Good Monday, My Beauties!
January is almost over, which is weird, yeah? Time is ridiculous. Each moment spilling into the next like there’s an infinite number of them. Rude. And fantastic, but mostly just rude.
Meh. I’m going to leave the nature of time to the poets and the physicists, (Amy Catanzano, I’m looking at you, sister).
A brief Mound of Gaia update: “The Huntress: Part V, Sunrise” is now live on Bellesa!
After a night of submission and pleasure in Artemis’ bed, Vera and her lover spend a tender moment making love before Vera’s bond-mates, Sam and Evander, arrive at Artemis’ camp. Soon Artemis, Vera, Sam, Evander, and a handful of their companions set out on a journey to the Underworld. Vera is ready to put-paid to Lethe’s attack on Evander if they can convince Hades to let them hunt her down.
If you’re new to the series, the Mound of Gaia is a blended genre, erotic fantasy series that features Vera, Sam, and Evander, a thruple that has been tasked with protecting the Sacred Passage that links their magical dimension, with our mundane one. Start here at the beginning with “The Song of Water.“ The stories are kink, poly, and LGBTQIA inclusive.
EroticAdventure Week 4: Ovid & The Art of Love
Book: “The Art of Love” by Ovid, David Malouf (Introduction), James Michie (Translator)
My new traveling companion for the EroticAdventure is Publius Ovidius Naso. The man is, for all intents and purposes, the granddaddy of Western poetics and an all-around little shit. I kid you not, this guy was exiled to the back of beyond by Emperor Augustus for writing smutty seduction “how to’s” and for knowing a little too much about the Emperor’s daughter’s and granddaughter’s sex lives.
My first impression of my traveling companion is that he was a sensualist. He loved women, poetry, and his own wicked sense of humor. It’s what endeared him to Emperor Augustus, and by endeared I mean that Augustus hated him.
James Michie chose to translate Ovid’s work in rhyming couplets. His decision imbues Ovid’s verse with a sense of fun. This is no stuffy, 19th-century translation meant for parlors bedecked in mahogany and velvet. Michie’s translation is down-to-earth. He takes the “The Art of Love” from a grand treatise on romantic attachment and seduction to a silly and youthful exploration of how to get laid.
“Though Perseus brought back Andromeda from the Syrian coast
And Paris stole Helen from his foreign host,
You can achieve your ambition
More easily. I’m not recommending an expedition
Overseas or a grueling march; look nearer home
And you’ll say, “The prettiest girls in the world are in Rome”—
They’re thicker than wheatsheaves on Gargara, grapes in Lesbos, birds in the trees,
Stars in the sky, fish in the seas,”
Michie’s decision to rhyme makes sense, considering his introduction painted a picture of Ovid as a man who loved language and flaunting convention. Absolutely, my kind of human being.
I don’t think Ovid is going to be “erotica” in the modern sense (literature that is focused on explicit descriptions of sexual expression). There haven’t been any heaving breasts, cocks-of-steel, or florid descriptions of flowers as of yet, but it’s early days in our courtship. Ovid’s “The Art of Love” strikes me as the poetry of the chase and is tongue-in-cheek at its most serious.
I’m certain I’ll run into some problematic text at some point. “The Art of Love” was published in 2 BCE (Before Common Era), which means I’m likely to find some troubling perceptions of masculinity, women, and consent.
I’ll keep you posted.
Be Well & Be Wonderful,
PHOTO CREDIT: Venus and the Lute Player, Titian (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice) and Workshop, ca. 1565–70, Munsey Fund, 1936, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.