wilder ganó el Pulitzer tres veces, y que García Márquez dijo que era la mejor novela histórica de todos los tiempos, esperaba algo más.
Mar 04, 2008 Kelly marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i really want to read this. FUCK, i need to pay off my library fines
Faith Bradham
3 1/2 stars

What? Clever historical fiction? Did you know that was a thing? Sometimes, I forget that there is well written, non-tackily-scintillating historical fiction out there.

I'm a huge dork for Rome and the Caesars, so this was a sure hit for me, but I did find myself wishing this was about Augustus instead of Julius. Obviously the Ides never happened to Augustus, but still, I must confess that I'm more an Augustus girl than a Julius one. Time to reread I, Claudius, methinks.

Anyways, I like
Fascinating read that I just stumbled upon in the library. Epistolary novels don't come any better than this and the craft is really impressive. Wilder, it turns out, is so much more than a simple playwright. I do hope that he had his history correct bc I'd say 50% of what I know about Caesar comes from Wilder. The other half, of course, comes from Shakespeare.
It's really hard to mess up a story as good as the final days of the Roman Republic -- and Wilder hasn't, which is good.

Interestingly enough, the book is written in a series of letter from Rome's most powerful players. Cicero, Clodia, Caesar -- the whole shi-bang. Although completely fictitious (as Wilder points out in the beginning of the novel) the letters seemed very true to their respective writers.

-- And they humanize Caesar which is nice.

Historically accurate for the most part, with the
Good novel about Julius C.
Patrick Hadley
If Thornton Wilder's goal was to bring his favorite poets and historical figures to life, then he accomplishes it brilliantly. This book helps you to feel what Catullus and Caesar felt. To me (and it's been a while since I read it) this book seems like basically a very long character sketch of Catullus and some of his key contemporaries. But as a character sketch, it is so engrossing that I would read it again and again, and I know that repeat readings would only reveal new and deeper levels of ...more
For anyone who is still into handwritten letters, a must have tutorial.
The book is a great mix of thoughts on the nature of power, love, religion, and the universe itself. Just the author’s fantasia, but who knows - these thoughts could go through the minds of Caesar, Cleopatra, Catullus and Lesbia long time ago.
Opens the imagination.
Fascinating rendition of the intertwined plots and actions of a multitude of well known and less well known historical figures. Religion, politics, sex, philosophy, poetry and personal agendae all compete with one another. Knowing the inevitable outcome only enhances the experience. Comparable to "I, Claudius" for bringing this period to life.
First read in July 2013, now due for a reread! Will this epistolary novel be as brilliant the second time around? Unbelievable that all is from the author's fecund imagination except his translation of the Goethe epigraph, some Catullus, and the final passage from Suetonius, the last written some 75 years after the assassination!
I liked it alot! It's an historical fiction written in epistolary style about the events leading up to Caesar's assassination. I especially liked Wilder's character development of people like Cleopatra, Brutus, Catallus, and Caesar himself. Now I need to study Rome. Any recommendations for a good Roman history book?
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Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.
For more see
More about Thornton Wilder...
Our Town The Bridge of San Luis Rey The Skin of Our Teeth Three Plays: Our Town/The Skin of Our Teeth/The Matchmaker The Eighth Day

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