Ovid And Society In Malouf's Imaginary Life

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This writing is not only subversive but also an attempt to remake the world. Malouf’s Ovid does not only defy or oppose the imperial culture of Rome in a straightforward way but eworks it in an attempt to create a new and different life for his social world. And not surprisingly Ovid relates the desired effects of his writings to sexual acts, because for him sexual acts enegixe and transform even while risking one’s identity in encounter with another. So he needed to be thrown out before causing more damage. But for Ovid being exiled was not the only punishment; it was only the beginning, just as Lord Stanley had intended for the deported convits referred to a little earlier. In Ovid’s case, his punishment becomes a little more psychologically…show more content…
17). Ovid was feeling just like the immigrants to Australia, who were setteled amongst people who they thought of as “pests, sometimes comic, sometimes vicious, but always standing in the way of a civilized Australian community” (Inventing Australia p. 15). Similarly Ovid also starts to wonder “Do they (the people he comes to live with) have a language of their own? ...If so, I might try to learn it. As easy do that as master the barbarous guttural tongue my neighbours speak”. (In Imaginary Life…show more content…
Ovid’s change takes place when he abandons the masterful but ironically detached attitude towards life and language that he had acquired in Rome. In Tomis, the poet is challenged and forced to question his life and poetry. Recognising the pain of the separateness of name and thing, he is struck by the ‘amorous experience’ of the will to knowledge. Ovid is becoming acquainted with the Gaetic language and is, at the same time, fascinated by it: ‘I now understand these people’s speech almost as well as my own, and find it oddly moving’ (In Imaginary Life, p. 65). Ovid believes he could even compose poetry in Gaetic. He certainly did, as he stated in his Epistulae ex Ponto. But here, Malouf’s fiction departs from Ovid’s biographical notes in Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto. Having broken the period of mourning for the loss of Latin, Ovid is ready to embrace his new linguistic

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