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30 review for The Art of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    Dear Ovid, You made me look like a sex pest. I was visiting a city for the day with a friend of mine; it was cold outside and we’d taken refuge in this really quaint bookstore. It wasn’t one of the chain ones, but a really quirky independent bookstore that had shelves packed with tomes and all sorts of literary marvels. I spent a large amount of money in there Ovid. I bought things at random without really paying attention to what they were: I just wanted them all, you know how it is. I saw thi Dear Ovid, You made me look like a sex pest. I was visiting a city for the day with a friend of mine; it was cold outside and we’d taken refuge in this really quaint bookstore. It wasn’t one of the chain ones, but a really quirky independent bookstore that had shelves packed with tomes and all sorts of literary marvels. I spent a large amount of money in there Ovid. I bought things at random without really paying attention to what they were: I just wanted them all, you know how it is. I saw this nice big slip cased edition of your poetry so, naturally, I thought I’d have that. When I took it to the cash register the woman behind the till was smirking at me. I had no idea why at the time. I thought she was laughing at the amount of books I bought not the book I bought. This is where it gets really awkward Ovid. During the train journey back home my friend asked me what books I bought. So I innocently showed her. I got all my books out of my bag and we sat there looking at them. She opened my new explicitly illustrated copy of The Art of Love that showcased instructional images and poetry about the pleasures of oral sex. Our friendship has never been quite the same since. You could have warned me Ovid. I honestly thought we were pals. I can’t put pictures in this letter, but you know the type they are: they are essentially pornography albeit that of a colourful and artistic variety. Just the sort of thing you like. They’re not the type you show your friends on a public train (if at all). So thanks Ovid for making me look like a weird sex pest that day with my big book of poetry porn. Speaking of which, I found it quite bland. I’m sure it would be fun for those who have little imagination. All the best from your extremely embarrassed former friend, Sean

  2. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    Short, sparkling, witty and sexy, this is a tongue-in-cheek comedy of the sexes dressed up as a how-to guide. It's best enjoyed on a hot afternoon, lounging somewhere comfortable with a fizzy cocktail in your other hand. Ovid is great company – a man of the world, funny and quotable and just the right side of disreputable. He takes the would-be lover through the whole process of finding, winning, and keeping a partner, covering such crucial areas as the perfect level of drunkenness, the trustworthiness Short, sparkling, witty and sexy, this is a tongue-in-cheek comedy of the sexes dressed up as a how-to guide. It's best enjoyed on a hot afternoon, lounging somewhere comfortable with a fizzy cocktail in your other hand. Ovid is great company – a man of the world, funny and quotable and just the right side of disreputable. He takes the would-be lover through the whole process of finding, winning, and keeping a partner, covering such crucial areas as the perfect level of drunkenness, the trustworthiness of servants, and the need to be cautious if you hook up with someone on a boozy night out: On these occasions don't trust the lamps – they can lie: Darkness and drink blur the judging eye. This is James Michie's 1993 translation, whose jaunty rhyming couplets make every couple of lines seem like something you want to put on a business card. The last book is aimed at female readers trying to pin down their man – he's nothing if not even-handed in his approach. It's strange to reflect that for the best part of two millennia, Western Europe essentially pretended female sexuality didn't exist, and yet if you go back a bit further you can find Ovid cheerfully stressing the crucial importance that both partners manage to get themselves off satisfactorily. Sentiat ex imis venerem resoluta medullis Femina, et ex aequo res iuvet illa duos. which Mozley in 1929 rendered cautiously as Let the woman feel love's act, unstrung to the very depths of her frame, and let that act delight both alike. ...but which in Michie's translation is more robust: A fucked woman should melt to her core, and the pleasure Be felt by both in equal measure. It sums up Ovid's basic theme here: pleasure for all. Not least for the reader, because this is great fun.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynne King

