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Translating LifeStudies in Transpositional Aesthetics$
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Shirley Chew and Alistair Stead

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236740

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314285

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Hazlitt's Liber Amoris; or, the New Pygmalion (1823): Conversations and the Statue

Hazlitt's Liber Amoris; or, the New Pygmalion (1823): Conversations and the Statue

(p.181) Hazlitt's Liber Amoris; or, the New Pygmalion (1823): Conversations and the Statue
Translating Life

John Barnard

Liverpool University Press

Published anonymously in 1823, William Hazlitt's Liber Amoris; or, the New Pygmalion retells Ovid's Augustan myth of transformation that takes place in Regency England. A translation from classical to modern times, Hazlitt's prose version of Metamorphoses, Ovid's poetic creation of a distant mythological past, is set in the quotidian world of London's lodging houses. However, there is no pagan Venus in early nineteenth-century London who has the ability to bring about the metamorphosis required by Hazlitt's narrator. Liber Amoris virtually excludes John Keats's poetry, explicitly mentioning it only in a reference to Endymion, but is replete with quotations from the Bible and the Arabian Nights and figures ranging from Horace and Virgil to William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, and Leigh Hunt.

Keywords:   William Hazlitt, Liber Amoris, Ovid, translation, Metamorphoses, London, John Keats, transformation

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