The Golden Ass

Apuleius; Translated by Sarah Ruden

View Inside Price: $15.00


September 10, 2013
288 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300198140
Paper

Also available in:
Cloth

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.

Sarah Ruden is a visiting scholar at Wesleyan University. Her books include a translation of Vergil's Aeneid and Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time.

Praise for Sarah Ruden's translation of the Aeneid:

"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:
 
"Fast, clean, and clear, sometimes terribly clever, and often strikingly beautiful. . . . Many human achievements deserve our praise, and this excellent translation is certainly one of them."—Richard Garner, The New Criterion

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

"A rollicking ride well worth the fare . . . marvelously, sidesplittingly ridiculous. . . . It’s a story, not a homily, and Sarah Ruden has re-bestowed it with artful aplomb."—Tracy Lee Simmons, National Review

"The most immediately entertaining work of Latin literature . . . Ruden gives the reader a rich blend of the colloquial and the elevated . . . [in] a very American translation that captures much of the fun of the original."—D. Konstan, Choice

"A cause for celebration on many counts . . . We owe Sarah Ruden a great debt of thanks for [this] English translation that is no less inventive, varied, and surprising than the original."G. W. Bowersock, New York Review of Books

"Sarah Ruden’s superb translation of Alpuleis’s The Golden Ass illuminates this wonderful story with a brilliant modern wit."—Philip Pullman, The Observer

"[B]rilliantly executed . . . Sarah Ruden’s new translation of Apuleius’ neo-platonist romp about a guy who magically turns into a donkey. . .conveys how truly bizarre the style of the original is."—Emily Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

"A wonderful translation—highly inappropriate and great fun. In Sarah Ruden's hands, the verbal gymnastics are ridiculously enjoyable rather than merely ridiculous."—Amy Eisner, Maryland Institute College of Art