    I'm a great collector of Folio Society books. The choices in books are excellent and the quality of the books themselves is unsurpassed. They are normally bound in full cloth and I'm always so impressed with the vibrant colours of the illustrations as can be seen in this particular book. I came across this book purely by chance yesterday as I was dusting and noted that I purchased it in 1994. I vividly recall how impressed I was at the time both with the poetry and the illustrations.< I'm a great collector of Folio Society books. The choices in books are excellent and the quality of the books themselves is unsurpassed. They are normally bound in full cloth and I'm always so impressed with the vibrant colours of the illustrations as can be seen in this particular book. I came across this book purely by chance yesterday as I was dusting and noted that I purchased it in 1994. I vividly recall how impressed I was at the time both with the poetry and the illustrations. Looking at it now, I wonder if I'm turning into a prude because although some of these illustrations are erotic and exquisite, others are well rather pornographic. I keep on returning to them in fact. The poetry itself is wonderful but nevertheless rather sexually explicit in parts. Still, it's a super book to have and the introduction in itself gives a good account of Ovid's life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Praj

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Do I need to say anything more?? Now, only if I could figure out a way to play the James Brown track.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lia N.

    I like this better than pornography.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Qhuay

    I was drawn in by the title and I feel cheated, so let me give you some title suggestions that will give you a truer idea of what this book is about: 1 - The Cheater's Guide To Cheat Some More 2 - A Thousand Ways To Deceive 3 - How To Make Fools Out Of Women 4 - The Liar's Step By Step Manual 5 - Cheating For Dummies 6 - Bros Code 7 - Cheating, said The Love Guru 8 - Seduction Tips For Men (And Slutty Women Too) And the list could go on and on. I know/> I was drawn in by the title and I feel cheated, so let me give you some title suggestions that will give you a truer idea of what this book is about: 1 - The Cheater's Guide To Cheat Some More 2 - A Thousand Ways To Deceive 3 - How To Make Fools Out Of Women 4 - The Liar's Step By Step Manual 5 - Cheating For Dummies 6 - Bros Code 7 - Cheating, said The Love Guru 8 - Seduction Tips For Men (And Slutty Women Too) And the list could go on and on. I know one needs to have in consideration the time period in which the book was written when reading it, but The Art Of Love is just one gigantic mess. Ovid thinks he's some great expert of love, when in truth, he's only talking about lust and teaching men how to be big fat liars, cheaters and huge bastards altogether. I don't know how women could possibly fall for all that fake crap, but the Lord knows it happens.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    If you don't know the art of love, read on: after this poem, you should be a don. Ovid is so cool. I have the copy translated by Tom Payne (published 2011). You can also read the version translated by Julian Lewis May (1930) here. May translation sounds oldish but still is easy to understand; Payne translation (all quotes in this review come from Payne translation) consists of pairs of lines that rhyme, so it has musical quality. This is love before Christianity severed love and sex, a sad cultural If you don't know the art of love, read on: after this poem, you should be a don. Ovid is so cool. I have the copy translated by Tom Payne (published 2011). You can also read the version translated by Julian Lewis May (1930) here. May translation sounds oldish but still is easy to understand; Payne translation (all quotes in this review come from Payne translation) consists of pairs of lines that rhyme, so it has musical quality. This is love before Christianity severed love and sex, a sad cultural tradition that we still carry on today whether you are a Christian or not. Because of the dichotomy, a relationship is either serious or only about sex, a woman is either a madonna or whore, in our culture. Ovid has no such nonsense. He openly discusses how to win women (Book 1) and how to keep her (Book 2). His instructions are so honest and insightful of human nature to the point of hilarity. And he doesn't boast on his pick-up technique--Ovid actually scorns men who bed women for their pleasure alone. Ovid likes sharing: I hate sex when it brings uneven joys: that's why I don't like doing it with boys, or girls who give out, thinking it a bind; they're dry, and spinning wool is on their mind: (l. 683-686) (You are not surprised about homosexuality in ancient Rome, are you?) Ovid understands extramarital relationships as well. Unfortunately, Emperor Augustus didn't like it. Patriarchy is another factor that restricts our sexuality; the Emperor forced a law to punish women who commit adultery, and the free-spirited Ovid was exiled. (I read somewhere that this law became meaningless soon, however. Roman ladies who faced this legal issue declared themselves to be prostitutes, a class that is exempt of the law, to evade punishment. They didn't really practice the service--just claiming the status was sufficient for evasion.) Payne translation contains: * The Art of Love (Book 1-3) * The Cure for Love * Treatments for the Feminine Face A few examples of the things you learn: * How to court women on a budget * How to socialize with your mistress's boyfriend (Payne translation)/husband (May translation) * How to best deal with your girlfriend/wife's infidelity * and more (Book 3 is for women!)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mel Bossa

