The Love Artist by Jane Alison

The Love Artist

Jane Alison

Passion, envy, malice, witchcraft, art, literature and the quest for immortality: a heady mix for this larger than life tale from Ancient Rome - starring none other than the great Ovid himself, a master storyteller who is not averse to using the lives of his family and friends as subject matter for his tales.

Extract

But as she gazed up at the miraculous line, she realized instead, with a blow that nearly felled her: Ovid.

It was Ovid, what Ovid did. He could transform matter into words that float in air and are held on a breath, that are etched into wax, drawn into papyrus again and again so that they could then slip through the eyes or the ears of others and be absolved and believed .... Words that form an ephemeral world, hovering between the page and dreaming eyes, eternal.

She felt as if she were dissolving, sea foam.

For what Ovid made, she finally saw was the quinta essentia.

Parallels
  • An Imaginary Life by David Malouf
  • The Last Word by Christoph Ransmayr
  • Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes

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