David Malouf, in his novel An Imaginary Life (1978), explores the nature of human identity through his narrator, the Roman poet Ovid, who himself was a noted fabulist of identity and its instabilities. It would seem that for both writers, ancient and modern, identity is found in change or translation, in becoming other. This essay explores Malouf's reimagining of Ovid's last years in Tomis by threading it with other tales of origin and destiny, change and becoming, but above all stories of the werewolf—the very figure of translation between animal, human and divine—that silently slinks, after Ovid, throughout Malouf 's novel.

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