Banished Voices: Readings in Ovid's Exile Poetry

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 20, 1994 - History - 234 pages
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This study examines the literary complexities of the poetry which Ovid wrote in Tomis, his place of exile on the coast of the Black Sea after he was banished from Rome by the emperor Augustus in A.D. 8 because of the alleged salaciousness of the Ars Amatoria and a mysterious misdemeanour which is nowhere explained. Exile transforms Ovid into a melancholic poet of despair who claims that his creative faculties are in terminal decline. But recent research has exposed the ironic disjunction between many of the poet's claims and the latent artistry which belies them. Through a series of close readings which offer a new analytical contribution to the scholarly evaluation of the exile poetry, Dr Williams examines the nature and the extent of Ovidian irony in Tomis and demonstrates the complex literary designs which are consistently disguised under a veil of dissimulation. Gareth Williams aims to counteract traditional scholarly antipathy to the exile poetry, which could be said to represent the last frontier in modern Ovidian studies. Scholars working in the field will welcome his insights.

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