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Aias (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) Paperback – May 6, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"The beauty and power of this clear, clean version cannot be denied....poet Richard Pevear, writing in a style reminiscent of the spare, stoic, puritan power of Robert Lowell's famous translations, makes the work sing."--Booklist
"A jewel for modern English readers. The scholarly critical introduction by Golder provides an excellent background and analysis of this tragedy."--Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
The issue central to the play "Ajax" is whether the title character should or should not be considered a true hero by the Greek audience attending the play. Homer, of course, has nothing to say regarding Ajax's fate in the "Iliad," although in the "Odyssey" when Odysseus encounters the shade of Ajax, the dead hero refuses to speak and turns away. However, in his telling of the tale Sophocles adds an important element to the suicide of Ajax.Read more ›
This translation is by a somewhat unlikely team. I knew Richard Pevear for his stunning, that is the only word for it, translations of great Russian masterworks such as The Idiot, The Demons, The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina and the Master Margarita. These superb translations were undertaken with his wife, Larissa Volkonsky, and I urge you to grab one. They are somewhat controversial, particularly for a generation of readers who grew up with Victorian and Edwardian translations of the Russian masters. They are very close to the Russian and have an almost breathless immediacy to them. But the ARE different. ...P>So why all this talk about the Russians? Because Pevear (with an able assist from Herbert Golder) has done for the Greeks what he did for the Russians.... but this translations fiery. I have ALWAYS loved Ajax. I recently read a version of the Iliad to my three young nephews. And they each had their favourite. Achilles, Diomedes and Hector. But they each knew, that in a pinch? when the chips were down? when things get ugly? Who do you want beside you in the phalanx? That's right. That big brute Ajax. Bulwark of the Greeks. A killing machine. Taciturn. Implacable. "Even in death", writes Golder in his introduction, "in his sublime Homeric moment, Aias is famous for what Longinus called his 'eloquent silence': the refusal of his shade to speak to Odysseus in Hades." Now you HAVE to love that.
And who doesn't secretly admire him for the incident involving Athena.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Translation is an elusive art, and Sophocles's "Ajax" presents a most elusive target. This controversial and complex play provokes various interpretations and,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by HH
The classic story of demise for Ajax (called 'Aias' here). Not written in the most accessible way to the modern reader, but a resonating story nonetheless.Published 6 months ago by Ben Fox