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av Ursula K. Le Guin

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,070917,480 (3.85)214
In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word in the poem. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes the reader to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.… (mer)
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» Se även 214 omnämnanden

engelska (88)  spanska (2)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (91)
Visa 1-5 av 91 (nästa | visa alla)
Fascinating story giving life to a woman mentioned only in passing in Homer. ( )
  mykl-s | May 23, 2023 |
Lavinia, a Latin princess, has many suitors but she is not interested in any of them until Aeneas arrives from Troy.

Another woman from legend gets the chance to tell her own story, but she herself also reflects on whether she actually exists outside the story as told by Vergil. Enjoyable but if even the main character isn't sure whether she exists it's difficult to feel any emotional involvement in what's going on. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Sep 5, 2022 |
This is a book perhaps only UKLG could have written from her knowledge of Latin and Greek. Lavinia is mentioned in Vergil as Aeneas's wife who gave her name to their town. This is an imagining of Lavinia's life from her early years till her son is king. Slow start but very worth finishing. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jul 5, 2022 |
No complaints about this one except it was a little slow at first. Definitely recommend. ( )
  jdegagne | Apr 23, 2022 |
A review I wrote in 2020:

Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin (4 stars)

Based on a minor character from the last few books of Virgil’s Aeneid, this is a beautifully written
novel immersed in Roman myth and history but with a very modern feel to her lead character,
Lavinia, and a modern style of storytelling. Lavinia in the story meets a soothsayer poet who
comes to her at the sacred spring, or oracle, near her home and tells her he has written and is
writing her story but that he is dying; he foretells Lavinia’s meeting the Trojan hero Aeneas and her
rejection of other suitors for her hand in marriage. Lavinia retains a certain amount of control and
self-awareness over her destiny as the soothsayer poet (Virgil) admits that he has got some
details about her wrong, and as he becomes acquainted with her over his visitations, admits that
he should have made her a more important character in his poem.

Virgil himself based his Aeneas upon a minor character in Homer’s Iliad, so it’s a very playful take
on that same literary device and makes for an interesting read.

Lavinia, though a princess, has had a troubled upbringing since the death of her brother and heir
to the throne. Her mother, driven mad with grief, shows little interest in the happiness of her living
child and plots for Lavinia’s future.

I’d stop short of giving this 5 stars but nevertheless I really enjoyed Ursula’s wonderful writing, the
originality and her interesting and imperfect heroine, Lavinia. Highly recommend. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Dec 14, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 91 (nästa | visa alla)
Lavinia is a historical novel set in mythical antiquity, Bronze Age Italy in the aftermath of the Trojan War. Le Guin has taken a (very) minor character from Virgil’s epic The Aeneid - in the poem Aeneas’s last wife Lavinia has no line of dialogue whatsoever - and given her voice. And a powerful and seemingly authentic voice too. The landscape, homes, religion, politicking, people and battles are all convincingly portrayed. When reading this you feel as if you are there, immersed in prehistory. Even the scenes in the place of oracles where Lavinia talks to the apparition she knows only as the poet - she could merely be dreaming of course - have the stamp of authority. At any rate Lavinia believes in him, and his revelations are borne out by events. There is, too, enough of a body count - foretold by the poet in a long, disturbing list - to satisfy the bloodthirsty.

For Lavinia starts a war. Not by allowing herself to be taken by men, she says (in a beautifully understated inference to the much more famous Helen) but instead by choosing one for herself. I quibble slightly at who actually chooses Aeneas for Lavinia; she is swayed not only by the lack of suitability of the other candidates for her hand but also by her conversations with the poet. Otherwise she is a strong decisive character, who stands up to both her father, the King Latinus, and mother, Amata, and later to Ascanius, Aeneas’s son by his previous marriage.

Given the book’s context the perennial follies of men are an unsurprising theme of Lavinia, the character and the novel.

Despite its setting the book was on the short list for the BSFA Award for best novel of 2009, which on the face of it is baffling, even if Le Guin is a stalwart of the genres of SF and fantasy. I suppose its proposers could argue that since in the book Lavinia speaks with the ghost of a poet not yet born in her time there is an element of fantasy present. (Le Guin uses the spelling Vergil. I know his Latin name was Vergilius but in my youth the poem was always known as Virgil’s Aeneid.) True too, the past is always a different country. Fictionally it takes as much imagination to invest it with verisimilitude as it does to describe an as yet unrealised (SF) future. Except - sometimes - you can research the past.

This is an admirably realised and executed novel, though, whichever genre you wish to pigeon-hole it with.

Or you could say, as I do, that it is simply an excellent novel, full stop.
tillagd av jackdeighton | ändraA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton

» Lägg till fler författare (15 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Bresnahan, AlyssaBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mata, ManuelÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pennacchietti, NatasciaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rodotà, CostanzaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Sheckels, JenOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Surgers, MarieÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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sola domum et tantas servabat filia sedes,
iam matura viro, iam plenis nubilis annis.
multi illam magno e Latio totaque petebant
Ausonia . . .

A single daughter, now ripe for a man,
now of full marriageable age, kept the great
household. Many from broad Latium and
all Ausonia came wooing her . . .
Inledande ord
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I WENT TO THE SALT BEDS BY THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER, in the May of my nineteenth year, to get salt for the sacred meal.
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In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word in the poem. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes the reader to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.

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