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The Odyssey [Paperback]

By Homer (Author), Robert Fagles (Translator) & Bernard Knox (Introduction by)
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Item description for The Odyssey by Homer, Robert Fagles & Bernard Knox...

A new translation of the epic poem retells the story of Odysseus's ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War

Publishers Description
Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters presents us with Homer's best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning new modern-verse translation.

"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy."

So begins Robert Fagles' magnificent translation of the "Odyssey," which Jasper Griffin in The New York Times Review of Books hails as "a distinguished achievement."

If the "Iliad" is the world's greatest war epic, the "Odyssey" is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once the timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.

In the myths and legends that are retold here, Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an "Odyssey" to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery.

Renowned classicist Bernard Knox's superb Introduction and textual commentary provide new insights and background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles' translation.

This is an "Odyssey" to delight both the classicist and the public at large, and to captivate a new generation of Homer's students.

@IthacaStateOfMind Uh oh. This cave is a giant's lair. He has a taste for cheese, and my companions. He also has only one eye. Trying to keep from laughing.
Got him drunk. Put a hot poker in his ONE EYE when he blacked out. That will show him - if he could see. LOL. Time to leave.
Damn. Poseidon pissed. How was I supposed to know One-Eye was his son? What Olympian whore did he sleep with to get an issue like that?
From "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less"

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Odyssey by Homer, Robert Fagles & Bernard Knox has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2011 page 622
  • New York Times - 12/14/1997 page 36
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/1998 page 673
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 346
  • Men's Journal - 05/01/2007 page 84
  • Newsweek - 09/03/2007 page 14
  • Newsweek - 03/17/2008 page 14
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2007 page 506
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2009 page 496

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin Classics
Pages   560
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.7" Height: 1.5"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1997
Publisher   Penguin Classics
Age  18
ISBN  0140268863  
ISBN13  9780140268867  

Availability  755 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 19, 2017 04:19.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Homer, Robert Fagles & Bernard Knox

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer - the Iliad and the Odyssey - are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller's tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact 'Homer' may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps 'the hostage' or 'the blind one'. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years' time.

Martin Hammond is headmaster of the Tonbridge School and has translated Homer's Iliad for Penguin Classics.

Homer has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > More Languages > Greek
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( H ) > Homer
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Epic
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > Greek & Roman

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Odyssey?

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.

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