    As much as I loved and plan to reread Les Metamorphoses, I can't say the same about this one. Even if I make abstraction of the disturbing and unfair sexism in Ovid's stupid lessons on love, and give him a "written 2000 years ago" pass, the book is still cheap. I don't think he put too much effort into it at all. It was as though he drank a few glasses of wine, played with himself a little and then grabbed a plume and ink or whatever and made himself laugh with these lesson As much as I loved and plan to reread Les Metamorphoses, I can't say the same about this one. Even if I make abstraction of the disturbing and unfair sexism in Ovid's stupid lessons on love, and give him a "written 2000 years ago" pass, the book is still cheap. I don't think he put too much effort into it at all. It was as though he drank a few glasses of wine, played with himself a little and then grabbed a plume and ink or whatever and made himself laugh with these lessons. Uh, Ovid, LOVE isn't about getting to third base, lifting someone's skirt at the circus, stalking, preying, lying, scheming, manipulating, baiting or worse, asking your lover to turn on his or her stomach because you can't stand their face. Ah man. I promised myself I wouldn't go on a rant. Okay, so... calmy I say, the book has its a value as a glimpse of Roman Culture in the Golden Age and had some interesting bits on Greek mythology, but then again he nearly copy pasted those out of his Metamorphoses... Again, too easy breezy. That brings me to his Cover Girl act. Recipes for face masks and make up? In French we say, "De quoi j'me mêle?" Basically mind your own business. And I don't think Ovid's business was love. It was seducing and sex. Which can be love on some level but I was looking for a book on The Great Love. Those feelings and acts that aim at the chiefest truth and that bring us bliss. In the end, Ovid keeps talking about how good of a lover he is... Yeah I've known a few of those. All talk. :-)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Philippe Malzieu

    The art of the translation is so difficult. When I was at the high-school I studied Latin. One day we had an extract of this book to translate. I remember my incredulity to know if I had well understood : "Remove the dust of her chest even if there does not have dust". I'm still remember. That changed us from Cicéro.For teenagers, it was exciting. It was like erotic to discover the signification. So I read the book but it was not the same pleasure to discover the text by translation.

  10. 4 out of 5

    max

    This slender volume is perhaps the wittiest, most sophisticated, outrageously amusing instructional handbook of all time. It is a parody of a didactic treatise, a three book exposition on how to play the game of love and come out a winner. Ovid is a literary provocateur, a skillful subversive whose ironic gamesmanship never lets up. Similes comparing women at Roman theaters to swarming ants or bees turn Vergil's Aeneid (along with the Roman values it celebrates) upside down, and the tale of Romu This slender volume is perhaps the wittiest, most sophisticated, outrageously amusing instructional handbook of all time. It is a parody of a didactic treatise, a three book exposition on how to play the game of love and come out a winner. Ovid is a literary provocateur, a skillful subversive whose ironic gamesmanship never lets up. Similes comparing women at Roman theaters to swarming ants or bees turn Vergil's Aeneid (along with the Roman values it celebrates) upside down, and the tale of Romulus' abduction of the Sabine women is an Ovidian set piece that invites readers to consider Livy's famous tale on the same subject in a very different light. This particular edition is bilingual, which means the Latin is on the left side and the English translation is on the right. A "must read" and certainly on the top of my list of favorite works of Latin poetry. This was allegedly the work that prompted Augustus to banish Ovid: read it and find out why. See my review of Love and Transformation: An Ovid Reader

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

    5 stars to "The Art of Love," "The Cure for Love," and "Treatments for a Feminine Face." This was fantastic, my only regret was that I didn't read it in the summer. If you've read Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis," the feeling is the same. It's hard to explain. Anyway, this was quite possibly the funniest, AND most useful book of love advice I've ever read. Nearly everything he wrote (with some obvious, "hair-pulling" and "garment ripping" exceptions) can be applied to the 21st century Casanova. 5 stars to "The Art of Love," "The Cure for Love," and "Treatments for a Feminine Face." This was fantastic, my only regret was that I didn't read it in the summer. If you've read Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis," the feeling is the same. It's hard to explain. Anyway, this was quite possibly the funniest, AND most useful book of love advice I've ever read. Nearly everything he wrote (with some obvious, "hair-pulling" and "garment ripping" exceptions) can be applied to the 21st century Casanova. This translation was great as well, it made for an easy read, but didn't take away from the actual poem.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy

