The Inkwell Review Interviews Ursula LeGuin about her new book, Lavinia:
The Inkwell Review: What unique challenges did you face in writing the two parts of Lavinia?
Ursula K. Le Guin: The first part of my book is a kind of “translation” from epic into novel, following Vergil’s story closely, not contradicting anything he says — but leaving out epic machinery (such as the gods who intervene in the action), adding “thick” novelistic description, and interpreting things on the domestic and personal level, instead of the heroic and mythic level. That wasn’t hard, once I got up the courage to do it at all.
The last part, where I had to go on after Vergil, was very scary to approach. Vergil really was my guide through the story up till then (just as he was Lavinia’s). Now, like Lavinia, all I had to go on were some vague prophecies, and my own sense of what “ought” to happen. This is something novels can do, which drama and epic usually cannot: following up on what happens AFTER the tragedy. How life goes on. This is why a lot of great novels seem a little flat at the end; ending things really isn’t their business. Read Entire Interview on The Inkwell
For more on The Aeneid, let’s turn to Emily, a bright and dedicated Latin student at Teen Zone, who says, “The Aeneid is a lot more awesome that it sounds… Because this is like The Odyssey with twice as much action, sex, and gore, the Trojan fleet obviously faces extreme peril on their journey.” Click here for Emily’s Review of The Aeneid on Books @ NCPL