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Books Read in 2017-2018 > Doomed Love - Spoilers

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message 1: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
Please use this thread to discuss the book freely!


message 2: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments http://www.theoi.com/Text/VirgilAenei...

I liked this part of the building of a new city:

"Aeneas marvels at the massive buildings, mere huts once; marvels at the gates, the din and paved high-roads. Eagerly the Tyrians press on, some to build walls, to rear the citadel, and roll up stones by hand; some to choose the site for a dwelling and enclose it with a furrow. Here some are digging harbours, here others lay the deep foundations of their theatre and hew out of the cliffs vast columns, fit adornments for the stage to be. Even as bees in early summer, amid flowery fields, ply their task in sunshine, when they lead forth the full-grown young of their race, or pack the fluid honey and strain their cells to bursting with sweet nectar, or receive the burdens of incomers, or in martial array drive from their folds the drones, a lazy herd; all aglow is the work and the fragrant honey is sweet with thyme. “Happy they whose walls already rise!” cries Aeneas, lifting his eyes towards the city roofs. Veiled in a cloud, he enters – wondrous to tell – through their midst, and mingles with the people, seen by none!"

Specifically, I liked this part "here others lay the deep foundations of their theatre and hew out of the cliffs vast columns, fit adornments for the stage to be." It seems that theatre (i.e. art) is held up as a societal need similar in status to walls (i.e. defense) as they are being built at the same time. I like the priorities that Virgil is taking with the description of the beginnings of a grand city.


message 3: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments http://www.theoi.com/Text/VirgilAenei...

I also liked this part:

"Thus he speaks, and swifter than his word he clams the swollen seas, puts to flight the gathered clouds, and brings back the sun. Cymothoë and Triton with common effort thrust the ships from the sharp rock; the god himself levers them up with his trident, opens the vast quicksands, allays the flood, and on light wheels glides over the topmost waters. And as, when ofttimes in a great nation tumult has risen, the base rabble rage angrily, and now brands and stones fly, madness lending arms; then, if perchance they set eyes on a man honoured for noble character and service, they are silent and stand by with attentive ears; with speech he sways their passion and soothes their breasts: just so, all the roar of ocean sank, soon as the Sire, looking forth upon the waters and driving under a clear sky, guides his steeds and, flying onward, gives reins to his willing car."

Specifically, I liked this part: "And as, when ofttimes in a great nation tumult has risen, the base rabble rage angrily, and now brands and stones fly, madness lending arms; then, if perchance they set eyes on a man honoured for noble character and service, they are silent and stand by with attentive ears; with speech he sways their passion and soothes their breasts." In a book that centers around warriors, its nice to see a passage in praise of a sage.


message 4: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments I personally see The Aeneid as a work of fan fiction in relation to The Iliad and The Odyssey. Not only that, but I personally cannot think of an earlier work of fan fiction.

Questions:

1) Would anyone else put this in the category of "fan fiction"?

2) Also, whether or not you would identify this as "fan fiction," what literary work that you know of that you would characterize as such would you say is the earliest known work to fit into the category of fan fiction?


message 5: by John (new)

John MJD wrote: "I personally see The Aeneid as a work of fan fiction in relation to The Iliad and The Odyssey. Not only that, but I personally cannot think of an earlier work o..."

MJD,
I do not have answers for your questions. But I was wondering what aspects of The Aeneid suggest fan fiction to you?
From what I remember of my attempts at The Iliad, the Aeneid seems less bogged down in details.


message 6: by John (new)

John Book 2, lines 476-565 remind me of the battle of the Alamo.

"And there, I tell you, a pitched battle flares!
You'd think no other battles could match its fury,
nowhere else in the city were people dying so...

waves of Greeks assaulting the roofs, we see them
choking the gateway, under a tortoise-shell of shields,
and the scaling ladders cling to the steep ramparts...

Over against them, Trojans ripping the tiles
and turrets from all their roofs - the end is near,
they can see it now, at the brink of death, desperate
for weapons, some defense, and these, these missiles they send
reeling down on the Greeks' heads...

My courage renewed, I rush to relieve the palace,
brace the defenders, bring the defeated strength."

That's bravery. Continuing to fight when you know you're doomed to die all in the hope of somebody escaping.

Why did The Iliad not impress me like this?


message 7: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments John wrote: "MJD wrote: "I personally see The Aeneid as a work of fan fiction in relation to The Iliad and The Odyssey. Not only that, but I personally cannot think of an ea..."

I think that it fits the following definition from Urban Diction (which I think is one of the better definitions that I could find): "Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work, whether it be a novel, tv show, movie, etc, and create their own story based on it." https://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...

For me it seems like a form of Star Wars fan fiction, when a somewhat minor character has a interesting story written about him/her/it within the Star Wars universe from someone not officially sanctioned by those that have official ownership of the Star Wars property.


message 8: by John (new)

John MJD wrote: "I think that it fits the following definition from Urban Diction (which I think is one of the better definitions that I could find): "Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work..."

