The Odyssey (Enriched Classics)

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Instead we are informed by the cyclops television, desktop computer or smart phone. How reliable are the stories these things tell live by? What I learned from Ulysses was I had the power to sharpen a stick and poke these monsters in the eye. Then set sail for Ithaca. Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. Before I begin, a disclaimer. This review is not written to help you decide whether to read the Iliad. It is to help you decide which translation of the Iliad to choose. In short: In , this is the best translation to get.

Get it in paper, not Kindle. Peter Green states in the introduction that he is following in the footsteps of Lattimore, to preserve as much of the poem in Greek--wording, sentence structure, meter, and so on--in English, but to also make it declaimable. It is a translation to be read aloud. Thus, it is also a challenge to Fagles's translation, among whose virtues is how well it works as an audiobook.

To review, there are several major verse modern translations of the Iliad. Lattimore's is closest to the original Greek, and for undergraduate work can substitute for the original well enough. There is the Fagles translation, in modern free verse, is wonderful to read aloud. The Fagles Odyssey was on Selected Shorts once, and for a long time after I insisted that there was no other worthwhile contemporary translation of Homer. I swore by it. Lombardo's translation is pretty common in colleges because of the price and the slangy presentation. Then there is Fitzgerald, which some swear by, but Fitzgerald's translation is loose with the Greek and mannered and fey in its English.

It even translates Odysseus as "Ulysses," a sure sign that fidelity to the Greek is not worth the translator's trouble. I am missing some others, I'm sure. So let us begin at the beginning. It's complicated, an entire scholarly treatise is written on the meaning of the word. This is poetry, after all, the order of the words matter, the first especially.

The first word is the theme of the poem, the way it is directed first against Agamemnon, then toward the Trojans, and then tempered for a common moment of humanity, is the internal trajectory of the whole epic. Wrath might be best of all, since it conveys that it is anger in a sense that is unfamiliar to modern readers. Once, in my second year of taking Greek, I was told that there was no use of literal translations.

Take it far enough, and you wind up with a textbook on how to read the book in the original Greek. Make it into readable English, and you wind up with a host of compromises where thousands of close translations might do.

The Odyssey (Enriched Classics) (Mass Market)

For us mortals with mostly forgotten Greek, or no Greek at all, closeness to the original in a translation should be treasured. In the end, translating Homer is a game of compromises, How much of the strangeness of year old lines and year old motivations do you keep? Dactylic hexameter calls for lines much longer than any form of English verse, so shorter lines or not?

And so on. For me, Fagles is as far to compromise with how English verse should go as I am willing to accept. For what it's worth, Lattimore's English verse is better than his critics complain of. Starting from no knowledge of Greek, I'd choose Green. Over Lattimore because it's friendlier for the beginner and not worse as far as I can tell for a serious third reading.

Over Fagles because the true-to-the-Greek line lengths convey the way the poem drives itself forward better in Green's line by line than in Fagles's free verse.

The introduction includes a plot summary of the whole Trojan War, of which the Iliad only covers a small portion. I have never seen such a succinct and complete synopsis before. There is also a synopsis of the poem keyed to the poem in the back matter to help find your place, an enlightening glossary of names and concepts to help you through your first read, and footnotes to inform the reader of context that has since been lost. Word to the wise re: Kindles.

These are long verse lines. To get complete lines on a Kindle screen, you need a Kindle that allows text to display in landscape mode. Even then, complete lines only work in a very small font size.

The Odyssey (Enriched Classics) (Mass Market) | Book Culture

Get this in hardback for now. The hardback is stitched and bound to keep, so it is worth your money. See all 3, reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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English Choose a language for shopping. Length: pages. Word Wise: Enabled. Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. Page Flip: Enabled. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Be the first to write a review About this product. New other : lowest price. About this product Product Information A modern prose version of the classical epic relating the wanderings and homecoming of a Greek warrior and hero.

Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Rowling , Hardcover. I am probably in the minority, but I did not like this version. Cowper's rendering results in awkward English syntax that is not as much to be read as deciphered.

When I have to mentally re-translate a translation, I seek another. Like Lombardo, he uses too much inappropriate and sometimes jarring colloquial English, but unlike all the others, he expunges quite a few sections and one entire book of traditional text he feels are post-Homeric additions.

But what if he is wrong? Given the accretive nature of this epic at virtually every stage in its development and transmission to us, this excision seems ill-advised. Being thus different in material-content from ALL the others, this ipso facto abridgment causes it to be something of a secondary or niche translation. Although slightly old-fashioned in style, it is quite readable and has a reputation for accuracy. My copy is an old Modern Library Giant.


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Powell , I have only sampled. I found nothing dramatically wrong with either of them, except a colloquialism or two in Powell's that seemed incongruous to me, such as when he has Agamemnon say to his men, "So don't rub me the wrong way" Book 1, Line Both pass muster in that Homer is generally honestly and powerfully rendered, but I personally don't care for Powell's translational flippancy and style. Neither translator offers a significant qualitative improvement over other recent translations, though Johnston comes close, and I prefer him to Powell.

