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35 Stars Really good almost great book Daisy Dunn details as best as she can the life of Roman poet Catullus Ancient Rome fascinates me and I appreciate this book is about an aspect that historically is overlooked poets and their poetry Usually at least in my experience there s a lot of work on military politics and important players in those fields Of course that s not to say that those traditional elements don t play a part in Catullus story because they do However this book is parsed with Catullus poetry and the author does a good job of balancing fact poetry and analysisDo I recommend this one Yes Overall it s a different view of Ancient Rome and I liked it Make it #three and a half because some of her translations are uite #and a half because some of her translations are uite and immediate She even imitates Catullus frenetic rhythm in poem 63 the only one in Latin in this galliambic rhythm meant to remind the reader of the cymbals and drums of wild worshipers of the Great Mother Cybele But the whole project is a little suspect from the start almost nothing is nown about the poet s life and what is guessed is drawn as she does here from supposedly autobiographical details in his poetry There s a lot of dispute about that which she honestly acknowledges in her footnotes There are 116 poems and they are clearly not in chronological order They do not tell a step by step story 22 of them mention Lesbia as the love and hate of his life Other love poems are written to an unnamed woman is that still Lesbia or somebody else How can anyone possibly decide There are some famous names in his poetry but are they identical with the people of the same name whom history remembers There are a lot of mythical allusions do they reference then current political events Dunn comes down pretty firmly on all these uestions But it seems to me she has conjured up a Catullus who is like the promises of women in love as he says written in the wind and on running water This was a fun biography of Catullus using mostly his own poems which is of course Fraught for a general audience I m impressed by the dogged attempt to put everything into a chronology which is great for a history but doesn t work for a poetry book and so it makes a lot of sense that this is NOT a poetry book Dunn has apparently also done a translation except for excerpts 64 is the only poem completely translated in this book which is definitely something I d like to get my hands onFor those who haven t read Catullus and simplifying a bit we have a vaguely metrically arranged book of Catullus poems that was likely not Catullus original arrangement of the book or books and would probably not have been chronological in the first place You pretty much have to read the whole thing to absorb the interconnectedness of it all Because Catullus

mentions a lot 
a lot contemporaries it s very tempting to mine his book for biographical details and make connections to historical events but that only goes so far before you start having to make educated guesses My one complaint with Catullus Bedspread is that Dunn often doesn t make it clear what s a guess or the thought process behind that guess Not. A vivid narrative that recreates the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus Rome’s first modern” poet and follows a young man’s journey through a world filled with all the indulgences and sexual excesses of the time from doomed love affairs to shrewd political maneuvering and backstabbing an accessible appealing look at one of history’s greatest poetsBorn to one of Verona’s leading families Catullus spent most of his young adulthood in Rome mingling with the likes of Caesar.
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Catullus BedspreadEy are much too brief and sketchy to really understand I liked the Pliny book better Unlike any other biography I ve read of anyone uite fascinating how the author cleverly reconstructed Catullus s life mainly from his own poetry and other primary sources Though scatological and even obscene at times he was a poet of great feeling introspection and intensity Some of his incisive poems on particular personalities presage Martial or Juvenal The author used as point of reference 64 what she considers his masterpiece the miniature epic she termed the Bedspread poem of extended mythological scenes and Catullus s Five Ages of Mankind which led her to relate his other poems to his life from growing up in Verona to Rome to Bithynia on the Black Sea thence back to Rome and his home on Lake Garda The Lesbia poems trace his love #affair with clodia metelli from fevered beginning through #with Clodia Metelli from fevered beginning through to its end where he tells two fellow poets and us And may she not expect my love as beforeWhich through her fault has fallen like a flowerOn the edge of a meadow touchedBy a plough passing by From Poem 11 We enter into Catullus s world also the political conditions machinations and upheaval of the Late Republic Ms Dunn has also provided interesting analyses of some of the poems what she thinks are subtle meanings between the lines She does fill in gaps in setting the scenes with her own words for instance when Catullus first climbs the Palatine to the Metellus home his voyage home from Bithynia and last where we see him on the shore of Lake Garda He watches the water lick the land like tears on the myth of Ariadne and Bacchus from the Bedspread poem the Titian painting commissioned by the Italian Renaissance duke Alfonso III d Este of Ferrara Highly recommended Wow is the subtitle ill advised and stupid This is