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Not "Latin made easy" but "Latin made fascinating",
This review is from: How to Read a Latin Poem: If You Can't Read Latin Yet (Hardcover)
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I think the title of this book does it a disservice. There is a genre of books that attempt to give a "quick and dirty" introduction to Latin, and thereby make the classical world accessible to the modern reader - this is NOT one of them. Only buy this book if you enjoy reading serious works of literary criticism, where an author or poet's technique is teased apart to extract every iota of meaning.
If you do enjoy taking that sort of approach, then this book is a gem! Professor Fitzgerald's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. His explanations are clear and detailed.
The topics are covered thematically, and the range is admirable. Professor Fitzgerald is determined to introduce his reader to the full range of Roman poetry, not just those writers who use an "elevated style". Poems here are beautiful, elegant, witty, satirical, scabrous - the full gamut of human eloquence. For it is Professor Fitzgerald's thesis that poetry expresses emotion in it heightened form - every emotion; it is therefore the most eloquent window into how Romans thought and felt.
Before reading this, I had tended to think of poetry as a somewhat select art form. This book has made me reevaluate my assumptions regarding its relevance, and to see it more as an integral part of life in the classical era.
Nowadays learning Latin is often divorced from USING Latin. This book serves as an effective reminder of what we gain through being able to understand this ancient language.