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Lavinia

de Ursula K. Le Guin

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MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,159947,467 (3.85)216
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.… (mais)
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Inglês (90)  Espanhol (2)  Italiano (1)  Todos os idiomas (93)
Mostrando 1-5 de 93 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is my kind of book. It's the best intersection of the historical fiction I grew up loving and the ancient references I know since studying Greek and Roman history and culture from elementary school up. It's told from the point of view of Lavinia, who is more than just Latinus's daughter and Aeneas's bride. She deeply considers what marriage and piety and justice for her land mean.
The writing style- some might find it dry. I liked it. It just takes a little getting into. Once you've been reading for a while, it feels natural to read straightforward narration and poetic descriptions.
Le Guin may not be trying to write a poem in any sense, but her words carry a rhythm of their own. This is a woman who reads A LOT. I love that.
The characters can seem bland on the surface. But all their discussions about the gods and duty didn't seem at all contrived.
The story isn't told in order at first, which gets confusing if you're reading in short spurts. I understand why the author made the choices she did, though.
Overall this book is appropriate for any age (but reading level is certainl middle school or above [maybe I'm overrating reading levels- I who studied Greek and Roman history and mythology could've gotten through this in middle school, I who read Paradise Lost as a high school freshman]). There are however a couple spots that will make people uncomfortable. There's two or three non-graphic sex scenes. Also a couple instances of obscenity that seem really random. I don't think there's reason why the monkey needs to handle its penis or pee on Lavinia, but Le Guin apparently disagrees. None of this has any bearing on the plot so if a parent wanted to "censor" the book before their child read it by blacking out those parts, they could do that.
I'm guessing a lot of people are unsatisfied with the ending. It's not really there. But I think it's beautiful. Vergirl gave Lavinia a name. Le Guin gave her a story and a life.
Lavinia lives on. ( )
  johanna.florez21 | May 27, 2024 |
Beautiful, rich writing brings the story to life. ( )
  mslibrarynerd | Jan 13, 2024 |
A slow, patient, magical retelling and reimagining of myths and mythical times. I loved the subtle, delicate way in which Le Guin wrote the characters and their world. There was also fiction seeping into the real world, shaping it, and vice versa, an idea that appeals to me.

P.S. I should probably read the Aeneid. I know the story, having somehow absorbed it from different sources. But Ancient Greece was my “first love”, so Roman authors never called to me in the same way Homer did. This was a mistake, I think. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
Vlot leesbaar epos. Normaal niet mijn stijl, maar toch vlot doorgelezen. Voldoende inhoud, maar niet heel erg scifi, feministisch,… en al waar Le Guin bekend om staat. Ze herwerkt een oud epos tot leesbare roman. ( )
  AnkeL | Dec 4, 2023 |
Fascinating story giving life to a woman mentioned only in passing in Homer. ( )
  mykl-s | May 23, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 93 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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.
adicionado por jackdeighton | editarA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton
 

» Adicionar outros autores (13 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Brock, CharlesDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mata, ManuelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pennacchietti, NatasciaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rodotà, CostanzaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sheckels, JenArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Surgers, MarieTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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