uite a good #book and uite an interesting take on it all but I can already see that it is better to think #and uite an interesting take on it all but I can already see that it is better to think this book as a novel than as a biography of a poet we basically don t now anything about As a novel this is actually being honest extremely well written and well worth readingI m not sure I agree with many of Dunn s opinions on Catullus s relationships and her timeline but I suppose that isn t the point This book is though very well written and very well researched even if it assumes Dunn s opinions as fact there is absolutely no evidence Catullus died at age 30 in Rome He simply disappears from the record anything could have happened to him his death is The author reconstructs Catullus life from his poems and contemporaneous historical accounts Besides his poetry Catullus is most famous for his affair with Clodia the sister of the demagogue Publius Clodius Pulcher and the wife of former consul uintus Caecilius Metellus Celer Many of his poems are uite scatological and others are outright attacks on people including Caesar It s a very interesting look at Rome during the last years of the Republic Daisy on people including Caesar It s a very interesting look at Rome during the last years of the Republic Daisy weaves the poetry of Catullus with the history of first century BC Rome A very readable biography in which the details of Catullus s life are teased out of his poems and other sources. The suspicious death of her aristocratic husbandWhile Catullus and Clodia made love in the shadows the whole of Italy was uaking as Caesar Pompey and Crassus forged a doomed alliance for power During these tumultuous years Catullus increasingly turned to darker subject matter and he finally composed his greatest work of all a poem about the decoration on a bedspread which forms the heart of this biography a work of beauty that will achieve immortality and make Catullus a legen. Doing this makes it a lot READABLE OF COURSE SO IT S of course so it s to argue too much but there were points where I would have liked a footnote this book used endnotes which is a perfectly sensible choice that I always absolutely hate Subtitled The Life of Rome s Most Erotic Poet this is the biography of Gaius Valerius Catullus believed to be born in Verona about 82 BC One of the problems with trying to write the biography of someone who lived so long ago is obviously the lack of material to work with However in this case we are lucky For Catullus was Rome s first lyric poet and his poetry unlike most of his contemporaries dealt less with epic adventures and with the personalCatullus lived in turbulent times and his world was populated with great men Julius Caesar a dinner guest of his father Pompey the Great Crassus Cicero and others Therefore his poems also give us a personal portrait of a critical point in world politics as well as a personal and immediate view of his life and his loves For Catullus was bedroom than battlefield and his immediate concerns mostly involved his own personal life As a poet he inspired Ovid and Virgil among others and because his poetry deals with his own feelings disappointments and emotions they still seem extremely relevant and almost shockingly modernAuthor Daisy Dunn interweaves poetry into this book using Catullus own words to tell his story So here is his story of a poet from the upper echelons of society A second son whose elder brother died and who was forced to return to Verona from Rome A man who fell passionately in love with another man s wife Above all a man who used his experience to write great poetry I think he #WOULD BE PLEASED THAT THIS BOOK EXISTED AND THAT #be pleased that this book existed and that poetry is still read and remembered A fascinating read and an amazingly vivid portrait of a man who lived so long ago in such amazing times I got this book from the library but it is now on my wishlist because I definitely want to own this A biography of the poet of the late Republic Gaius Valerius Catullus which attempts to take a measured view integrating all that is nown or surmised about him including some of the subtler references in his own poetry It is entirely too easy to dismiss Catullus as a smutty writer a purveyor of poetic filth if one does not understand the unparalleled deftness and elegance with which he wrote or the serious nature of some of his work His father s political connections to Julius Caesar his personal connections with Cicero and Clodia Metelli fascinating stuff The serious Catullus scholar is likely to find that most of this covers familiar ground but there are bound to be a few revelations 35It was nice to learn about Catullus but clearly too little is Best Friends known about him to fill a book The author therefore fills in the blanks by taking liberties but also by making lots of digressions into Catullus contemporaries the political situation as we are nearing the end of the Republic but also the arts and mythology The problem with these digressions is that either you are familiar with them already in which case they are superfluous or you are not in which case th. And Cicero and chronicling his life through his poetry Famed for his lyrical and subversive voice his poems about his friends were jocular often obscenely funny while those who crossed him found themselves skewered in raunchy verse sudden objects of hilarity and ridicule These bawdy poems were disseminated widely throughout Rome Many of his poems recall his secret longstanding affair with the seductive Clodia an older woman who would eventually be plunged into scandal following.