The Golden Ass
Apuleius; Translated by Sarah Ruden
September 10, 2013
288 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
With accuracy, wit, and intelligence, this remarkable new translation of The Golden Ass breathes new life into Apuleius's classic work. Sarah Ruden, a lyric poet as well as a highly respected translator, skillfully duplicates the verbal high jinks of Apuleius's ever-popular novel. It tells the story of Lucius, a curious and silly young man, who is turned into a donkey when he meddles with witchcraft. Doomed to wander from region to region and mistreated by a series of deplorable owners, Lucius at last is restored to human form with the help of the goddess Isis.
The Golden Ass, the first Latin novel to survive in its entirety, is related to the Second Sophistic, a movement of learned and inventive literature. In a translation that is both the most faithful and the most entertaining to date, Ruden reveals to modern readers the vivid, farcical ingenuity of Apuleius's style.
"Robert Fagles, shortly before his death, set the bar very high for translating the Aeneid. Yet already the scholar-poet Sarah Ruden has soared over the bar. . . . The translation is alive in every part. . . .This is the first translation since Dryden's that can be read as a great English poem in itself."—Garry Wills, New York Review of Books
Praise for Sarah Ruden's translation of the Aeneid:
"By conveying the emotional force of the Latin, Ruden makes the Aeneid newly vivid, exciting, and relevant. This translation proves why, for centuries, Virgil's remarkable epic has been required reading."—Mary Lefkowitz, author of Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn From Myths
“This new translation of Apuleius’s novel stands alone for its accuracy and cleverly farcical rendering.”—Bookseller’s Buyer’s Guide