Darkness Visible. A Study of Vergil's 'Aeneid'.
University of California Press, Berkeley (...), 1976. XI,179p. Original green cloth. Light remains of library sticker to front cover. Head and tail spine as well as corners a bit bumped. and a bit worn. Library stamps or remains of them to endpapers. Library stamp to fore edge. ‘This book does not claim to be a work of original argument but one of ‘synthesis and mediation.’ It consists of four chapters, disarmingly referred to in the preface as essays, of which the two middle ones (…) offer detailed discussion of the style and meaning of key passages from the ‘Aeneid’ set beside their Greek models. Full texts and translations are provided, so that the analyses are accessible to the ‘comparative’ student with little Latin and no Greek, while the professional classicist will welcome them as an addition to the still surprisingly meagre body of hard ‘literary’ criticism of classical epic. (…) The strength of this book lies in my view less in its wresting with multiple allegory than in the fresh emphasis it places on Virgil’s esemplastic power (…). The analyses of key passages from the ‘Aeneid’ and from Greek epic (Homer and Apollonius) invite us to look more closely not only at the language, prosody, etc., but also at such matters as narrative distancing and the way the Latin poet identifies which his reader or enters into the mind of his characters. The discussion of the final simile, where Virgil wrote ‘velle videmur’, and of the Iris-Juno passage and Dido’s death are particularly valuable. (…) This book is the work of a man who cares deeply for Virgil.’ (K.W. GRANSDEN in The Classical Review (New Series), 1978, pp.247-249).