    Many contemporary chess Grandmasters consider almost useless to study games from the old masters due to computer engines being far stronger than any chess player that has ever played the game. Magnus Carlsen disagrees, and he is the best chess player in the world. What I mean with this is that I highly recommend this book to contemporary sociopaths, pick-up artists, etc., despite their knowledge of NPL, every guru of seduction from the last two decades and both indirect and physical game. < Many contemporary chess Grandmasters consider almost useless to study games from the old masters due to computer engines being far stronger than any chess player that has ever played the game. Magnus Carlsen disagrees, and he is the best chess player in the world. What I mean with this is that I highly recommend this book to contemporary sociopaths, pick-up artists, etc., despite their knowledge of NPL, every guru of seduction from the last two decades and both indirect and physical game. Picking up women in the internet era (doesn't matter if you gamed her on da street, yo, 24/7 connection to the internet and smartphones are always implied nowadays so then it comes text game and whether psychologically fruitful, enjoyable to some extent in its own manipulative terms... it gets tiring and dull really easily and really soon) is not as adventurous/interesting/enjoyable as in the times of Ovid, for sure. Sex, nowadays, pales in comparison too: after having consumed a fair amount of online hardcore porn, feels like watching a terror movie from Bela Lugosi —still artistic, but instead of terrifying for us it is just funny, and sex being dirty, being good, compared to our favourite xvids, well... what’s a brotha supposed to say, what’s a brotha 2 do… On the bright side, being a toyboy in our times (8-star hotels, jacuzzi, flights, infinite pools, technology, designer clothes, Michelin restaurants, etc.) seems way cooler, so always worthy to keep on reading books like this one to improve one's game (even if only theoretically) if interested in achieving or maintaining that toyboy status. The first two parts of the book are for men; the third and final chapter, mindgame advice for women (I was gladly surprised by this myself 0:‑) P.S. This book is, at first glance, machist; for the lucid and/or experienced, it is more feminist than anything else, being 1/3 of the book mindgame advice for women themselves and the whole thing about men acting like clowns in the theater of love, like slaves (servus) of the beloved woman (his owner or domine). When you “play” a girl (who in the first place wants you to if she’s attracted to you or potentially interested in you causing her emotions), you are objectifying yourself as the product she wants you to be (at the end of the first part Ovid cannot help but say that the best strategy, the best advice, it is to act the way the particular woman you are interested wants you to), and find out, if you fall in love and it doesn’t turn out in a happy ending for you, that you and not her were the one fooled since the start. For the many, “the game” looks like men treating women like objects (hotties), but the shy/geeky/romantic/whatever guys who learnt how to play it know that it has more to do with them selling themselves in a faux way to be lately appreciated for what they truly are (or the relationship wouldn’t ultimately work, lacking any of the two interest for the real other) and/or being their best self (nobody is their “best” self in a natural manner) 24/7 (remember Taxi Driver? Well, in real life men don’t to have to make such a stupid/huge/obvious mistake to ruin an interaction with a woman or a potential relationship with her) than anything else. Those who think “the game” is a men’s thing to trick women instead of women wanting men to act like they want them to act (emotionally empathetic, no matter if in a narcissistic way —everything but a brutally rationalist calculator “I like you and you could like me because I have this and that, so... 1+1... See you tomorrow at 7?”)… don’t know much about men, love nor women.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this for class recently, and I have to say I'm somewhat impressed and somewhat confused. What I can't work out is the relationship between (what I found to be) the overtly satirical tone and the carefully crafted series of analogies imparting what seems like literal advice. Either Ovid was poking fun at what he considered an absurd game men and women play to socially justify their sex lives, or he was concerned about something darker and intended to approach it with a bit of levity. I can I read this for class recently, and I have to say I'm somewhat impressed and somewhat confused. What I can't work out is the relationship between (what I found to be) the overtly satirical tone and the carefully crafted series of analogies imparting what seems like literal advice. Either Ovid was poking fun at what he considered an absurd game men and women play to socially justify their sex lives, or he was concerned about something darker and intended to approach it with a bit of levity. I can appreciate how easy it might be to consider much of this as disgustingly misogynistic, but reading it mindful of the precedents of Greek literature, and the powerful hindsight afforded by medieval works of similar substance, I think The Art of Love represents a clear step forward on a social continuum. Women in Ovid's mind are no longer merely spoils of war taken from hated enemies (though I suspect they certainly haven't ceased to be this either), but they become formidable enemies themselves in the warfare of love and courtship. I grant it's not the most salient aspect of the work, but I believe this is a case where some historical examination makes room for a more charitable reading than first glance would suggest. Ultimately I'm unable to find any clear difference among the various guides to courtship I've encountered, whether Ovid or Cappellanus or Cosmopolitan magazine. They're all partial and affected and sexist in their own ways. One might cynically conclude that Ovid, like so many others, is merely describing a game whose rules are blithely arbitrary, and that in our own times and own ways we all just play along.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lyanna Choi

