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Book reviews for "Bate,_Jonathan" sorted by average review score:

Ovid's Metamorphoses : The Arthur Golding Translation of 1567
Published in Paperback by Paul Dry Books Inc (March, 2000)
Authors: Ovid, Jonathan Bate, Jonathan Bate, and John Frederick Nims
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Thirty-five Years
Buy this book before it goes out of print for another thirty-five years!

If Golding's Ovid is not, "the most beautiful book in the language," it's among the top two-dozen "most beautiful books" you can find in English. I've searched for a second-hand copy of the 1965 Simon and Schuster edition since the late sixties, ever since I read Pound's ABC of Reading. I never had any luck finding it, though I did come across a non-circulating copy in a university library once. Its title page explained that only 2500 copies had been printed and that the previous edition -- the one Pound must have used -- was a small, deluxe Victorian production, itself unattainable by 1965.

After all my years lurking in second-hand bookshops, Paul Dry Books has finally done the decent and brought Golding's Ovid out again, this time as a beautifully printed, well-bound, but inexpensive paperback. I grabbed up my copy at first sight.

Is this an "accurate" translation of Ovid? As a previous reviewer has said, if you really want accuracy, you should read Ovid in Latin and leave the wild Elizabethan translators alone. Unlike that reviewer though, I'd say that, if you want Ovid in perfectly accurate modern English, with his poetry and voice included, you should read him in Mandelbaum's beautifully rendered version; but if you want an accurate modern English translation -- the type of thing your Latin prof would give you excellent marks for -- then read him in Melville's able, though sometimes sightly flat translation.

But if you love Elizabethan literature, then you should read Golding. You read his Ovid for the ripe, quirky, full-on Elizabethan English, deployed in his long, rambling fourteeners. Golding's metre was becoming antiquated in his own day but, as with a good deal of his rustic vocabulary, he didn't seem to care much about literary fashion. Reading him now, I find it's his joy with his original that matters. Open the volume anywhere -- at the Cyclops Polyphemus singing to the Nymph Galatea for example -- and there is Golding rolling magnificently on:

"More whyght thou art then Primrose leaf, my Lady Galatee.
More fresh than meade, more tall and streyght than lofy Aldertree.
More bright than glasse, more wanton than the tender kid forsooth.
Than Cockeshelles continually with water worne, more smoothe."

Where "forsooth" is outrageous metrical padding, and "forsoothe/smoothe" was probably a forced rhyme even in 1567. But who cares? Golding's music carries the reader past any such concerns, and the beauty and energy of the thing are undeniable.

So buy the book! Make sure it sells tens-of-thousands of copies! Give the publisher a reason to keep reprinting, so it never disappears again.

Stop the Madness!
I'd like my review to correct what seems to be an over-hasty, unreflective lionization of Golding's translation by the other reviewers. Yes, it is a "great translation," in the sense that Marlowe's translations from Latin are, or Motteaux' Don Quixote is, or Pope's Iliad, or Robert Lowell's Imitations, or Pound's Chinese "translations," or even Ted Hughes' Tales From Ovid: that is, it is an powerful, compelling, wholly literary work in its own right, but it is nowhere near the original in terms of accuracy. The Latinless reader would do much better to buy Melville's excellent Oxford translation (which lacks nothing in poetic splendor) or perhaps Allen Mandelbaum's. As for the poetic "quality" of Golding's verse, that's of course subjective, but I could easily think of at least ten Elizabethan poets who are more satisfying to my taste. Golding's chief literary interest, as Nims points out, is his absolutely odd-ball English; attentive readers will find him a veritable storehouse of strange, funny, quaint Elizabethanisms that didn't quite make it into Shakespeare or the other mainstream writers of the period. (Much of the same joy can be found in Chapman's marvelous translations of Homer, reprinted by Princeton.) And the much-quoted Pound maxim comes from his wonderfully cantankerous ABC of Reading, certainly a fascinating book, but one in which Pound indulges in various critical pronouncements that seem, at times, merely whimsical or rhetorical. Much of Golding is rough, much dull, much of its interest is linguistic rather than poetic. He also adds a lot to round off his fourteeners (which I can't imagine are palatable to most readers for long stretches): his additions are fun, but they're not Ovid. Golding "Englished" Ovid to a great degree: his imagery often comes from English culture, not Mediterranean. Of course, any translation is fallible, and Golding's faults as a translator are, in my view, his greatest strengths as a poet, but he's definitely not a good place to start reading what is certainly one of the world's greatest books. This is a fine book, well worth the five stars, but emphatically NOT for the reasons cited by my colleagues. If you want Ovid, go for the original; failing that, Melville's your man.

