Home icon. The Works of Robert Graves. Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Cabinet 15: Translations

Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Apuleius, The Transformations of Lucius, otherwise known as The Golden Ass. London: The Folio Society, 1960.

After writing poetry, literary criticism, social commentaries, and numerous historical novels, the world of translation opened up to Graves.

After a prompt from Penguin publishers, he began translating Lucius Apuleius’s The Golden Ass, which he believed was ‘above all, a religious novel’.

His approach to translation was pure Gravesian, capturing the spirit of the work by changing the order of phrases and sentences, incorporating foot-note information into the text, and essentially breathing new life into the work.

Penguin was enthusiastic with the end-result and Graves himself hoped for big sales, ‘for all the wrong reasons; it certainly is full of obscenity.’

The lithographic illustrations in this Folio Society edition are by Michael Ayrton.