    I think I understand why Ovid got exiled. On a separate note, I'll keep Book 3 in mind when pursuing potential partners — especially his advice for short girls. Who know Ovid was a beauty guru too?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    There is no need for anyone to write about the art of seduction, or to travel the world as a 'pick up artist' - Ovid revealed all about two thousand years ago, at times with explicit detail. Some sound advice using Roman mythology to illustrate his points, and while some advice seems well and truly inappropriate, in other parts he seems very progressive, and he advocates a good sex life for both men and women.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dorotea

    Once again I am amazed by Ovid skill to transform such matter into poetry, the original Latin text (mellifluous and fluid) is superior to the translation in many ways, but ultimately I wasn’t particularly into reading about cheating habits in the Roman epoch.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashok Krishna

    Have only three words to say about this book - Sensual, Sensuous and Sensible! ❤ Have only three words to say about this book - Sensual, Sensuous and Sensible! ❤️

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lecy

    Essentially, "how to woo women," this work is evergreen. The first two books are written for men, looking for women. The third book is for women, seeking to be found by a man. Inside the covers, you'll find advice like how to "love" a woman, how to comfort her when she is emotional, how to groom yourself so that you can keep a woman, and one of my favorites, "make her miss you, but not too much." For women, how to understand a man's intent based on his letters, how to laugh at his jokes, and gua Essentially, "how to woo women," this work is evergreen. The first two books are written for men, looking for women. The third book is for women, seeking to be found by a man. Inside the covers, you'll find advice like how to "love" a woman, how to comfort her when she is emotional, how to groom yourself so that you can keep a woman, and one of my favorites, "make her miss you, but not too much." For women, how to understand a man's intent based on his letters, how to laugh at his jokes, and guarding your heart against false lovers. Although a lot of it would be considered sexist in the present tense, much of this book can be adapted to modern love. Regardless, it's an entertaining read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Ars amatoria is a colorful and witty three-part book about how to seduce 'em and how to keep 'em for both men and women, written more than 2000 years ago. Here are some of his instructions: :-) Cultivate your thoughts with noble arts and learn two languages.Ulysses wasn't handsome but he was eloquent...look presentable,trim hairs from nostrils...don't forget her birthday! :-) Ovid was later banished from Rome but his work remaines timeless.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    This is a fine translation in modern English. It's not colloquial, but it's readable. The one problem I have with it is that it uses a rhyming scheme. The "sense" of the Latin is there, and all the Greco-Roman myth is there, but the English takes a lot of liberties with the Latin. The choices the translator makes are generally good, but don't expect a word-by-word translation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carey Combe

    No wonder he was banished!

