Read Lavinia AUTHOR Ursula K. Le Guin ebook author Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin ð 4 review

Like Spartan Helen I caused a war She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her I caused mine because I wouldn't be given wouldn't be takenBy the sacred springs in the forest near her home Lavinia. Is it possible that Ursula K LeGuin can write a bad bookI guess anything is possible I could win the lottery get hit by a meteorite struck by lightning etc All very low probabilitiesAs expected this is beautifully written and crafted with an inspired structure Telling the story of Lavinia who in Vergil s great work Aenid did not speak a word LeGuin describes the princess s story in that of an almost pre historic and pagan setting This is really the element of this story that I will take with me this vision of a simple life when Rome was not yet founded and the hills in what would someday become the greatest city in the world were populated with early tribes farms and lives that would be legendLeGuin creates an unusual narrative device in which Lavinia comes to know her poet as Vergil is illuminated as a time travelling specter from the future mystically visiting his subject as he survived a fever dream in the time of Augustus Interestingly almost in an existential awareness of her self as a character in the epicTold with unassuming but descriptive language and with her inimitable style Lavinia was a pleasure to read

Summary Lavinia AUTHOR Ursula K. Le Guin

Lavinia AUTHOR Ursula K. Le Guin

Her daughter off to an ambitious neighbouring king and her father is plagued with indecision But when a fleet of foreign warships sails into the mouth of the river Tiber Lavinia knows her destiny is calli. Being a lady classicist often reuires willful acts of cognitive dissonance It s not just that nearly all your extant source material was written by men about men for men it s also that Greek and Roman culture particularly the culture portrayed in the great epics the Iliad the Odyssey and the Aeneid is brutally testosterone fueled and flagrantly anti woman In epic the worst women are pure unadulterated evil monsters like Scylla Charybdis and the Sirens Slightly less evil are those who use their sexual wiles to distract men from their noble purposes Circe Calypso Dido And good women are those who simply shut the fuck up bear legitimate children and get out of the way Andromache Penelope Creusa This makes reading epic a challenging experience for any woman who is looking for than just a rollicking adventure storyI read the Aeneid in high school the whole thing in English and about half of it in Latin skipping around for the best bits or course and I was a huge pain in the ass I was convinced that Aeneas was a douche that Creusa got screwed over that Dido got royally screwed over and should have ripped Aeneas s balls off and that Lavinia was a breed sow with pretty hair My poor teacher tried again and again to calm me down to remind me of the historical context and cultural differences that should have been informing my reading of the poem to point out the elegance of the scansion or the cleverness of various poetic devices but I just didn t buy it I absorbed enough to ace the AP test but the Aeneid left a bad taste in my mouth When I got to college and read the Greek epics I was a bit better at detaching myself from the content of the poems so that I could appreciate their language and structure but I still had to work hard to keep a lid on my roiling feminist ire My biggest flaw as a historian the reason why I decided to teach Latin to middle schoolers instead of going to graduate school is that I get too emotionally invested in whatever I am studying and am unable to confine my judgments to the appropriate historical context I may acknowledge the fact that Aeneas was the model of pietas for his time and place but in the here and now he d be a douche and I just can t forget thatThis is why Lavinia is such a wonderful book Le Guin does that forgetting for me She is able to immerse herself in a different time and place and culture in a way that is judgment free and she sells this world in such a way that I buy it And like it And enjoy it The angry feminist pot ceases to boil I actually like this Aeneas He seems to be a nice guy I really like and identify with this Lavinia and I support her choices whereas in the Aeneid I simply pitied her for not having any choices I understand and appreciate a concept of pietas that is completely different from the kind of piety or rightness I seek in my own life in a way that I was never able to understand it when I was reading the actual Aeneid Part of what makes this novel work for me is the way she strips the story of Aeneas of its Augustan influences Vergil originally wrote the poem as a propaganda piece for the emperor okay maybe that wasn t his only purpose but he had to throw it in there to keep the people in charge happy and the ostentatious wealth and fantastical religion it promotes help divorce it from reality and make it harder to relate to Le Guin s simpler version feels much authentic and relatableI did find the book a little hard to get into and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the relationship between Lavinia and Vergil But overall I found it an extremely enjoyable and readable story that left me with warm fuzzies inside It may actually motivate me to reread the Latin Aeneid sometime soon ish if I can find my old book and to not be full of fiery rage when I do That s a good thing right

