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The touching tale of Ines de Castro, the details regarding how the other European nations were viewed, the occasional reference to the Belem quarter of Lisbon where the ships were moored, it all made me so giddy while reading :.
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I'm happy for finding this really beautiful English translation and adding it to my library. Some of my favorite bits: 'But him opposed Venus, lovely fair, whose heart her Lusian sons had won the more, since in them seen the qual'ties high and rare, the gifts that deckt her Romans dear of yore: The heart of valour, and the potent star, whose splendour dazzled Tingitanan shore; and e'en the musick of their speech appears soft bastard Latin to her loving ears. View 2 comments. Jul 25, Paul Haspel rated it really liked it Shelves: portugal. The Lusiads tells a story of Vasco da Gama successfully making his way around Cape Horn and voyaging to India to begin the creation of Portugal's overseas colonial empire.
In other words, this book is not going to receive an Interfaith Award for Ecumenical Understanding anytime soon. Bacchus in particular is quite an antagonist of Da Gama and crew, constantly stirring up the Muslims of various kingdoms to try to destroy the Portuguese Christian heroes of the book. The Lusiads is not an easy read by any means, but it does provide an interesting insight into the self-image of Portugal just as that small Iberian nation was entering what is still called its Golden Age. O piteous lot of man's uncertain state! What woes on Life's unhappy journey wait!
When joyful Hope would grasp its fond desire, The long-sought transports in the grasp expire. By sea what treach'rous calms, what rushing storms, And death attendant in a thousand forms! By land what strife, what plots of secret guile, How many a wound from many a treach'rous smile!
Oh where shall man escape his num'rous foes, And rest his weary head in safe repose! Having read a fantastic and engaging epic as The Odyssey Having read a fantastic and engaging epic as The Odyssey , I can say now that I shouldn't have read The Lusiads right afterwards. I kept bouncing between a sense of admiration and one of imitation that oozed from every canto, and soon lost all interest to the point of having a chore to finish, a lyrical obstacle that prevented me from reading the next book of this course that so far has been awesome and I'm never doing it again.
As for the translation, I read it in Spanish and the somewhat archaic language didn't help me overcome my sense of boredom. I can't believe I've been to Portugal twice without having read the Portuguese national epic. This is a wonderful tale. The darkest aspects of imperialism and religious conflict are here, cloaked in glory. But the courage of the small groups of men who sailed the Portuguese caravels to unknown corners of the world is also lauded. The story is dressed like The Odyssey, filled with classical gods and nymphs, especially Venus, looking out for her Portuguese, and Bacchus, equally determined to destr I can't believe I've been to Portugal twice without having read the Portuguese national epic.
The story is dressed like The Odyssey, filled with classical gods and nymphs, especially Venus, looking out for her Portuguese, and Bacchus, equally determined to destroy them for taking the luster off his own deeds, not to take away from the fact that part of the purpose of the Portuguese expansion was to spread the Good News of Christianity. Da Gama and his men are even rewarded near the end with the relief of a pleasure island, which sounds much like Madeira, from what I have read.
And Camoens was right there, living all this, not sitting in his study. Camoens's criticism of corruption in government and the pursuit of wealth above all else is applicable to our own day. Atkinson's prose translation was very readable. There's a good introduction, but not a footnote in the whole thing. The translation is sixty years old, still in print in Penguin Classics. I was reading an old paperback that belonged to my father.
I will read this again. Oct 14, Czarny Pies rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone willing to make the effort to read a text from a different era of our culture. Shelves: portuguese-lit. This long narrative poem of the 17th Century which recounts the epic voyages of Vasco da Gama is It is a truly a thing of wonder. It includes a history of Portugal, a war with the Muslims, a description of Neptune's Palace, a description of Vasco da Gama's voyage to India, the devastation of scurvy, the experience of seeing St.
Elmo's fire, the sighting of the Southern Cross, and many other aspects of da Gama's extraordinary career. Being a work of the Renaissance, the personages and motifs Class This long narrative poem of the 17th Century which recounts the epic voyages of Vasco da Gama is It is a truly a thing of wonder.
Fernando Gerassi (1899-1974)
Being a work of the Renaissance, the personages and motifs Classical antiquity are everywhere. The author's own declares at the beginning that his work is modelled on the Iliad and the Odyssey. He includes a visit to Neptune's palace on Da Gama's. The gods of antiquity supportively watch as Da Gama wins a great victory for Christianity. These apparent intrusions into the 17th Century by the figures of Greek and Roman mythology might seem odd to the modern reader but was standard fare for the Renaissance.
There is much to be gained by reading the Lusiad. It may provide insight into how the Portuguese view their own history. Its real value is that it is simply a great work of literature according to the stylistic canons of the Renaissance which was one of Europe's greatest cultural eras. Mar 09, Eva rated it really liked it Shelves: verse. He makes many many many references to such things, and if you don't bother to understand them, his work becomes unbearable to read. I do highly appraise what he set to achieve.
