The Golden Ass, Or, Metamorphoses

The Golden Ass, Or, Metamorphoses

Book - 1998
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Penguin Putnam
Lucius, a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to believe he can be transformed into a bird, instead becomes a donkey. Whirled off by robbers, he embarks on a series of adventures and misadventures. Confronted eventually with the prospect of a stage performance where he is supposed to demonstrate his sexual prowess with a woman, he is overwhelmed by a religious vision and is finally initiated into the cult of the goddess Isis.

It has been long disputed whether Apuleius meant this last-minute conversion seriously or as a final comic surprise and the challenge of interpretation continues to keep readers fascinated by this work. Apuleius’ Golden Ass is the most continuously and accessibly amusing book that has come down to us from classical antiquity.

Baker & Taylor
After Lucius is transformed into an ass because of his curiosity and fascination for sex and magic, he suffers a series of trials and humiliations before being transformed back into human shape by the kindness of Isis.

Blackwell North Amer
An enchanting story that has inspired generations of writers, including Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats 

Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and initiates Lucius into her cult. It has long been disputed whether Apuleius meant this last-minute conversion seriously or as a final comic surprise, and the challenge of interpretation continues to keep readers fascinated. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and sheer exuberance, and The Golden Ass remains the most continuously and accessibly amusing book to have survived from Classical antiquity.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1998
ISBN: 9780140445244
Branch Call Number: 873.01 Ap94g 1998
Characteristics: xliii, 267 pages : maps ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Kenney, E. J.
Alternative Title: Metamorphoses
Golden ass


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Jun 23, 2012

"Apuleius, an inhabitant of the Roman provinces of North Africa, adapted a popular Greek story about a man who is magically transformed into a donkey; his novel celebrates the pleasure of stories and storytelling while also depicting social and religious life in the provinces under Roman rule. The novel is humorous and often bawdy, but it also compels its readers to reflect seriously on the nature of knowledge, social problems and religious truth. Among the many interpolated tales that are woven into the master plot of Lucius (a noble whose curiosity for magic has dire consequences) is the famous story of Cupid and Psyche, a favorite subject of Renaissance artists. The Golden Ass is remembered for its influence on authors like Cervantes and Boccaccio."


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