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ISBN: 978-1912475-27-8


Lending my voice to these poems on classical statuary made me feel in some ways a participant in the survival of such a profound, tragic and influential civilization as was the ancient.

–Franco Nero

The characters Gabriele Tinti draws from the Greek myths, the muses, the slaves, enable ‘the actor’ to inhabit the essential struggle of what it is to be human, like a Noh play, doomed to repetition and the transcendence gained from it, to be human under the burning sun, which both gives life and destroys...

–Marton Csokas

...To be able to put a poetic voice to timeless art is a noble enterprise and I applaud Gabriele in his pursuit of educating and entertaining the public at large with this project, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

–Joe Mantegna

I find great joy reading the work of Tinti.  He carefully combs the work of ancients revealing our indelible humanity.

–Vincent Piazza

Like a rhapsode of old, Gabriele Tinti has performed his poems of ‘speaking-out’ (ekphrasis) to audiences in various parts of the world; here are those responses, an anthology of engagement and delight.

–Nigel Spivey, University of Cambridge

...The image of excellence, strength, courage and sacrifice embodied in the Met’s ancient statue of a wounded warrior still resonates today in this war-torn world. For war is a particularly human endeavor that has persisted since the dawn of civilization but then again, as Gabriele Tinti’s poem reminds us, so is love.

–Seán Hemingway, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ruins gathers a series of writings in the form of verses, fragments, and short essays that Gabriele Tinti has dedicated to the “living sculpture of the actor”.

The poet moves from the tragic sense of death and vacuity which afflicts even those masterpieces we wish eternal, with the aim of giving new life and thought to Graeco-Roman statuary, to all those relics of a now-lost humanity. Through its many courses and varied ideas, the book explores a distinctive relationship with the ancient world, and with the very reasons behind the making of art.

This book is the culmination of live readings by some of our times’ best-known actors: Kevin Spacey, Malcolm McDowell, Abel Ferrara, Joe Mantegna, Stephen Fry, James Cosmo, Robert Davi, Marton Csokas, Franco Nero, Jamie McShane, Vincent Piazza, Michele Placido and Alessandro Haber—all performed before important works of ancient art.

Ruins includes essays by the eminent scholars of ancient art Seán Hemingway (Metropolitan Museum), Kenneth Lapatin (Getty Museum), Christian Gliwitzky (Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek), Andrew Stewart (UC Berkeley), Lynda Nead (Birkbeck, University of London), and Nigel Spivey (University of Cambridge).