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With its epic models, Homers Iliad and Odyssey, Virgils Aeneid ranks among the greatest poems, not only of classical antiquity, but of all time. It tells the story of Aeneas, who leads a band of survivors from fallen Troy through wandering and war to found the city that will become imperial Rome. Fully equal to Homer in narrative sweep, dramatic power, and lyric intensity, Virgils epic outshines its models in the passion and compassion with which its characters, even its heros formidable opponents, are delineated: Dido, the African queen and femme fatale who would hold him back from his mission; and Turnus, the proud Italian prince he must overcomeultimately in single combatto fulfill it. Even the gods above are all too human. A fairy-tale? Of course; but the grandest fairy-tale of western culture, whose later literature it has fundamentally shaped. Not surprisingly, few works have been so oftenor so inadequatelytranslated. Its not just a matter of classical Latin into modern English; in itself, thats not so hard. Its the aura of the great original: its classical flavour, cultural significance, and stately poetic style have never been, perhaps never can be, captured. Yet that is what this translation sets out to do. It begins from our side of the classics, from the western literature the poem has so deeply influenced, and reflects the narrative fluency, dazzling lyricism, and distinctive dignity of Virgils poem in a fresh and unstilted blank verse resonant with English and American tradition. The result is the most readable version ever. The problems and principles such a project involves are aired in an introduction that illuminates Virgils great work as never before. Enjoy!
If Shakespeare's last plays—Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, and Henry VIII—are to be neither debunked nor idealized but taken seriously on their own terms, they must be examined within the traditions and conventions of romance. Howard Felperin defines this relatively neglected literary mode and locates these plays within it. But, as he shows, romance was not simply an established genre in which Shakespeare worked at both the beginning and end of his career but a mode of perceiving the world that pervades and shapes his entire work.

The last plays are examined to answer such questions as: How does Shakespeare raise to a higher power the conventions of romance available to him, particularly those of the native medieval drama? How does he bring us to accept these elements of romance? Above all, how does romance, the mode in which the imagination enjoys its freest expression, become the vehicle, not of beautiful, escapist fantasy but of moral truth?

Originally published in 1972.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

We are often told that Shakespeare is our contemporary, yet we insist just as often on the Elizabethan quality of his work as it reflects a culture remote from our own. Beginning with this paradox, Howard Felperin explores the question of modernity in literature. He directs his attention toward several older poets and examines Shakespeare in particular to show how literary modernity depends, not on chronological considerations, but on the process of mimesis, or imitation, that art has traditionally claimed for itself.

In analyzing Shakespeare's major tragedies, Professor Felperin notes that each carries within it a model of its dramatic prototypes, and therefore requires a conservative response from its interpreters. In the interest of being truer to life than its model, however, each play departs from that model and so requires a Romantic or modernist response as well. The author contends that Shakespeare's meaning arises from this ambivalent relation to the forms of the past.

Originally published in 1978.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

In 1966, a young Ph.D. fresh from Harvard came down to New Haven to take up a teaching position in the Yale English department, then widely viewed as the best in the world. In Another Life focuses in lucid retrospect on that time, place, and career, and on that moment within it which would define his destiny. Would he succeed, through native wit, hard work, intense ambition, and sheer good luck, in rising through the ranks, pleasing senior colleagues, weathering the shifting winds of critical doctrine and storms of institutional politics, to achieve that most glittering, coveted, and rarely conferred of prizes: tenure at Yale? A campus novel, full of eccentric characters and bizarre twists and turns? Well, like his quest for tenure, its a case of yes and no. For all this actually happened. Yet its more than a personal memoir. In Another Life reflectsand reflects onthe so-called crisis in English at a time when new doctrinesstructuralism, deconstruction, theorywere bending literary studies into unaccustomed postures, particularly at Yale. But it also reflects the powerful forces at work on higher education from the wider world outside: the political and economic pressures that were transforming an older elitist culture, with literature and the humanities at its core, into the more egalitarian societyeconomistic, technological, and bureaucraticthat we all now inhabit. The author, a self-proclaimed meritocrat, finds himself deeply at odds with both worlds, and without succour or support from either as he staggers between them. But what a good read it is for those prepared to entertain the issues it raises! Trenchantly observed and written, this is the story of one mans effort to work out his separate peace with an institution he finds increasingly alienating and absurd. Its style alone will make any but the most politically correct of readers smile through her tears!
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