Sure, the history told by Vasco da Gama in Melinde was likely not all that accurate, but it sounded dramatic, fantastic, heroic. And certainly much more interesting than whatever I learnt in highschool. Everything feels more intense than you'd expect, some verses even flow so well they made my eyes water. And he even managed to make Cupid the most hardcore male god Pic related: pbs. Especially that last part. But I'll blame it on too many references for me to look up. Also no reference to the Azores? That hurts. Nov 10, Nancy rated it liked it Shelves: Finished: Classic that is seldom seen on reading lists.
I can understand why. Classic for the DieHards My Thoughts. This is Portugal's national epic. I came across this book when I was in Lisbon in April. Sitting at the Cafe Brasileira where Fernando Pessoa used to frequent, I was face-to-face with Luis de Camoes's statue, wondering who he was. A quick google search revealed what importance he has to Portuguese national history and I couldn't resist buying the book at the nearest bookshop; Libreria Sa Da Costa - one of the oldest bookshops in Lisbon. It is indeed the monumental moment of Portuguese history.
In that regard, the book serves as a founding myth of the Portuguese nation. What makes the book unique is its style.
Written in the style of the old classics of Homer or Virgil, it incorporates elements from both the old world of the Ancient Greeks and the new world of Christianity and European Kingdoms. The narrative simultaneously includes old gods such as Jupiter, Venus and Neptune who aid the Portuguese sailors in their quest towards fame and Bacchus, the main antagonist and the ruler of the Indian Ocean who has a somewhat personal vendetta against the Portuguese and the new god, the god of "Divine Providence" through whose faith the Portuguese motivate themselves to overcome the natural and other challenges they face.
One such challenge comes from "the barbaric Moslems". As a classic work of Christian nationalist propaganda, the Moslems as the vile creatures hell-bent on destroying Christianity yet unable due to their stupidity is a recurring theme. Virtue, valour and prudence of the Portuguese are contrasted with the scheming, materialistic Moslems whose defeat is inevitable.
I enjoyed reading this book but somewhat ironically. The religious petty-wars seem so absurd now that the book can not be taken seriously. Added to the fact that how the epic joyfully depicts the many massacres and slaughters the Portuguese partake in or will partake in their conquest of the Indias, the book is in its essence a violent, nationalist justification of colonialism. And what is the prize of their massacres, their own beautiful virgin nymphs handcrafted by Venus herself Jun 23, Chesapeake Bae rated it did not like it Shelves: european-history , fiction.
It's an arrogant piece of work. But considering it was written and published in the 16th century, one can understand the national chest-puffing-and-thumping nature of it. For readers who know Portuguese history, or those who want to know a grand historical narrative and have Google handy or simply remember everything about world history, sophomore year. Classical references abound. Landeg White , which is far more r It's an arrogant piece of work. Landeg White , which is far more rhythmic poetry and endearing, like the Shakespeare of Portugal one prefers to read.
I have no idea how to rate this one; it's a huge piece of literature, but it's also a gigantic and conscious imitation of Homer and Virgil-- fine and dandy, but doesn't really fit the time or place. A not-unenjoyable read, and an interesting take on colonialism as it was happening-- but I don't need to read it again. View 1 comment. Aug 27, Deanne rated it liked it Shelves: books Interesting read if only for the fact that it was written over years ago and provides an insight into what was thought and believed at the time.
The Portuguese Masterpiece. There is no way to deny it. However, it was not an enjoyable read. On the other h actually 2. On the other hand, it is really hard to be in and praise all the heroic rubbish related to Portugal's discovery voyages and how perfect people were the "conquistadores" and "desbravadores". Portugal indeed was a pioneer on the maritime exploration for "undiscovered" from the European POV territories. The depreciation includes women, Islam, black people, foreigners, and so on.
I just do not have patient for dishonesty anymore, even if it is well written. I know that I cannot put my reality on a poem written in and analyze it as if it was written in - this would not be fair. However, I cannot put my heart on it and appreciate it entirely, as it would not be fair either. May 19, Mayank Agarwal rated it liked it. His characters are shallow and lack any kind of identity other than being a Portuguese and a Christian. As he mentions twice, he feels that describing war-actions in details is unnecessary, so all the foresights and the hindsights told about the wars feel textbookish, making those cantos a tiring read.
It's inspired from The Aeneid to such extant that after a point it starts being annoying when you see a resemblance. It gets strange at times. The Pagan gods don't play any role in the history of Portugal which is mostly guided by Christianity, but they suddenly hold a council to decide the fate of da Gama's journey and keep a watch over it. At points, it's difficult to say what is satire and what is not.
The Island of Love episode seems more like the '72 virgins' myth. Overall, it's an ambitious attempt as the author mentions not tried before by any of his contrymen. However, it falls short of being a meaningful read, far behind the source it's most inspired from. Feb 07, Nick Gibson rated it it was amazing. I read Leonard Bacon's mid-century verse translation, recommended by Barzun.
