Homer was a Greek poet, recognized as the author of the great epics, the Iliad, the story of the siege of Troy, and the Odyssey, the tale of Ulysses's wanderings.
Translator Fagles (comparative literature, Princeton Univ.) offers a new verse translation of the Odyssey, a worthy companion to his version of the Iliad (LJ 8/90). Joining the translations of Robert Fitzgerald, Richard Lattimore, and, more recently, Allan Mandelbaum, his version attempts to achieve readability and the vigor of the original, avoiding the anachronizing of Fitzgerald. At the same time he is more literal than Lattimore and Mandelbaum. As with his Iliad, this translation is accompanied by a long introduction, notes, and glossaries, provided by noted classicist Bernard Knox. Fagles's Iliad and Odyssey provide both the general reader and the student of literature a fine version of Homer in English.‘Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Gr 6 Up-Concise and briskly paced, this dynamic comic-book version streamlines Homer's plot and zooms in on the all-out monster-trouncing, enchantress-encountering, death-defying action. The exploits of the square-jawed Odysseus are resplendent in bold lines and jewel tones while the fickle gods and goddesses shimmer in translucent hues. A reader-grabbing intro to the epic. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Robert Fagles's 1990 translation of The Iliad was highly praised; here, he moves to The Odyssey. As in the previous work, he adroitly mixes contemporary language with the driving rhythms of the original. The first line reads: "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." Hellenic scholar Bernard Knox contributes extensive introductory commentary, providing both historical and literary perspective. Notes, a pronouncing glossary, genealogies, a bibliography and maps of Homer's world are included.
"[Robert Fitzgerald's translation is] a masterpiece . . . An
Odyssey worthy of the original." -The Nation
"[Fitzgerald's Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer's art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase." -The Yale Review
"[In] Robert Fitzgerald's translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world."
-from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney