[BOOKS] ✭ Memoirs of Hadrian ✯ Marguerite Yourcenar – Thomashillier.co.uk

Memoirs of Hadrian Both An Exploration Of Character And A Reflection On The Meaning Of History, Memoirs Of Hadrian Has Received International Acclaim Since Its First Publication In France In 1951 In It, Marguerite Yourcenar Reimagines The Emperor Hadrian S Arduous Boyhood, His Triumphs And Reversals, And Finally, As Emperor, His Gradual Reordering Of A War Torn World, Writing With The Imaginative Insight Of A Great Writer Of The Twentieth Century While Crafting A Prose Style As Elegant And Precise As Those Of The Latin Stylists Of Hadrian S Own Era.


10 thoughts on “Memoirs of Hadrian

  1. says:

    There is a word that keeps popping up in my reading I d go so far as to say that this word is the underlying descriptor for the majority of my favorite books, in some way The thing is that I can t tell you exactly what that word is, nor what it means In Turkish, the word is h z n, In Korean, it is maybe something close to han, in French perhaps ennui though I am far from satisfied with that , and in Japanese, mono no aware None of these words mean quite the same thing, none has the same con There is a word that keeps popping up in my reading I d go so far as to say that this word is the underlying descriptor for the majority of my favorite books, in some way The thing is that I can t tell you exactly what that word is, nor what it means In Turkish, the word is h z n, In Korean, it is maybe something close to han, in French perhaps ennui though I am far from satisfied with that , and in Japanese, mono no aware None of these words mean quite the same thing, none has the same connotations, or the same cultural usage, really, but nonetheless they all get at something something they all peek and pry at from different angles, but do not capture entirely For me, the meaning of all these words is most exquisitely expressed in a Latin phrase Lacrimae rerum It is found in the Aeneid, and my favorite tra...


  2. says:

    This book is the fruit of one of the most ambitious literary projects I have ever seen At the age of twenty, Marguerite Yourcenar conceived the idea of writing the life of the Emperor Hadrian She spent five years on the task, then destroyed the manuscript and all her notes Over the next decade and a half, she returned to the idea several times, and each time admitted defeat Finally, in her early 40s, she arrived at a method she could believe in, which she describes as half history, half mag This book is the fruit of one of the most ambitious literary projects I have ever seen At the age of twenty, Marguerite Yourcenar conceived the idea of writing the life of the Emperor Hadrian She spent five years on the task, then destroyed the manuscript and...


  3. says:

    I was beginning to find it natural, if not just, that we must perish Our literature is nearing exhaustion, our arts are falling asleep Pancrates is not Homer, nor is Arrian a Xenophon when I have tried to immortalize Antinous in stone no Praxiteles has come to hand, Our sciences have been at a standstill from the times of Aristotle and Archimedes our technical development is inadequate to the strain of a long war our technical development is inadequate to the strain of a long war even our I was beginning to find it natural, if not just, that we must perish Our literature is nearing exhaustion, our arts are falling asleep Pancrates is not Homer, nor is Arrian a Xenophon when I have tried to immortalize Antinous in stone no Praxiteles has come to hand, Our sciences have been at a standstill from the times of Aristotle and Archimedes our technical development is inadequate to the strain of a long war our technical development is inadequate to the strain of a long war even our pleasure lovers grow weary of delight More civilized ways of living andliberal thinking in the course of the last century are the work of a very small minority of good minds the masses remain wholly ignorant, fierce and cruel when they can be so, and in any case limited and selfish it is safe to wager that they will never chang...


  4. says:

    This is something extraordinary If I was told this was the actual memoirs of the emperor, I would have believed it This is a remarkable book, both for the exquisite and well crafted writing style, but for the depth and solidity of the research, and how multifaceted and fascinating the character of Hadrian is It seems I have known him all my life, and I wanted to talk to him about his grave Aurelius , only to remember that both have long passed.Recommended for those who love books, and talkin This is something extraordinary If I was told this was the actual memoirs of the emperor, I would hav...


