Review: Lavinia by Ursula Le GuinLe Guin has taken a character from Virgil and breathed new life into her, says Charlotte Ursula K Le Guin. Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin: A Review by Guy Haley from Death Ray Magazine, reprinted with the kind permission of the author at the web site of author Ursula. An excerpt from Lavinia, at the web site of author Ursula K. Le Guin.

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As readers of the Aeneid will know, Aeneas kills Turnus to end the war. Back when I studied Latin, we were given bits of Virgil’s “Aeneid” to translate.

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Silvia adored her Cervulus. Laviniw actually like this Aeneas. I did find the book a little hard to get into, and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the relationship between Lavinia and Vergil.

The book can be read as a simple narrative, and as an invitation to the reader to muse on the roles of creator and created. After we have gone, all that is left of an individual is a story — maybe that is enough.

The tone of the book was quiet and ghostly, very in the lqvinia so I never felt anything immediate. In her afterward, Ms.

I am urrsula classic history buff, which this novel has loads of, but it still couldn’t grip gyin interest. The auspices were rightfully given to an Etruscan character to read, but believably Latinus, Lavinia’s father received omens from his forefathers in the sacred places. It relates the life of Laviniaa minor character in Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid. Both of them creations of Le Guin. The backdrop of pre-Roman Italy is rich in its details. Lavinia is a book of passion and war, generous and austerely beautiful, from a writer working at the height of her powers.

She has a strong sense of the importance of family. Latins came there from all over Latium to worship and sacrifice as ursulz as to feast with the king.

But she should have jumped in with both feet and defined a whole world, as only she can do. In any case, the days roll on, spring turns to summer turns to autumn turns to winter turns to spring again. My guilt at my poor powers of memory was a bit assuaged when, after some checking, I realized that Lavinia only barely appears within the Aeneid, and never speaks at all.


I believe Le Guin should’ve disposed of the weird elements that made the story hard to digest as regards plausibility and made it difficult to be taken more seriously, namely: But this mere listing of attributes does nothing to capture the essence of the experience, even for oneself, let along to convey the fullness of sensation to another.

Review: Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin | Books | The Guardian

Lavinia refuses to marry the arrogant, boastful Turnus, and she escapes when Amata and her slaves carry her off into the forest for a ritual which is supposed to culminate in her marriage to him.

The warm feel of the sun through cold air, the clarity of light, the smell of wood smoke, clouds of breath, the crackle of leaves and frost.

And aside this weirdness, ursulq book has the additional flaw that it tries to pack too much in too few pages as well, which feels shallow at the start fuin rushed by the end.

They have much of the same strength, patience, and devotion to duty.

The princess with flaming hair

She adds much to Virgil’s epic poem, but carries across much of Virgil’s poetry and the world of the Aeneid in doing so. That is what it was like in the age of Saturn, my poet said, the golden time of the first days when there was no fear in the world. I thought it might just be a book I fell in love with. There aren’t many who’d dare undertake writing about the likes of Aeneas in his post-Troy times, when he goes to found a new city in Latium and marries a local girl, Lavinia, the one barely mentioned by Virgil and overshadowed by the more exotic Dido of Carthage that’s given a voice here.

Le Guin understands the character well enough that nothing of her doings after the cutoff of the first story seem unreal. Often I shut my eyes as I ran between those long dark faces with blank staring eyes, under axes and crested helmets and javelins and the bars of city gates and the prows of ships, war trophies, nailed up along the walls. I loved that farm.


They were not large, but they were the only images in human form in Laurentum, except the little clay Penates, and they filled me with fear. This novel paints a vivid portrait of ancient Italy, and it made me want to re-read the Aeneid. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Told with unassuming but descriptive language, and with her inimitable style, Lavinia was a pleasure to read. At the time I was working my way through every winner of the Locus Sci-Fi award and loving it so I decided to branch and I try a couple of the fantasy winners.

Jun 02, Katie rated it liked it Shelves: Lavinia tells us she adored Aeneas, and I believed her—because she’s an honest girl, not because I felt her emotion.

A Storm of Swords by George R. Award Honor List It may actually motivate me to reread the Latin Aeneid sometime soon-ish if I can find my old bookand to not be full of fiery rage when I do. Interestingly, almost in an existential awareness of her self as a character in the epic. Every house stood among oak trees, fig trees, elms, slender poplars and spreading laurels.

He agrees, and the giun says she is destined to marry a foreigner, but also that her husband will only live for three years after their marriage. Le Guin infuses her with intelligence and courage, but never breaks character with what little was established in Virgil.

Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin: A Review by Guy Haley, from Death Ray Magazine

She genuinely loves Aeneas, and her insights into Aeneas are interesting, and very much in line with what I remember of the Aeneid which I confess is precious little. Her mother had died soon after her birth, and she had no sisters.

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