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Young princess of Latium encounters a poet a soothsayer who foretells her future to marry a Trojan hero named Aeneas and found a great kingdom and a mighty dynastyLavinia's mother has other plans to marry. 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 majorWhen the book arrived I found myself looking at the cover and suddenly wondering what the heck this book was about As much as I tried I could not remember the character of Lavinia from my previous readings of the Aeneid in the slightest the best I could do was to temporarily confuse her with Dido My guilt at my poor powers of memory was a bit assuaged when after some checking I realized that Lavinia only barely appears within the Aeneid and never speaks at all It s no surprise I don t remember her Indeed it s a wonder that many people doThe notion of taking an old story and telling a different side of it is a popular one these days and I confess I m not terribly up on the sub genre which seems to include things like The Red Tent Mists of Avalon and Lady Macbeth among others so I can t compare it fairly to other authors efforts It is a sub genre that seems potentially filled with a lot of anger how easy would it be for Lavinia or any of these voiceless women to rage against the world that so long ignored them How simple would it be to tell a story about how the men screwed everything up and the women were doing everything rightEasy though it might be LeGuin doesn t do anything of the kind Her Lavinia who is curiously aware of her meta fictional existence is very well ancient Roman She is strong but conscious of her duty She has a strong sense of the importance of family She genuinely loves Aeneas and her insights into Aeneas are interesting and very much in line with what I remember of the Aeneid which I confess is precious little The entire story is told by Lavinia herself a decision that allows LeGuin to really get into her protagonists mind and produce a very different interesting and very real vision of a part of the Aeneid that Virgil did not get toI think that is the thing that makes me enjoy Lavinia so much it is LeGuin s addition to the myth Not a refutation or an attack but merely another side of part of the story A side as compelling powerful and insightful as the original itself Unuestionably worth the readNext time I have no idea Not really sure what to read next though I m tempted to read the Aeneid again I ll have to go scan the shelves


10 thoughts on “Lavinia AUTHOR Ursula K. Le Guin

  1. says:

    Is it possible that Ursula K LeGuin can write a bad book?I guess anything is possible I could win the lottery get hit by a meteorite struck by lightning etc All very low probabilitiesAs expected this is beautifully written and crafted with an inspired structure Telling the story of Lavinia who in Vergil’s great work Aenid did not speak a word; LeGuin describes the princess’s story in that of an almost pre historic and pagan se

  2. says:

    DNF at page 180I’m sad I thought I’d love this but there doesn’t seem to be anything different in here than is in The Aeneid It’s just from Lavinia’s perspective but all the events are the same and I’m bored 😑

  3. says:

    I thought this book was boring There I said it Even though it had passion war bloodshed royal intrigue suicide I found it boring and it was difficult for me to convince myself to continue reading it I am a classi

  4. says:

    “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

  5. says:

    It's interesting to contrast this with Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad Both explore one of the Big Classics The Aeneid in LeGuin's case the Odyssey in Atwood's from a female character's perspective LeGuin and Atwood are both stellar writers but I enjoyed Lavinia vastly LeGuin seems to have a real affection for her characters and that makes for a warmer humane book You can't tackle such a project without exploring the con

  6. says:

    Back when I studied Latin we were given bits of Virgil's Aeneid to translate I always found it to be a chore as poetry is challenging

  7. says:

    Oh never and forever aren't for mortals loveLe Guin writes wonderful women and stories that honor them Lavinia is a whole book written from the perspective of a character that never utters a word in Vergil's epic The Aeneid It tells of all the

  8. says:

    I think I'm incapable of disliking a Le Guin book So 5 stars it isI'm not a huge fan of the retelling of mythological stories and the like from the stand point of a woman But this was written by Le Guin and here I am I have had this on my shelf since shortly after it was written I bought it in hardcover in Missoula where my brother lives But the real reason that I've waited so long to read it is because I on

  9. says:

    Being a lady classicist often reuires willful acts of cognitive dissonance It's not just that nearly all your extant source material was written by men about men for men it's also that Greek and Roman culture particularly the culture portrayed in the great epics the Iliad the Odyssey and the Aeneid is brutally testosterone fueled and flagrantly anti woman In epic the worst women are pure unadulterated evil monsters like

  10. says:

    In truth he gave me nothing but a name and I have filled it with myself Yet without him would I even have a name? I have never blamed him Even a poet cannot get everything rightIf you were looking for a uote do describe the central concern of this book the above might do itI was deeply moved by this book and the tale it weaves and the resp

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