called 'the most beautiful book in the english language'...
This edition presents the Arthur Golding translation just as it would have been read at the time of its publication (1567). The Elizabethan spelling is maintained but is not an overwhelming problem (and really not very difficult at all and really adds to the charm of the translation (poetry) itself...) The print of this edition is also perfect in look (black print) and size and is the type of print that gives words a more substantial look...(that's not a small thing in a work like this...) Arthur Golding was not only a Protestant in times when faith was very political, but he was a Puritan...(he also was famous for translating John Calvin...) This edition reprints his preface where he justifies his efforts in translating Ovid. It also reprints his Epistle, or, dedication... I noticed on the copyright page that this is a reprint of an edition that was published back in 1965 by Simon and Schuster which interested me because I've been looking for an edition new or used of the famous Golding translation all my reading life (which began well after 1965...) and had never had any luck, so I would say if you come across this edition or it's not out-of-print by the time you see it here on and you've always wanted to read it (I, by the way, had never been able to find the Golding translation in any libraries either...) then don't put-off aquiring it... Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses is really a basic book (there are only about 40 of those at last count...don't ask me to document that though...) Why is Golding's translation of this work so intriguing...? It, for one thing, looks on the page like sunlight looks when it's dancing and flashing off the water of a running brook...

Improve Your Eyesight: A Guide to the Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses
Published in Hardcover by Kennebec River Pr (June, 1990)
Author: Jonathan Barnes
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fairly simple, insightful
Occasionally, someone who has experience improving their eyesight with the Bates Method writes a book to help clarify things for others. The Bates Method is comprised of many subtleties that just about everyone misses at first (and some people never get it). Many people who claim to understand it don't, so it's always refreshing to read a book by someone who knows what he's talking about, and this book is no exception.

One unique offering is his explaining how there are two ways for the brain to block the visual process. One is to interfere with the mechanics of vision, by altering the eye shape with the extrinsic muscles, preventing proper blinking and shifting, and encouraging disease that impairs vision. The other way is what Barnes refers to as altering the consistency of the barrier between the subconscious and conscious mind. The first type of blocking (mechanical) tends to be more easily overcome than the second. The second is purely mental, when there is clear information that has made it through the visual system but it isn't recognized for what it is. So there are times when the eyes are working in an improved manner, but their signals are prevented from passing through the barrier (from the subconscious to conscious mind).

That actually just summarizes one page, and the rest of the book is relatively simple. But if you're new to the Bates Method, read this text slowly, as you are going to miss important principles he slips in if you aren't careful.

John Clare : A Biography
Published in Hardcover by Farrar Straus & Giroux (October, 2003)
Author: Jonathan Bate
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Beautiful, glorious
Clare is a true poet, and strangely neglected currently it seems. Really he is one of the essential poets of the wonderful romantic era which includes Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Coleridge, and Keats. Why is this just about the only book of his work being published? I think you're lucky to find this one, and you can find many poems of his on the web to see yourself. Cheers

The Oxford Illustrated History of Shakespeare on Stage (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
Published in Paperback by Oxford University Press (November, 2001)
Authors: Jonathan Bate and Russell Jackson
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Perfect in every way
I rarely find a work of this level of excellence. Every single essay in this book is necessary, accessible, illluminating, compelling, and fulfilling. There are times where I read a compilation such as this one and find one or more of the parts to be lacking, superfluous, or just plain boring. Not this book. Bate and Jackson even had the foresight to include an essay by an actor - Judi Dench. Foakes and Wiggins don't just gloss over what is known about his contemporaries, but challenge and engage new ideas about Shakespeare's first performances. Holland offers a fascinating glimpse at the first superstar reviver of his work, Garrick. Thomson covers subsidized Shakespeare and Smallwood incisively explores the current approaches towards his work, Director's Shakespeare. I could go and on and on, but this book has it all. Recommended for academics and students, professionals and amateurs, life-long devotees and the novice who merely wants to learn more about Shakespearean performance.

