Item description for The Odyssey (Naxos AudioBooks) by Homer & 0120874024...
Outline ReviewRobert Fagles's translation is a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendering of Homer's Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic of classical Greece. Fagles captures the rapid and direct language of the original Greek, while telling the story of Odysseus in lyrics that ring with a clear, energetic voice. The story itself has never seemed more dynamic, the action more compelling, nor the descriptions so brilliant in detail. It is often said that every age demands its own translation of the classics. Fagles's work is a triumph because he has not merely provided a contemporary version of Homer's classic poem, but has located the right language for the timeless character of this great tale. Fagles brings the Odyssey so near, one wonders if the Hollywood adaption can be far behind. This is a terrific book.
Product Description Homer's Odyssey is the thrilling and moving tale of the wanderings of the hero Odysseus after the end of the Trojan war. For ten years he experiences storm, shipwreck and seduction as he tries to find a way home to Ithaca, contending with the wrath of Poseidon but protected by Pallas Athena. Meanwhile, his wife Penelope is beset by suitors who believe him dead...William Cowper's 1791 verse translation captures both the touchingly human episodes and the adventurous sweep of Homer's original.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook, Classical
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.6" Width: 4.9" Height: 1" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626340312 ISBN13 9789626340318 UPC 730099003124
Availability 0 units.
More About Homer & 0120874024
In the Western classical tradition, Homer is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC, while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BC. Most modern researchers place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC.
The formative influence of the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece. Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Odyssey (Naxos AudioBooks)?
Fagles finds the translator's "middle ground" amidst controversy Jun 12, 2008
About the Odyssey itself, I can add no greater praise than that which has already been deservedly heaped onto one of humankind's greatest literary creations. This particular version is graced with an excellent introduction and notes by Bernard Knox, and what I consider to be a very good translation by Robert Fagles.
The translation style stirs up controversy, with one highly rated review here going so far as to suggest that Fagles' version is not even worthy of being called a translation. In his enlightening translator's postscript, Fagles argues that being too literal results in "too little English" and that being too literary means "too little Greek". In his attempt to create a modern English version, Fagles seeks a happy medium between the two: whether this results in a middle ground or a no-man's-land is up to the reader to decide.
While others clearly disagree, I find Fagles' style immensely satisfying and readable, with an appropriate mix of ancient nobility and modern accessibility. More so than with the Iliad, I found a number of phrases that were perhaps a bit "too colloquial" for my tastes (e.g. it is a bit jarring to see idiomatic modern phrases like "cease and desist" in a translation of a ~3000 year old text) but for me these were few and far between and did not distract from the overall elegance of his translation. Many who prefer a more literal style take issue with Fagles' liberties regarding the syntactic order of epithets, but I felt that he was very effective in conveying the substance of these epithets while converting their style into a form more palatable to the reader of English, a language which seeks to avoid the kind of formulaic repetition which is a necessary convention in ancient Greek.
Above all, Fagles is very clear and explicit about his choice of style, making it easy for the reader to decide whether this style matches his or her expectations. Any translation is ultimately a retelling, and given the gulf of millennia and culture between Homer's Greece and the modern reader, even reading the original in ancient Greek will not faithfully recreate the experience of Homer's contemporaries hearing this tale for the first time. Therefore, assuming technical accuracy exists (which appears to be the case with all of the well known translations of Homer's works), the choice of which one to read ultimately is one of style. The philosophy of translating is a murky realm, with no definitive conclusions about the merits of staying true to the letter of the original versus the spirit of the original--tradeoffs are inevitable. So in the end, find the version that speaks most clearly to you. For me, that version was Fagles'.
great book Apr 19, 2008
i really enjoyed this translation of homers epic poem. it was very informative and touched on the key points from the original. and i would know because i speak greek and have read the original text!
A great classic read, even for a high school student Apr 16, 2008
Robert Fagles' translation of The Odyssey puts the text into modern language that makes this book ideal for teaching in a high school English classroom. I read this in my high school English classroom and, contrary to most students my age, enjoyed it immensely. He keeps the flow of Homer's prose while making the text easy to understand.
This is a great book, and as a Kindle owner, I was happy to see it available. I would also like to see The Iliad as translated by Fagles available for the Kindle.
Outstanding Value and Translation Mar 17, 2008
Outstanding value, good quality book for the price and outstanding translation by Robert Fagles. I highly recommend the Odyssey and Iliad combination by same publisher and both are translated by Fagles.
Great quality, understandable translation. Feb 28, 2008
First of all, don't buy this book if you don't have a college-level reading level.
This book is of excellent quality! I love it. Buy this book if you want a copy of the Odyssey.