Classsics Homer; Robert Fitzgerald The Iliad

ISBN 13: 9780679410751

The Iliad

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9780679410751: The Iliad

In every century since the renaissance, English speakers have felt compelled to possess a translation written especially for their own time of this great epic poem, the earliest and most central literary text of Western culture. That need has been thoroughly met in our century by the distinguished poet and classicist Robert Fitzgerald, whose version of The Iliad does justice in every way to the fluent vigor and gravity of the Homeric original.

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Review:

So great is the impact of ancient Greek literature on Western culture that even people who have never read Homer's Iliad or The Odyssey know a lot about them. The Trojan Horse, Achilles' heel, the Sirens' call, Scylla and Charybdis--all have entered popular mythology, becoming metaphors for the less heroic situations we face in our own lives. Ever since these oral poems were committed to paper (probably in the 8th century B.C.E.), people have been translating them. The version of Iliad translated by Stanley Lombardo is a brave departure from previous translations; Lombardo attempts to adapt the text to the needs of readers rather than the listeners for whom the work was originally intended. To this end, he has streamlined the poem, removing many of the stock repetitions such as the infamous "rosy-fingered dawn," or rewriting them in ways dependent on their context. What emerges is a vivid, lively rendition of one of the world's great stories of men and war.

But classicists, beware: This Iliad has something of a '90s sensibility, from the cover art (a photograph of the D-Day Normandy landing) to Achilles' Rambo-like diction. It might well outrage the purists, but for those who remember their musty high-school reading of Homer's great epic with a barely suppressed yawn, Lombardo's energetic translation is just the version to change their minds.

From the Publisher:

Best Books 2006 Award Winner:
Best Non-Fiction Unabridged Audiobook (USABookNews.com)

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"The definitive English version of Homer for our time."

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