Without a doubt the best among new ones, it is also superior to many old ones. Though solid and true to Homer, her English syntax is direct and natural, never flippant or colloquial. The ebook formatting of its long lines, necessarily divided on small-screen, Kindle-type devices, is uneven and distracting -- but that is easily remedied by switching to landscape mode.

Nevertheless, it is superior in many ways to other recent versions mentioned above by Johnston, Lombardo, Mitchell, and Powell , but NOT in my opinion to Caroline Alexander's which I find more readable. Today, its interest to us is more in the realm of literary history than as a practical choice for general reading. The above list is by no means complete -- there are MANY others -- but it hints at the number and variety of translations that exist.

Each of these translations whether prose or poetry has particular strengths and weaknesses as well as supporters and detractors, and none is perfect.

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That, not unexpectedly, creates some robust debate among readers of them. But, in my opinion, most of them are preferable to the public domain version by Lord Derby. I would certainly encourage you to consider trying some or all of the above, but I might suggest purely as a practical and inexpensive starting point the public domain, prose translation by Samuel Butler, available for free from various online sources.

Therefore, he may not be considered the "best" translator from an academic perspective, but Samuel Butler's English IS straightforward, comparatively easy-to-read, and appropriately majestic but quite understandable; you will certainly be able to better appreciate and enjoy the drama and sweep of the "Iliad" in HIS version rather than struggle with the awkward English of Lord Derby's. NOTE: One of Butler's idiosyncracies which is by no means unique to him is a preference for using the names of Roman deities rather than the Greek as in "Jove" rather than "Zeus".

He did so because he felt readers of his time were more familiar with the Roman names; today, the opposite is true. I do, however, own two hardcovered editions of Butler's translation in which all the Greek names have been restored, so presumably there MAY be a similarly treated ebook available though I haven't yet found it.

Not all nor even, most Greek names have been so treated by Butler; "Achilles," for example, remains "Achilles" though "Odysseus" does become "Ulysses".

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But for most readers the occasional appearance of a Roman name should prove to be little more than a minor distraction from an otherwise enjoyable text. Since no translation is perfect, at least this imperfection is quite bearable. ADDENDUM: Today the distinctions between poetry and prose treatments are fading due to the replacement of old, rigid metrical forms with new, free verse translations that are as direct, pleasant and comfortable-to-read as their prose counterparts.

By going with the flow and reading the text as written, adhering to punctuation, pausing at commas and stopping at periods, but NOT slavishly and artificially stopping at the end of lines UNLESS punctuation dictates, readers should find in these free verse translations language as natural and understandable as that contained in prose versions. With so many wonderful translations currently available whether in prose or in poetry , NOW is truly a great time to find and read an "Iliad" that's just right for you.

My children tell me this poem is not required reading in school any longer, but then it wasn't when I was in high school in the 's either. Western Civ was crammed into a semester. Understand who and what you are in an hour a day over a term.

Enriched Classics: The Odyssey by Homer (2001, Paperback, Reprint)

Yeah I am sure that is going to work out. But I got a drivers license and that at least identified my gender. Otherwise lost in this age I decided to go back to the beginning, and like our hero depart this never never land the nymph Calypso tells me I am in where all is beautiful and there is no mortality. Ulysses knows who he is and leaves, preferring humanity. In contrast we are unmoored from all we have been before. We have no epic mythology that tells us who we are. Instead we are informed by the cyclops television, desktop computer or smart phone.

How reliable are the stories these things tell live by? What I learned from Ulysses was I had the power to sharpen a stick and poke these monsters in the eye. Then set sail for Ithaca. Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. Before I begin, a disclaimer. This review is not written to help you decide whether to read the Iliad. It is to help you decide which translation of the Iliad to choose. In short: In , this is the best translation to get.

Get it in paper, not Kindle. Peter Green states in the introduction that he is following in the footsteps of Lattimore, to preserve as much of the poem in Greek--wording, sentence structure, meter, and so on--in English, but to also make it declaimable. It is a translation to be read aloud. Thus, it is also a challenge to Fagles's translation, among whose virtues is how well it works as an audiobook.

The Odyssey (FULL Audiobook)

To review, there are several major verse modern translations of the Iliad. Lattimore's is closest to the original Greek, and for undergraduate work can substitute for the original well enough. There is the Fagles translation, in modern free verse, is wonderful to read aloud. The Fagles Odyssey was on Selected Shorts once, and for a long time after I insisted that there was no other worthwhile contemporary translation of Homer. I swore by it. Lombardo's translation is pretty common in colleges because of the price and the slangy presentation. Then there is Fitzgerald, which some swear by, but Fitzgerald's translation is loose with the Greek and mannered and fey in its English.

It even translates Odysseus as "Ulysses," a sure sign that fidelity to the Greek is not worth the translator's trouble. I am missing some others, I'm sure. So let us begin at the beginning.


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