"Pindar" by D. S. Carne-Ross

Pindar D. S. Carne-Ross

Hermes Books Series
Publication date:
10 Sep 1985
Yale University Press
216 pages: 210 x 140mm
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Pindar has for centuries been the least understood and appreciated of the great classical poets, for the type of composition by which he is now chiefly represent—the ode written on commission to praise a victorious athlete—does not seem to fit our notions of what a lyric poem should be.  This book by D.S. Carne-Ross sets out to recover Pindar as a vital presence in the Western tradition.  Through critical discussion, comparison with more familiar poets past and present, and selective translation, Carne-Ross demonstrates the craftsmanship and beauty of a Pindaric ode.
The first chapter examines the form of the victory ode—an inherited form with its required, recurrent features—and shows how, in Pindar’s hands, its disparate elements compose a complex, harmonious whole.  The rest of the book consists of close readings of a dozen odes illustrating different aspects of Pindar’s genius and the wide range of experience that this seemingly limited genre can cover.
Written to convey to the general reader the skill and power of Pindar’s poetry, this book assumes no knowledge of the specialist literature.  However, a number of Carne-Ross’s interpretations do break fresh critical ground, and thus the book will also be of interest to scholars in the field. 

"The best book on Pindar, and the only book on Pindar for the general reader."?Tom D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor

"He draws on the best recent scholarship to describe the structure of the odes,...Mr.  Carne-Ross doesn't make Pindar easy, but he does make him understandable, even natural.  In fact, he has made him almost irresistible."?D.J.R.Bruckner, New York Times Book Review

"As one of the series of Hermes Books, intended to 'guide the general reader to a dialogue with the classical master,' Carne-Ross's Pindar should stimulate and satisfy a wide readership, including also the specialist.  The book serves as a rare guide....One concludes the book with a fresh appreciation of Pindar's ripe archaic and traditional poems, which, as the author has rightly insisted, are 'ramm'd with life.'"?Donald L. Jennermann, Religious Studies Review

"There is much that is fresh and stimulating in his observations on individual odes. Carne-Ross's Pindaric register will have its aficionados among like-minded classicists, and 'general readers'."?Penelope Wilson, The Times Literary

"A very well disciplined essay on the victory odes of Greece's greatest lyric poet."?John E. Rexine, Colgate University

"In many ways this is a jarring?and caring?book, far more valuable, in its brief pages, than works many times its size." ?Academic Library Book Review