In The Aeneid, Vergil’s hero fights to claim the king’s daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome wa...more
LaGuin is now 79, and her narrative has a watchful quality about it, reflexive. Lavinia...more
Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS FANTASY list.
As the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners list treated me so kindly, I figure I’ll trust those same good folk to pick me some stars in their sister-list, the Locus Fantasy Award winners.
Having never read any Le Guin before, I was a little unsure...more
Lavinia never speaks a word in The Aeneid; Le Guin gives her a voice. She also has Lavinia muse on her own status as the creation of a poet, and the form of limited immortality her incomplete rendering gives her. The book can be read as a...more
“I am not the feminine voice you may have expected”
When my father told me that Ursula LeGuin had put out a new novel, I was, as I usually am, ecstatic. LeGuin is one of my all time favorite authors, and I can’t think of time when she’s written something that has somehow failed to engage, entertain, or intrigue me. The fact that she was, apparently, riffing off Virgil’s Aeneid was just icing on the cake for this poor excuse for a classical studies major.
When the book arrived, I found myself looki...more
You can't tackle such a project without exploring the constraints placed on women in ancient times, but again, the a...more
Le Guin plays up the indebtedness angle...more
Ursula Le Guin really worked at h...more
Nearing 80, Le Guin has written a stunning book that melds meticulous research (according to one critic, perhaps too much) with her trademark imagination and engaging, spot-on prose into a tale that Virgil himself might have appreciated. Lavinia benefits from the ideas and the world building of Le Guin's earlier SF/Fantasy efforts, as well as her passion, cultivated over the last decade or so, for the Latin language (she read several lines of The Aeneid a day in the original to prepare for the n...more
I read all her other works around 1998 and 1999 and was ins...more
Le Guin then expands the story of The Aeneid, Book 7 from Lavinia’s viewpoint. Interesting construct: Lavinia narrates her life in the present as Vergil visits her as a ghost from the future, even though to...more
"The setting, story, and characters of this novel are based on the last six books of Vergil's epic poem the AENEID.
"My desire was to follow Vergil, not to improve or reprove him. But Lavinia herself sometimes insisted that the poet was mistaken - about the color of her hair, for instance. And being a novelist and wordy, I enlarged upon and interpreted and filled in many corners of his spare, splendid story. But I left out a good deal, too. The palaces and tiaras,...more
And the only other Le Guin book I treasure is Steering the Craft, a handbook for writers. Early on, when I was too callow, I decided I did not like reading science fiction or fantasy genres. I just could not keep track of the names...more
And let me make it clear it's not because "Lavinia" is historical fiction, a genre I love, especially when it's about the ancient world. In this case, LeGuin uses the last six books of Vergil's "Aeneid" as the basis for her story, but instead of the hero's point of view, we get Lavinia. Not having read th...more
Lavinia tells the story of Virgil's Aeneid from the perspective of Aeneas' Latin wife. In Virgil's original poem, Lavinia is mentioned almost in passing and has no dialogue of her own. Rather than rewrite the story of the Aenied, Le Guin has instead expanded upon it, giving us no only Lavinia's perspective on the events in the poem but also her experiences before...more
By: Ursula K. Le Guin
Kings, Queens, back in the days. That doesn't sound very interesting does it? But this book is okay. I'm not really that big into back in the days book. But this book is different, it helped me understand The Inferno a bit.
Lavinia, the main character of the book, is daughter of King Latinus. As a princess, she probably got everything she wanted, and she was spoiled. Errrnn, you're wrong. Lavinia's mother doesn't love her at all. She thinks that Lavinia was the one who...more
the most interesting thing about this book to me was the very quiet rebellion Lavinia herself stages. she's a young girl in a time when girls didn't have any real power with which to fight--Lavinia's only power is to say no, until she is willing to say yes. when the time comes that she's expected to marry,...more
The story is of Lavinia, a minor, voiceless character in Vergil's Aeneid who became the titular character's last queen. She tells the tale in the first person and gives us a picture...more