The Song of the Earth
Published in Paperback by Harvard Univ Pr (March, 2002)
Author: Jonathan Bate
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'ecocriticism' comes of age
Jonathan Bate's short book, 'Romantic Ecology'(1991) was a landmark in literary ecocriticism. In 'The Song of the Earth' Bate has developed his theme further and in doing so has produced an instant classic.

The purpose of the book is to show how poetry is not only relevant but necessary in an age of increasing environmental unease. It is a manifesto for the urgency of 'ecopoetics'. Bate writes: 'This is a book about why poetry continues to matter as we enter a new millennium that will be ruled by technology. It is a book about modern western man's alienation from nature. It is about the capacity of the writer to restore us to the earth which is our home' (vii)

Chapters are as follows: 1. Going, Going 2. The State of Nature 3. A Voice for Ariel 4. Major Weather 5. The Picturesque Environment 6. Nests, Shell, Landmarks 7. Poets, Apes and Other Animals 8. The Place of Poetry 9. What are Poets For?

My favourite chapter is 'Major Weather' which, in some quite startling and original ways, charts the influence of climate on writing . The centre piece of the chapter is a reading of Keat's 'Ode to Autumn' as a 'weather poem', resembling 'a well-regulated ecosystem'. For Bate, the ode 'is not an escapist fantasy which turns its back on the ruptures of Regency culture, as late twentieth century criticism tended to suggest. No: it is a meditation on how human culture can only function through links and reciprocal relations with nature.'(103-4). I learned 'Ode to Autumn' as a schoolchild, and it has always stayed with me. Now I see eloquently expressed the reasons for its significance to me.

Bate has set himself a difficult but worthy task, to argue for poetry as 'the place where we save the earth', that if culture is the cause of environmental destruction it can also be its remedy. This, then, is a book that should be read by everyone with an interest in literature, by everyone with an interest in the continuation of life on the planet.

Titus: The Illustrated Screenplay
Published in Hardcover by Newmarket Press (April, 2000)
Authors: Julie Taymor, William Shakespeare, and Jonathan Bate
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Perfect Companion to the Movie
"If William Shakespeare were alive today, he would be writing and directing movies..." is the statement made boldly on the back of this book. Taymor delivered her vision of what might of been in the (highly underrated) bigscreen version of Titus, of which Titus: The Illustrated Screenplay, is based. This screenplay provides glorious color photos of key elements in the film, a complete word-for-word script, and tells just how Taymor brought the story from the stage to the screen. Fans of the cast may find some information lacking, and the book could have spent time detailing the costumes, but overall the book was hardly disappointing. The photographs are one of the best features of the book, most in full color and some spanning over two pages. These pictures show a great amount of the setting and costumes, as well as the emotions expressed in important parts of the movie, alongside bold print quotations that apply to the moment. What makes this a good companion to the movie though, is that it gives the full script of what is said in the film, often valuable to those that can't decipher the words directly from the actors' mouths. Shakespeare's writing can often be confusing to those not familiar with reading his stories. While there is some parts hard to understand, the book describes some of the meanings behind the characters' actions, helping to show what occurs. Some of Taymor's liberties are also pointed out, particularly the uses of anachronism throughout the storyline (to show how this story applies to modern times). Taymor takes some time to describe the process of making the movie. She goes into who is involved in the costumes, setting, score, etc. and also how the story became so important to her to make into a movie. However, there isn't a large amount of detail that could have been discussed in this part of the book. There is an illustration of a setting, but no drawings of the costumes, and little brought up about the cast behind each of the characters involved, which might have been of interest to fans. Despite the things that are missing though, the book is worth getting for what it does have. Those that enjoyed the movie will find this book equally enjoyable.

Superb tie-in with the film
If you're a lover of Taymor's unconventional movie, you will find equal delight in the book that accompanies it. Things like this are really quite rare. In my personal opinion, this is a bit of a treasure of a find.

The pictures alone are grand. And the word-for-word transcript of the text makes it perfect to read while simutaneously viewing the film. It really lets the impact of the weighty dialogue come out.

The introduction is of special interest to me- informative and insightful, it put the subject matter in context.

