Friday, October 13, 2017

Dialogue With God

From The New York Review of Books-

In 2012, Sarah Ruden brought us, in a crackling translation, the second-century-AD Latin novel known as The Golden Ass of Apuleius. The Golden Ass is full of impudent incongruities. A topsy-turvy tale about a hapless young man turned into a donkey is combined with a love story (of Cupid and Psyche) as bright and delightful as the tapestries that would illustrate it throughout the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Utterly unexpectedly, the book ends with the vision of a goddess rising from the swell of a moonlit sea.

Ruden now leads us to a yet more incongruous masterpiece. A little over two centuries after The Golden Ass, we discover a person who appears to be a highly Latinate North African such as Apuleius had been—a product, indeed, of a school established in Apuleius’s own hometown, Madauros (modern M’Daourouch, in Algeria, near the tense border with Tunisia)—only to learn that he was a middle-aged Christian bishop, with his back turned to us, speaking endlessly, urgently to his God.

More here-

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