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اثر رابرت گریوز از انتشارات ناهید - مترجم: فریدون مجلسی-دهه 1930 میلادی

ارسال شده توسط ایران کتاب در تاریخ دوشنبه 8 آبان 1396
در قرن اول قرن نوزدهم در رم و به عنوان یک یادداشت های خودآموز نوشته شده است، این داستان رنگارنگ از زندگی امپراتور روم کلودیوس به عنوان یکی از کلاسیک مدرن داستان تاریخی است. از نظر فیزیکی ضعیف و مبتلا به لکنت زبان، کلودیوس در ابتدا از بین رفته و به عنوان یک فریبکار رد می شود. او توسط خانواده سلطنتی خجالت زده به زمینه امور امپریالیستی تبدیل می شود، او به عنوان یک محقق و مورخ تبدیل می شود، در حالی که درگیری های قصر و قتل او را احاطه کرده است. کلودیوس در حال تماشای این درامها از فراتر از چشم عموم، فرار از ظلم و ستمی که نسبت به بقیه خانواده سلطنتی توسط اعضای خود اعمال می کند و برای امپراتور رم در ال.ای.


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This is a re-read for me; I found it at my parents house while visiting over Thanksgiving — the same dog-eared copy I had first read in high school — and just like the first time, despite the heavy subject matter, it was a pretty easy and breezy read. I devoured it in less than 2 days.

While it was less of a page-turner knowing all the twists and intrigues that were to come, the second reading gave me a new appreciation for the tension Graves strikes, on the one hand titillating the reader with some of the juiciest (and most disgusting) royal family gossip in all of history, and on the other filtering it through an extremely tiresome, pedantic, and wholly un-gossipy narrator, the bookish Claudius, who prefers to skim prudishly over the excess and drama of his illustrious family and linger instead on long-winded descriptions of obscure battles and historical minutiae.

Graves, basically outing Claudius as a stand-in for himself, announces in the preface that his aim was just that — not to entertain the reader, but to educate them on the real history of the period. My dad, who was the reason for the book resurfacing again in my life by leaving it out on the living room coffee table, said he gave up on it for that very reason; for him, Graves succeeded a little too well. For me, though, there was an esoteric pleasure in this technique of withholding. It was fun to try to peek around the corners of Claudiuss stuffy worldview and catch glimpses of the really good dirt hiding in the cracks of the narrative.

What I didnt like, as much now as the first time I read it, was the sexism and very overt homophobia — the latter not just because it is generally distasteful to me, but because it casts a jarringly anachronistic light into this otherwise reasonably believable immersion into Ancient Rome.

Of all the Decidedly Not Very Nice people in the novel, it is the women whom Claudius speaks of with true venom, particularly his grandmother Livia. He also suffers from a serious virgin/whore complex (all the women in the book are either terrible debauched hags or virginal, girlish saints), and Graves even goes so far as to resort to the laziest of literary tropes, the hooker with the heart of gold (actually, there are two of them!), who inexplicably shares a deep connection and bordering-on-magical wisdom with Claudius whenever he is in need.

Roman women were indeed subjugated to the men of their society and treated practically as chattel, so Claudiuss lack of empathy or connection with women except on a sexual property level isnt too strange. And there is one pathos-ridden passage where the progressive side of Claudius breaks through and he relays just how shitty their end of the stick really was, which makes this all somewhat forgivable. But as for the depiction of homosexuality... in a world where babies brains are dashed on rocks because of the crimes of their parents, and slaves eyes are gouged out by live lobsters, Claudius considers consensual sex between two men the most despicable, unmentionable crime of all. (Homosexuality among women is treated so cartoonishly — big manly dyke loves tiny elfish woman, haha — that its beneath my contempt.) Needless to say, its incredibly hard to sustain the belief that a real Roman would feel this way, and not a puritanical Victorian — which Graves very clearly was.

But I suppose its in character for a historian to fall prey to his own myopia, and too much to ask for a Classical view from nowhere. Objections aside, this is a fun way to learn about Roman history, the side of it your high school Latin teacher may have been reluctant to linger on...

مشاهده لینک اصلی
[2.5 stars]
Oh, Claudius. I tried to comprehend , but perhaps my 21st century brain is differently wired so as to make sense of the various intrigues, conspiracies, counter-conspiracies, political friendships which suddenly turn into violent enmity,and often vice versa. I also could not fathom your very intricate family tree, which was rife with marriage between relations, incest, polygamy and polyandry. The way you people changed, added or subtracted spouses at the turn of your hats also confused me.
At times I was not sure who was friends with whom, who was plotting against whom, and who was killing whom. I failed to understand the plots in themselves.
Still I persevered with your book because I found you a gentle and truthful person, and I wanted to see how you penned the history of the then illustrious Rome.
I am impressed by your clarity of mind, loyalty and sharp intellect.
But I confess that I am still not much wise about the history of Rome.
If anyone asks me to summarise this book, I will just be able to quote names - Augustus, Livia, Claudius, Julia, Germanicus, Drusilla, Urgullania (not sure of this one though), Tiberius, Caligula, Jullilla, and a few others. But who belongs to whom, who hates whom, who fathered/mothered whom, and what is the final tally - my feeble mind remembers not.
Some day, I am sure I will again read a book on Rome. And then, if I really wish to learn more, I may come back and read your script. But somehow, I doubt I will do that.
Adieu, Claudius


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Re-read after 15 years. It wasnt as good as I remember, but the audiobook narrator occasionally irritated me with his delivery so that might have had something to do with it. Ill actually re-read the sequel Claudius the God and see if the written word has a different effect.

I also re-read this concurrently with watching the 1976 miniseries for a long long overdue first time ever, enjoying it more than the book version. Its highly doubtful Ill ever unsee Brian Blessed as Augustus & John Hurt as Caligula. They are historical canon to me.



Despite all this Julio-Claudian gorging, I still cant get enough of those dysfunctional, inbred miscreants. I know some historians get in a snit at Graves use of Suetonius and other biased & gossipy sources, but it makes for some fantabulously page-turning primetime-soap-in-togas trash. And thats all that matters in my world.


Wheeeeeee!

مشاهده لینک اصلی
hem soyağacındaki isim benzerlikleri, hem de akraba evlilikleri nedeniyle oldukça karmaşık olabilecek bir konuyu çok keyifli ve akıcı anlatmış yazar. yüzyıllık yalnızlıkta bile soyağacına bir iki kere bakan ben, internetten bulduğum bir soyağacını kendim çizip kitabın arasına koyup sürekli açıp baktım. bu anlamda biraz zorluyor ama zamanla alışıyorsunuz elbette, zaten birkaç imparatorun dönemini kapsayan bir anlatı olduğu için artık o isimde beş kişi de olsa dönem itibariyle hangi isim olduğunu anlayabiliyorsunuz filan... hem bittiği yer itibariyle bir bütün, hem de devamını oldukça merak ediyorsunuz -500 sayfalık böyle yorucu bir romanın ardından elimde hazır bulunsa devamına hemen başlardım hissini bana her seri vermiyor açıkçası. tarih ve/veya roma severlerin mutlaka okumasını tavsiye ederim diyerek noktalayayım, biraz ucuz roma bileti bakıp kederlenmek istiyorum zira.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Updated Review - Reheard after listening to Hollands book about the family. So fun.


A very good dramatization. If you are a fan of the series, this does not detract from it. It is also interesting to listen to Derek Jacobi as Augustus. It makes a nice bookend.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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#انتشارات ناهید - #رابرت گریوز - #فریدون مجلسی
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