Ugh...sorry, my question was due to my forgetfulness! The Aeneid was written by Virgil. Homer wrote The Iliad.


message 9: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments John wrote: "Book 2, lines 476-565 remind me of the battle of the Alamo.

"And there, I tell you, a pitched battle flares!
You'd think no other battles could match its fury,
nowhere else in the city were people..."



There did seem to be some elements of "Continuing to fight when you know you're doomed to die all in the hope of somebody escaping" with the Trojans in The Iliad, such as with Hector knowing that Troy would fall and his family would be destroyed but he still fought on, but since the focus was on the Greeks it didn't stand out that well.

With that being said, I want to clearly state that I agree with you that The Aeneid is a better read than The Iliad. For me, I think that it because a Hector-like character is the center of this story instead of an Achilles-like character (for me, Hector and his stoicism and sense of duty to his community was more interesting than the raging and self-interested Achilles).


message 10: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments On Wikipedia I found three artistic depictions of Dido's end:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido#/m...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneid#...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido#/m...

______________________________________________________________

I am curious which artistic depiction goes along with members' perceptions of Dido at the end. Which artistic depiction do you think captures Virgil's depiction the best?

(For me, I think that the statue by Christophe Cochet captures the mixture of dejection, rage, and regal stoicism of Dido in the end.)


message 11: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) From memory - I haven't read this recently I'd say

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneid#...

For a moment I thought Cochet's was fitting but I'm opting for the baroque, a bit OTT version as I kind of remember Dido was distressed with Aeneid's departure - and at several points in the text was described as beautiful.

Cayot's depiction highlights her beauty by (I think) the objects and how they surround her. Also, her pose, her anguish to me is feminine whereas in Cochet's it's matter of fact - and yeah, as you say stoic


message 12: by John (new)

John MJD wrote: "I am curious which artistic depiction goes along with members' perceptions of Dido at the end. Which artistic depiction do you think captures Virgil's depiction the best?..."

I agree with you on the Cochet statue. I think it best embodies Dido's grief. However, I'm drawn to the Cayot as well simply because I've never seen a statue of a person in the act of killing themselves. There's more movement in the Cayot - reminds me of some Peter Paul Reubens paintings.


message 13: by John (new)

John Book 3 was definitely a breather, giving me time to prepare for Book 4, which was very powerful.

Dido's heartbreak, fury, her capitulation to fate/the gods were very physical and alive in Book 4. I don't have the line numbers, but her best lines, for me, were:

" 'No goddess was your mother!
No Dardanus sired your line, you traitor, liar, no,...

Why hide it? Why hold back? To suffer greater blows?
Did he groan when I wept? Even look at me? Never!
Surrender a tear? Pity the one who loves him?...

Oh I am swept by the Furies, gales of fire!...

I'll hound you then
with pitch-black flames, and when icy death has severed
my body from its breath, then my ghost will stalk you
through the world! You'll pay, you shameless, ruthless--
and I will hear of it, yes, the report will reach me
even among the deepest shades of Death!' "

I know Doomed Love is only the first 4 books, but this has hooked me enough to finish all of The Aeneid.


message 14: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
John wrote: "Book 3 was definitely a breather, giving me time to prepare for Book 4, which was very powerful.

Dido's heartbreak, fury, her capitulation to fate/the gods were very physical and alive in Book 4. ..."


Excellent John! 😊


message 15: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments John wrote: "Book 3 was definitely a breather, giving me time to prepare for Book 4, which was very powerful.

Dido's heartbreak, fury, her capitulation to fate/the gods were very physical and alive in Book 4. ..."


I think that you will like it when you get to Turnus.


message 16: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
Finally picked this up again! Hopefully I'll be able to add my two cents soon! I can say that what I've read so far I've thoroughly enjoyed!


message 17: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
I'm thoroughly embarrassed that it took me so long to finish this book!

For the most part I really did enjoy the book. Some parts of the book seemed like I knew the stories already. It also seemed pretty chopped up. Perhaps The Aeneid is in the group's future! 😊


message 18: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments Loretta wrote: "I'm thoroughly embarrassed that it took me so long to finish this book!

For the most part I really did enjoy the book. Some parts of the book seemed like I knew the stories already. It also seeme..."


Which translation did you read?


message 19: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
MJD wrote: "Loretta wrote: "I'm thoroughly embarrassed that it took me so long to finish this book!

For the most part I really did enjoy the book. Some parts of the book seemed like I knew the stories alread..."


Penguin - Translated by W.F. Jackson Knight


message 20: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments I got the Robert Fagles copy. The Aeneid


message 21: by Loretta, Moderator (new)

Loretta | 3979 comments Mod
MJD wrote: "I got the Robert Fagles copy. The Aeneid"

Did you enjoy it MJD?


message 22: by MJD (new)

MJD | 331 comments Loretta wrote: "MJD wrote: "I got the Robert Fagles copy. The Aeneid"

Did you enjoy it MJD?"


Very much so. It is one of the only physical books from my collection in America that I took to China with me.


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