While I might have wanted more information concerning the behind-the-scenes goings on in the film, I find this a small quibble at best. Things this *unique* don't come around very often. Therefore, when they do, sieze them with joy.

Not only is Titus a powerful story, it is a beautiful film that speaks to our time. This book I found nearly as enjoyable as the movie. Like the other reviewer stated- if you liked the film, you will like this too.

I really am pleased in my decision to purchase this; I think you would be too.

Titus Andronicus (3rd Series)
Published in Paperback by Arden Shakespeare (16 March, 1995)
Authors: William Shakespeare and Jonathan Bate
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A possible parody? Still the low end of Shakespeare.
"Titus Andronicus" is the most notorious and least performed play of Shakespeare's. T.S. Eliot once called it the worst play written in the English language and not even the loyalist Shakespeare scholars have stood by it. Not until the movie "Titus" came out, have I heard anyone mention it. All I knew before I finally saw it was that it was extremely over the top violent. In fact, when the rare times it had been performed to modern audiences, many audience members started laughing at how absurd and over the top violent it was. I am a very serious moody theater person but even I couldn't help laugh at some of these scenes. However, I am very curious to suspect, as Harold Bloom did, that Shakespeare might've wrote "Titus Andronicus" as a spoof on his contemporaries. The play's content, plot, and characters are exactly equal to Seneca's plays. Seneca's plays however were never performed and we have no evidence that Shakespeare read Seneca's plays. So perhaps it was a jab at Kyd or Marlowe. The movie "Titus" seemed to use a lot of parody at many times. When I saw it the audience was laughing. I think it is safe to say that that theory may be correct. Although even if it was a parody, the play is still flat and doesn't do much for the audience. There are moments though where we can see Shakespeare developing as a dramatist. I couldn't help but think of "Macbeth" and "King Lear" during parts of Titus' monologues. Actually "Titus Andronicus" at best is a great study on the audience. 'Titus' was well received and performed in Shakespeare's day. Shakespeare was delivering to the audience, giving them a bloody Revenge tragedy that was popular in Elizabethan times. I am very surprise in an age when we make films that can depict a man cutting his face off and feeding it to his dogs("Hannibal"), that 'Titus' wouldn't be more popular. I imagine that Shakespeare was trying to shift from comedian to tragedian and wrote a little experiment called "Titus Andronicus." 'Titus' is worth reading for those who want to read all of Shakespeare but to the average reader, I would say pass and read "KIng Lear" or "Macbeth." To give this play more than three stars would be an insult to Shakespeare's masterpieces.

Worth reading, if just for the study of Aaron
For my fellow reviewers who choose to simply pass this play over because of the prevelant violence, I must point out the complex, witty character of Aaron the Moor. Shakespeare either intended for this play to be a parody of Marlowe/Kyd, or he wanted to experiment with a character, Aaron, to evoke every possible feeling from his audience. And, in my humble opinion, Shakespeare succeeded at this. Aaron is, at the same time, evil and cunny, witty and horrifying, and compassionate and stoic. His final lines, as he is buried up to his neck, left to starve, are some of the best confessions ever produced by the bard. It takes a truly cruel and uncaring individual to not feel for Aaron, who gives up his life for his child's, and who hopelessly and blindly loves a cruel witch of a woman. This play is worth reading, or seeing if you should be so lucky, simply to indulge yourself in the character of Aaron the Moor.

Caedmopn Audio presents a fine production of a strange play
Now that the film "Titus" is about to open, I thought I had best hear a recorded version of the complete play to keep my mind clear during what is bound to be a perversion. Of course, many consider "Titus Andronicus" a perversion anyway; and to tell the truth, I do get a little queasy during the various mutilations that make the deaths at the end a relief rather than a shock. But accepting the play on its own terms, you will find the reissue on tape of the 1966 Caedmon recording of (CF 277) possibly the best directed of the entire classic series. Howard Sackler has a bunch of professionals on hand and he lets them (with one exception) tear up the scenery. Poor Judy Dench, who has so little to say as Lavinia before the plot makes her say no more, can only make pathetic noises for most of the play until her final death cry. The evil brothers, played here by John Dane and Christopher Guinee, are not only evil but sarcastically so--and this works on a recording as it might not on the stage. Perhaps Maxine Audley's Tamora is a bit too Wicked Witch of the West now and then; but her co-partner in evil, Aron the Moor, is brought to life by Anthony Quayle in a role he made famous on stage, going even further in the outright enjoyment of his ill-doing. Yes, this play can easily raise laughs and takes an Olivier to keep the audience in the tragic mood. (Reports are that he did it so well that some audience members became ill and had to leave.)

