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de Gore Vidal

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
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Cyrus, a fifth century Persian, relates the story of his travels and encounters as an ambassador.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ciro Espitama, viejo y ciego, dicta sus memorias a su sobrino el joven filósofo Demócrito, para rebatir la visión que de las guerras entre griegos y persas tiene Herodoto. Nieto de Zoroastro, le fue trasnmitida la sabiduría de su abuelo; como embajador del rey Darío en la India y Catay, conoce tanto las filosofías orientales como las intrigas políticas que el gran imperio persa mantiene para afianzarse o conquistar nuevos pueblos. En el siglo V a.C., Oriente y Occidente dirimen su futuro en Maratón, Salamina o Termópilas; mientras, en Asia, se extienden las religiones de Buda y Confucio y, en Atenas, Sócrates y sus discípulos se preguntan por el origen del universo.
  Natt90 | Mar 2, 2023 |
A bildungsroman in the sense Umberto Eco was smeared by. At times no more than fictionalized accounts of historical people and events as if ripped from a history book on the era. A book like Name of the Rose managed to sneak the educational snippets in under the radar of the central murder mystery in a monastery setting. Creation doesn't have a comparative core of plot and character driving it forward. It's not uninteresting or a failure as a result, just less than what it might have been. It also suffers a bit from having the learned men of the era come across as 20th century transplants, where a book like Baudolino keeps more of the to us alien reasoning of the foreign era alive.
Still, probably the best and most erudite novel of the ancient era I've come across. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Mar 14, 2022 |
A wide-ranging tour of the cultures, religions, philosophies and major figures of the 5th century B.C. told in a often humorous, even snarky, fashion by a skilled author (Gore Vidal) who obviously did his homework. The fictional narrator is Cyrus Spitama, the Persian ambassador to Athens sometime around 445 B.C. From his unique vantage point, he observes and comments on Greek personages (like Pericles and Socrates), politics, and culture. If you have not read Histories by Herodotus, you may not see what Gore Vidal is doing here - the book is a clever, subtle satire of Herodotus, replete with all the gossip, digressions, descriptive style found in the "Histories." Only instead of being told by a Greek, it's told by a Persian, the Greeks' arch-enemy during this period of history. And whereas Herodotus traveled to Egypt and Central Asia, Cyrus Spitama travels to India and Cathay. There he meets and converses with Buddha, Lao Tzu and Confucius so we get a dose of eastern philosophy as well. ( )
  chas69 | May 6, 2020 |
I finally admitted defeat after reading (in fits an starts) about 2/3 of this book and put it back on my TBR shelf. I've loved everything else I've read by Vidal and have no idea why this didn't grab me. I found it...boring. I took every opportunity to read something else, so I realized this book wasn't for me at this time. Maybe it was my mood. I don't know. Maybe I'll try again in a year or two and maybe I won't. I don't rate books that I don't finish, so readers should check out the reviews of those who did finish and judge their reactions. I feel unburdened already!
  MarysGirl | May 19, 2018 |
This is a well-informed and ambitious historical novel set in 5th century B.C. During the reign of Darius and Xerxes and the Persian-Greek wars. The book is in the form of a chronicle of the life of Cyrus Spitama, a grandson of the prophet Zoroaster. It takes the form of a narration of his life story to a young Democritus.

Starting with the death of Zoroaster and his early life at the persian court, the book then chronicles his travels to India where he meets Gosala, Mahavira and the Buddha and China where he meets the Taoist philosophers and Confucius.

With the narrator being a male associated with the ruling class of persia and also a grandson of Zoroaster, the focus is mainly on the political interactions and religious and philosophical ideas. The writer doesn't go deep into them but still manages to be thought provoking. I loved the humorous tone adopted in the narration. Even though rich in details, Vidal’s erudition for the most part doesn’t get too tedious.

The one downside is the name-dropping. I had a hard time keeping track of all the Greek, Persian and Chinese names. ( )
1 vota kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Mr. Vidal clearly enjoys discovering illustrious men in unlikely postures, and never more than in this novel. ''No other man alive has traveled in as many lands as I,'' Spitama says. He has been a friend to kings, philosophers, emperors, generals and sages; a school chum of Xerxes, employer of Socrates (''I hired him to repair the front wall of the house''), and has sat at the feet of both the Buddha and Confucius. To put it mildly, Spitama is like the ultimate performer in that old Skippy Peanut Butter television show ''You Are There.'' He is even as breezy and priggish as the historical narrators who figured on that program...

As a novel of ideas, its ambition and its cast of characters could not possibly be bolder, but I for one would have found the going easier if I had been admitted to anything like plain vulgar domesticity. Banquets, perorations and sanctimonious chat cannot entirely displace one's craving for so much of what Mr. Vidal, speaking through Spitama, has ignored: a sense of place and the uneven texture of common humanity. ''The journey from Lu to Magadha over the silk road took nearly one year. Much of the time, I was ill ... I no longer remember, in any detail, the exact route that we took. ...'' This sort of elision is fairly frequent in the novel, and I tend to think that if Spitama had remembered the more ordinary and perhaps more sensual occurences that lay between his meetings with the sages of the century, it would have been a far richer novel - a great one, instead of a good one that all too often fails to avoid the sort of patrician name-dropping that mars so many historical epics.

» Afegeix-hi altres autors

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Vidal, Goreautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Matthieussent, BriceTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Panske, GünterTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Peralta, CarlosTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tummolini, StefanoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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I looked for signs of age, and found them – always an easy thing to do, except in one’s own mirror.
Although I have the Persian noble’s contempt for trade, I lack his passion for war and hunting and drinking wine to excess. Although I have a priest’s deep knowledge of religion, I am not certain what is true. Although I once heard the voice of the Wise Lord, I confess now in my old age that to hear and to listen are two different things. I am puzzled by creation.
The young mason is called Socrates. Uncommonly ugly, according to Democritus, he is uncommonly intelligent. Last summer, as a favor to Democritus, I hired him to repair the front wall of the house. He made such a botch of it that we now have a dozen new chinks through which the icy wind can whistle.
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