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    The art of love encompasses three books by Ovid. Using an elegiac verse style he expounds the varieties of amorous and erotic adventure in graceful language. Originally written for the sophisticated society of Augustan Rome, his poetry has continued to entertain and entrance readers ever since. The first two books contain advice for the predatory male, but the third Ovid devotes to the opposite sex, to avoid, as he affects to say, any charge of partiality. The whole is in The art of love encompasses three books by Ovid. Using an elegiac verse style he expounds the varieties of amorous and erotic adventure in graceful language. Originally written for the sophisticated society of Augustan Rome, his poetry has continued to entertain and entrance readers ever since. The first two books contain advice for the predatory male, but the third Ovid devotes to the opposite sex, to avoid, as he affects to say, any charge of partiality. The whole is in the mode of the erotic Alexandrian elegy, but leavened with Ovid's wit. The tradition appears to be rooted in Asia Minor due to the nature of the diction. While the elegy was originally primarily made of laments there were erotic elegies before Ovid. Among the Greeks Mimnermus and Theognis were considered great elegiasts. The book is filled with stories and advice, here is a sample: “You ask perhaps if one should take the maid herself? Such a plan brings the greatest risk with it. In one case, fresh from bed, she’ll get busy, in another be tardy, in one case you’re a prize for her mistress, in the other herself. There’s chance in it: even if it favors the idea, my advice nevertheless is to abstain. I don’t pick my way over sharp peaks and precipices, no youth will be caught out being lead by me. Still, while she’s giving and taking messages, if her body pleases you as much as her zeal, make the lady your first priority, her companion the next: Love should never be begun with a servant.” Ovid gives a sympathetic insight into a society that was becoming consumed with a moral laxity. By contrast Horace provided a more moralistic tone of censure in his Satires. The work has enjoyed a continuing popularity ; Ovid's knowledge of human, particularly of feminine, nature, the brilliant picture of the social life of Rome, the studied artlessness of the comparisons he draws from animals and from pursuits such as hunting, farming, or sailing, the narratives that he cannot resist interweaving with his teaching---all these elements, together with a considerable degree of humor and irresistible wit, have combined to give the work a unique attractiveness. However the result of Ovid's sympathetic eroticism was the arousal of the disfavor of Augustus; Ovid was exiled for life to the coast of the Black Sea, and felt that his poetry was at least partially responsible for his misfortune. We are fortunate that the text has endured. "But avoid men who profess elegance and good looks, and who arrange their hair in its proper place. What they tell you they have told a thousand women; their fancy wanders, and has no fixed abode." - The Art of Love, Book III, 433-36.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    'Should anyone here not know the art of love, read this, and learn by reading how to love.' Well, I could use the advice. Part I - general advice - you have to actively look for your love, but she could be just about anywhere, the streets, the theater ('They come to see, they come to be seen as well: the place is fatal to chaste modesty') or especially the races, where you can sneak some free contact in the tight crowds! - then you have to win her, and 'every one of them can be won'. But beware('They/>Part 'Should anyone here not know the art of love, read this, and learn by reading how to love.' Well, I could use the advice. Part I - general advice - you have to actively look for your love, but she could be just about anywhere, the streets, the theater ('They come to see, they come to be seen as well: the place is fatal to chaste modesty') or especially the races, where you can sneak some free contact in the tight crowds! - then you have to win her, and 'every one of them can be won'. But beware! A woman's passion knows no limit or taboo, as evidenced through the examples of incest and bestiality in Greek legend which Ovid highlights, such as Byblis, Myrrha and Pasiphae. - 'Make promises: what harm can a promise do? ... But if you don’t give, always appear about to'. - some words of wisdom for the multi-mulletted monstrosities that parade the streets all over my town: 'don’t mar your neat hair with an evil haircut' Part II - for him - on just deserts: 'Who takes a kiss, and doesn’t take the rest, deserves to lose all that were granted too.' - on looks and personality: 'Ulysses wasn’t handsome, but he was eloquent, and still racked the sea-goddesses with love.' - on gifts: 'Even if you came, Homer, with the Muses as companions, if you brought nothing with you, Homer, you’d be out.' - on boldness: 'When you’ve reached the place, where a girl loves to be touched, don’t let modesty prevent you touching her. You’ll see her eyes flickering with tremulous brightness, as sunlight often flashes from running water.' Part III - for her - dodgy chat up line: 'before my eyes, stood Venus herself, and ordered me to teach you.' - be secretive!: 'Still, don’t let your lover find cosmetic bottles on your dressing table: art delights in its hidden face.' - be seen!: 'What’s hidden is unknown: nothing unknown’s desired: there’s no prize for a face that truly lacks a witness.' - be coy!: 'Still, don’t give cause for grief, excessively, let the anxious man suspect it, rather than know.' - be fashionably late!: 'delay’s a grand seductress' - always show that you are enjoying yourself, even if you are faking it!: 'Only beware when you feign it, lest it shows: create belief in your movements and your eyes. When you like it, show it with cries and panting breath' Summary? Ovid would be locked up today if published this book. (Oh wait, he was locked up then!)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mina Soare