Which brings us to Michael Hordern's Titus. Hodern is a fine actor but not a great one. He suffers well but not grandly. I am surprised that his Big Moment--"I am the sea"--is lost among all the other images in that speech. But anyone can direct someone else's play. This recording, soon to be rivaled by one in the Arkangel series, is definitely worth having for Quayle's performance alone.

Creating Lightweight Components with ATL
Published in Paperback by Sams (21 May, 1999)
Author: Jonathan Bates
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Well worth buying
This isn't the most famous nor the most recommended of ATL books (compared to ATL Internals and Richard Grimes's books), but I recommend it highly. I don't plan to become an ATL or COM expert any time soon, and I quickly found information here that wasn't available (or wasn't as well explained) in other sources.

This book helped me a lot in creating an Automation-compatible enumeration interface that VB can use with its "for each" construct, and testing this interface from C++ (which can be complicated).

It's not a classic (only classics deserve 5 stars), but it's been of sound practical use to me, and that's high praise indeed.

Comprehensive Guide to ATL
The book consists of 4 parts:

1.Building ATL COM Clients and Servers (a brief introduction in COM theory and ATL).

2.Implementing COM Techniques in ATL.

3.Windowing and ActiveX Controls in ATL.

4.Developing ATL-based Database Applications.

This book gives an extremely brief explanation of COM technique and is focused on how ATL facilitates and dramatically increases speed of implementing COM.

All explanations are quite clear and comprehensive (if only a book on COM and ATL can be comprehensive). Some minor inaccuracies don't spoil the whole impression. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning ATL.

About its prerequisites. Mr. Bates claims that of course you should have experience of C++ programming in a Windows environment, but that you don't need to have any experience of COM/DCOM. In my opinion, to get the most of the book you should at least have already read Inside COM by Dale Rogerson. Even better if you read Essential COM by Don Box as the second book, and only then this book. In any case starting this book as the first COM reading would be too hard.

Best "sit-down and read" book for ATL
Good balance of explanatory text, diagrams, screen snapshots, and code. Compared to the 3 other ATL books I've read (ATL Internals, both the beginning and professional Wrox books on ATL) this book easier to understand and is suitable for straight reading. The other books are better suited as references. This book will get you up to speed on ATL and COM quickly, and it covers a lot of good topics, including ADO, OLE-DB, NT services & DCOM, connection points, and most of the stuff you would expect from an ATL book.

Luna Rising: Psi Order Isra & Luna Sourcebook
Published in Paperback by White Wolf Publishing Inc. (February, 1999)
Authors: Andrew Bates, Robert Scott Martin, Judith A. McLaughlin, and Jonathan Woodward
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All right book, good for additional info
Makes Clarisents into much better psions, even for people who like to hack and slash. Clarisentsa at first seemed to weak, but other important uses for thewir powers are shared in this sourcbook

A good first supplement.
White Wolf has done well with the first area supplement for Trinity, making the least imposing group of characters - ISRA - much cooler than the original book. The color section is well done, and the information is valuable. My only complaints are that the B&W section blends player and GM information and there is too little equipment.

impressive conduit
Robert Scott Martin is a fabulous writer and makes his wide scope of knowledges clear in this simple and lovely work. Clairsentients are exposed as being quite the important and opportune character, and like Robert Scott Martin's other contributions to White Wolf, this bears the mark of gentle scholarship and half-mad, magnaminous creativity.

Alien Encounter: Invasion (Trinity)
Published in Paperback by White Wolf Publishing Inc. (February, 1999)
Authors: Andrew Bates, Michael Lee, Jonathan Woodward, and Jeff Rebner
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A well thought out book
This book has a wealth on information on the Chromatics. That makes is valuable in itself for the Game, but teh galaxy shaking events that happen in the story add even more to its worth. If you plan on running any campaigns in Trinity, this is a must, it give information, serves as a springboard for your own ideas, and even gives youa glimpse at what White wolf could do next.

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