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Excellent notes. Mar 03, Erika rated it it was amazing. A celebration of the Portuguese navigating towards the east in the age of explorations. It is an epic poem brimming with references of all sorts, so it is quite demanding! Nov 19, Jenn rated it liked it Shelves: books. It must have taken considerable mental gymnastics to equate the pantheon of Greek gods with the Catholic faith but I suppose he had the excuse of it being a literary device. Da Gama travels around Africa encountering terrible storms and unfriendly natives along the way before reaching his goal of India. The aim was to provide a secure sea route to India and its lucrative spice trade, thus avoiding the numerous taxes and tolls from the overland route.
To me Camoes is definitely at his strongest when he is describing the actual journey — there is an authenticity in his account because Camoes did travel to India himself, so knew what he was talking about. There is inevitably a great deal of bumptiousness and glorification of Portugal, as an anointed nation, which is par for the course in national epics. There is the most bizarre section at the end when Da Gama and his ship end up on a kind of island of love as a reward for the labours, with a great number of attractive nymphs competing for attention.
Seems like wishful thinking to me. I made my usual mistake of buying the cheap translation, so probably a poorer edition than I could have read. A decent translation is really important in a novel like this. Apr 08, Craig rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , history. In Portugal's de facto 'national poem' Camoes celebrates the Lusiads - the Portuguese - and their golden era of exploration and discovery. The poem was inspired by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's voyage to India, which serves as the subject matter.
The epic is magical and syncretic in that it celebrates the Christian heritage of the Portuguese whilst, at the same time, several pagan gods and goddesses from the classical era feature prominently: This certainly isn't dull Catholic liturgy In Portugal's de facto 'national poem' Camoes celebrates the Lusiads - the Portuguese - and their golden era of exploration and discovery. The epic is magical and syncretic in that it celebrates the Christian heritage of the Portuguese whilst, at the same time, several pagan gods and goddesses from the classical era feature prominently: This certainly isn't dull Catholic liturgy in poetic form.
We see the ancient goddess Venus seduce Jove whilst Da Gama prays to his Christian god for salvation. Ultimately, though, this is a poetic celebratory history of the Portuguese age of discovery. I guess the Spanish equivalent may be 'The Araucaniad. However, I very much like this epic poem which, in my opinion, stands alongside The Odyssey as a great piece of epic literature.
As an epic poetry, maybe some of the beauty and wit got lost in translation. Written in the 16th century, it is an ode to Portugal's greatness at the time and its three to four generations of explorers, warriers and conquerers, notably Vasco da Gama's pioneer voyage to India. It is also the story of countless cruel wars and agressions on other cities, countries and ancient civilisations and the massacres and murders of countless people around the globe. All in the name of heroic exploration, bring As an epic poetry, maybe some of the beauty and wit got lost in translation.
All in the name of heroic exploration, bringing the good word of Christian religion with the blade of the sword. I have no admiration for it. Historical events, names of countries, cities and places are so numerous, I can not recognise and remember many of them. I feel a temptation though, to pick up threads and go into more detailed historical research. Strange and beautiful. The intertwining of Christianity and Greek mythology is gracefully done.
This translation would have been a more difficult read if not for my fluency in French. The use of Latin names for the Greek deities is annoying but considering it's original publishing date understandable and the 'errata' section is misleading as it lists corrections up to page and the poem itself spans pages. If you are not versed in Classical mythology this might not be the version f Strange and beautiful. If you are not versed in Classical mythology this might not be the version for you as there are many allusions to Greek gods through their familial links and no notes. Despite all this, a true classic and a definite recommend with one caveat: may not make an ideal introduction to poetry.
Nov 13, Kelly added it. In the Lusiads the author does something different: he uses his passion and love for his country by creating a story of a true adventure by someone from his country to give them credit and recognition. The actual adventure might be true, but the author creates the story from the travelers point of view, which is hard because no one really knows what went on.
The author went off of his own experiences and journals. Aug 20, Rosa. The Lusiads was an enjoyable and informative read. Published in , it is the epic poem of Portugal. It is an exposition of the Age of Exploration centered on the exploits of the Portuguese leaders, such as Prince Henry the Navigator, and mariners, such as Dias and de Gama, who first expanded the knowledge of world geography we now take for granted. It was Portugal which in the fourteen hundreds sent serial expeditions down the West coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope and eventually The Lusiads was an enjoyable and informative read.
It was Portugal which in the fourteen hundreds sent serial expeditions down the West coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope and eventually across the Indian Ocean to India. In subsequent years its sailors pushed even farther eastward to China and Japan. As part of this maritime exploration, the Portuguese also discovered Brazil.
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This Penguin version is William C. Atkinson's translation of the original poem by Luis Vaz de Camoens. He provides an excellent introduction that deftly outlines the theme, the poet, the poem, and the translation. He also provides a canto-by-canto summary of the poem. This introduction provides a firm grounding for the reader or the student venturing into this time-travel epic. The poet, Camoens, was born in ,"the year in which Vasco de Gama died.