C. S. Lewis's Lost Aeneid: Arms and the Exile

Edited by A.T. Reyes, foreword by Walter Hooper, preface by D.O. Ross. Yale Univ., $27.50 (184p) ISBN 978-0-300-16717-7
Author of the hugely popular Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis's literary endeavors include poetry, essays, novels, criticism, and translation. His take on Virgil's Aeneid, "his favourite of all books," serves to further enrich the legacy of this ambitious and prolific writer. A scholarly preface by D.O. Ross studies the style and "flow'' of Virgil's poetic diction, emphasizing Lewis's admirable conviction that translations of such extravagant verse, where form and content are equally as important, should not be compromised by classicism, but balanced in delivery. Sadly unfinished due to Lewis's sudden passing in 1963, the narrative is seamlessly bolstered by editor Reyes. Diary entries and letters trace Lewis's fervent (though intermittent) revisions of the epic poem, his affinity for which is evident in his assessment of other translations—whether hostile or reverent. Presented with Latin and English side-by-side, tacit grammatical alterations and the editorial decision to forego footnotes make for a particularly successful text. An extensive glossary is provided instead, helping to clarify historical and mythological references. Reyes underscores Lewis's veneration for Virgil's Aeneid, justifying his mantra that "what matters above all is the story and the language in which it is told." (May)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-300-24691-9
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