The Penelopiad: Which Odyssey translation?

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The Penelopiad: Which Odyssey translation?

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maj 6, 2014, 11:52am

Many members are planning to read, or reread, The Odyssey along with The Penelopiad. I think it's a good idea - I read it very long ago and have forgotten a lot of details. Does anyone have a particular translation to recommend?

Redigeret: maj 6, 2014, 3:04pm

I recommend Richmond Lattimore's, or Robert Fitzgerald's—both are very well done, the former certainly more true to the Greek. Alexander Pope's is also fun.

maj 6, 2014, 1:01pm

I read the Fitzgerald and found it quite readable.

maj 6, 2014, 1:30pm

>2 matthewmason:

He's really Richmond Lattimore. (I made the same mistake a few years ago!)

Redigeret: maj 6, 2014, 3:03pm

>4 legallypuzzled: Thanks for the correction—better here than elsewhere ;)

maj 10, 2014, 11:48am

Has anyone read the T. E. Lawrence translation? Would you recommend that one?

maj 10, 2014, 11:16pm

Thanks, everyone.

jun 2, 2014, 10:58pm

When I was an undergrad the Lattimore translation was the standard one. Someone mentioned the Alexander Pope translation, which I enjoyed but is not to modern taste being written in rhyming couplets, which can get a little repetitive. For other modern interpretations of the stories _Age of Bronze_ a graphic novel series by Eric Shanhower is excellent--wonderful line drawings based on recent archeology and all of the background myths worked into the story. However it is so detailed that he has yet to get the war started despite having been at it for several years. The earlier comics are collected in trade paperback and hardcover.

jun 9, 2014, 10:29pm

I have Lattimore's and Robert Fagles' translations. I ended up reading the latter. The introduction by Bernard Knox is very good.

jun 11, 2014, 4:25pm

I would recommend either the Fitzgerald or the Fagles translation.

Also, for those who are interested in exploring other retellings of the Odysseus myth, check out The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis (the author of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ). This epic poem picks up the story right where Homer leaves off.

jun 19, 2014, 12:18pm

There are many modern translations, and from what I understand most of them are quite good. My only rule of thumb when picking translations is that I want someone who is both a scholar of the literature in question (steeped in philology and historical context) and a poet. So I would favor Lattimore, Fitzgerald, and Fagles over someone like Stephen Mitchell, who admits to being more of an amateur.

For those who have studied Greek, Lattimore has the added benefit of preserving the line numbers of the original language. So if you want to look up a particular line in Lattimore and see the Greek, you actually can. Fagles' translation is a bit more loose.

jun 20, 2014, 12:51am

A bit of a tangent from translations, but I think still relevant: before he left, Matt shared this link with me:

It's about an hour of a fellow reading or reciting from the Iliad, in the original. Even though I speak no Greek, I found it very interesting to hear the flow and the music of the language. Perhaps others will also enjoy it. (and yes, I know it's the wrong text, but again, I speak no Greek.. :) )