  5. says:

    Through the mists of time, the clouds lift but only partly, always remain overcast , they never give up their deep secrets , and the myths will continue, such is history, such was the Roman Emperor Hadrian, of the second century, no Julius Caesar but who was Sill a very capable man born in Italica, what is now Spain, to a Roman family of landowners and Senators, they had left Italy centuries before and prospered His cousin Emperor Trajan, many years his senior, later adopts the young man, sen Through the mists of time, the clouds lift but only partly, always remain overcast , they never give up their deep secrets , and the myths will continue, such is history, such was the Roman Emperor Hadrian, of the second century, no Julius Caesar but who was Sill a very capable man born in Italica, what is now Spain, to a Roman family of landowners and Senators, they had left Italy centuries before and prospered His cousin Emperor Trajan, many years his senior, later adopts the young man, sent to Rome for an education by his family at 12, with a trusted guardian, the father had just expired at 40 The future ruler shows promise, studies hard and does well in the army he is fearless, against the enemy maybe even reckless, his men always cheer him, as a civili...


  6. says:

    In the notes at the back of this book, Marguerite Yourcenar tells us that in 1941 she stumbled upon some Piranesi engravings in a shop in New York One of them was a view of the interior of Hadrian s Villa as it might have looked in the 1740s I say might have because the famous Piranesi had a talent for adding interesting layers to his engravings of the monuments of Rome What his contemporaries viewed as a pile of crumbling ruins, took on new life in his rendering, imbued with the phantasms In the notes at the back of this book, Marguerite Yourcenar tells us that in 1941 she stumbled upon some Piranesi engravings in a shop in New York...


  7. says:

    Margerite Yourcenar s Hadrian is not only the Roman Emperor, citizen of the world and deified ruler, whose heart throbbed at the cadence of Greek poetry, whose resilient physique conquered the barbarian borders of northern Britannia, whose strategic mind enforced groundbreaking laws to regulate the use of slaves and to promote culture in the Pantheon, whose modesty silenced insurgent voices and whose excesses intimidated allied onesI have come to think that great men are characterized by the Margerite Yourcenar s Hadrian is not only the Roman Emperor, citizen of the world and deified ruler, whose heart throbbed at the cadence of Greek poetry, whose resilient physique conquered the barbarian borders of northern Britannia, whose strategic mind enforced groundbreaking laws to regulate the use of slaves and to promote culture in the Pantheon, whose modesty silenced insurgent voices and whose excesses intimidated allied onesI have come to think that great men are characterized by the extreme position which they take, and that heir heroism consists in holding to that extremity throughout their lives They are our poles, or our antipodes Underneath the imposing greatness of the historical figure that Yourcenar pens with unfaltering dexterity, a moribund man exhales his last breath prostrated on his deathbed and ...


  8. says:

    But books lie, even those that are most sincere The less adroit, for lack of words and phrases wherein they can enclose life, retain of it but a flat and feeble likeness Some, like Lucan, make it heavy, and encumber it with a solemnity which it does not possess others, on the contrary, like Petronius, make life lighter than it is, like a hollow, bouncing ball, easy to toss to and fro in a universe without weight The poets t...


  9. says:

    This is a book that I don t think I would have read if it weren t for Goodreads I probably would never have even heard of it Technically, I suppose this obscure novel would be considered historical fiction, but that s misleading It is that, but it is also biography, philosophy, meditation, poetry.Hadrian was Emperor of Rome from AD 117 to 138 Marguerite Yourcenar wrote this novel in the form of a memoir, written by Hadrian near the end of his life and addressed to then 17 year old future e This is a book that I don t think I would have read if it weren t for Goodreads I probably would never have even heard of it Technically, I suppose this obscure novel would be considered historical fiction, but that s misleading It is that, but it is also biography, philosophy, meditation, poetry.Hadrian was Emperor of Rome from AD 117 to 138 Marguerite Yourcenar wrote this novel in the form of a memoir, written by Hadrian near the end of his life and addressed to then 17 year old future emperor Marcus Aurelius Hadrian discusses his public role and his attempts to use diplomacythan bloodshed By the standards of the Roman E...


  10. says:

    I stepped on deck the sky, still wholly dark, was truly the iron sky of Homer s poems, indifferent to man s woes and joys alike.But the man looking at the limitless space above him was not indifferent He knew the woes of his people and joys of his imperium sine fine He knew he was both human and supremely divine Hadrian the Good Hadrian the Almost Wise I didn t know much about Hadrian Only his name along with some cursory details occupied a negligible space of my knowledge bank I didnI stepped on deck the sky, still wholly dark, was truly the iron sky of Homer s poems, indifferent to man s woes and joys alike.But the man looking at the limitless space above him was not indifferent He knew the woes of his people and joys of his imperium sine fine He knew he was both human and supremely divine Hadrian the Good Hadrian the Almost Wise I didn t know much about Hadrian Only his name along with some cursory details occupied a negligible space of my knowledge bank I didn ...


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