    DNF Somewhere around the 20% point I didn't find either the prose or the tone pleasant enough to warrant reading an advocacy of non-consensual intercourse. Regardless, for one of the earliest of the self-help, the language is full of embellishment and gushing and the advice is often cunning and, with the significant exception, funny. Occasional mysoginism and stereotypes aside, the work is also short enough; I can see how it became so popular. There are also many notes that often offer DNF Somewhere around the 20% point I didn't find either the prose or the tone pleasant enough to warrant reading an advocacy of non-consensual intercourse. Regardless, for one of the earliest of the self-help, the language is full of embellishment and gushing and the advice is often cunning and, with the significant exception, funny. Occasional mysoginism and stereotypes aside, the work is also short enough; I can see how it became so popular. There are also many notes that often offer a historical and mythological context that otherwise absent would rob the text of much of its savour. As a bonus, it used to encourage the often pleasant pastime of imagining how it would be received nowadays. There are some notions that not even the dumbest would sweep aside as "mere political correctness", issues that, while not exactly taboo, were sensitive enough not to be approached lightly. In this context, such a work would often come across as cocky, chauvinistic and coarse.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Victor

    About time I took it upon myself to read another of Ovid's works. The Metamorphoses had fully enveloped me. Though written as rather long poem, Ovid's Ars Amatoria might best be considered a 'how to', or a book of council (non-fiction, in that sense). Virtually every line encompasses a reference to a mythical tale (Greek and Roman myth), which is not part of our general education these days; so it's helpful to delve into the footnotes. I wonder if readers during Ovid's lifetime considered the ma About time I took it upon myself to read another of Ovid's works. The Metamorphoses had fully enveloped me. Though written as rather long poem, Ovid's Ars Amatoria might best be considered a 'how to', or a book of council (non-fiction, in that sense). Virtually every line encompasses a reference to a mythical tale (Greek and Roman myth), which is not part of our general education these days; so it's helpful to delve into the footnotes. I wonder if readers during Ovid's lifetime considered the many references to Ancient Greek gods and heroes a matter of course, as we do today, when we hear 'Paris Hilton', ''Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre' or 'condoms', for that matter. The advice given on the art of love does not seem dated in the least, though focused on the 'upper set' - and there is much tongue in cheek.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin Nashaat

    1- All the historical events, characters, myths and ancient life of Roman citizens .. took away my mind. 2- sincerely, all the methods he wrote, and all the advice he gave, are being used already whatever you read that book or not, it's human nature. 3- the most important thing noticed is, that book is just "a pimp", drives people to do the worse and increasing sins in the world. 4- great book to whom has no moralities. 5- i don't know if i rated it, i would rate on t 1- All the historical events, characters, myths and ancient life of Roman citizens .. took away my mind. 2- sincerely, all the methods he wrote, and all the advice he gave, are being used already whatever you read that book or not, it's human nature. 3- the most important thing noticed is, that book is just "a pimp", drives people to do the worse and increasing sins in the world. 4- great book to whom has no moralities. 5- i don't know if i rated it, i would rate on the historical events that were amazing in my point of view, or to rate on the bad moralities expressed in it which i hated !!! .... so i'll give it 2 stars .

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne Stagg

    Thank the Great Goddess Gaia that I've finally finished the Ars Amatoria. It wasn't even that long, but I struggled to read it as satire. All three sections reminded me of that modern lothario who tweeted that the women men should want to "breed" with were thin, thoughtless, and smiling. I won't name the troll, troglodyte's like that thrive on attention, so let's starve that gross jerk with silence.  If you want to read the full review, visit me at: http://annestaggwrites.com/2019/02/26...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eadweard

    A very funny and light read. You can see why he was exiled by the conservative Augustus. Always enjoyable to read about the city life, parties, etc. His tips for males and females were great. If only I could read the work in the original.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Read in the Dutch. Very light style, sometimes coarse and very materialistic, nowhere pornographic, stylistically beautiful worked out. And most importantly: there's sile evolution throughout the work!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    Who knew Ovid's the Machiavelli of love "advice." But don't worry--it's equal opportunity! Both men and women should deceive each other.

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