Acclaimed poet and translator Sarah Ruden brilliantly brings Apuleius's comic tale to life
“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
“A cause for celebration. . . . 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
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’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 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
"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
"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 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