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The Confessions, Revised (The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, Vol. 1) Paperback – February 1, 2001
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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"Who will grant me to find peace in you? Who will grant me this grace, that you would come into my heart and inebriate it, enabling me to forget the evils that beset me and embrace me my only good?"
Albert Outler (no mean wroughter of words himself) translates this passage in this way,
"Who shall bring me to rest in thee? Who will send thee into my heart so to overwhelm it that my sins shall be blotted out and I may embrace thee, my only good?"
The loss of the "thees" are of course helpful to the modern reader, but the use of "that you would come into my heart and inebriate it," is just, well, stunning.
One final comparison with Outler in the well-known passage in book ten:
Outler: "Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee."
Boulding: "Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I loved you! Lo, you were within, but I outside, seeking there for you, and upon the shapely things you have made, I rushed headlong. I, mishappen."
Both use Augustine's marvelous play on the words "formosa" and "deformis" But Sr. Boulding's choice of shapely and misshapen retains Augustine's intentions and poetic voice, it seems to me.
This is a lovely work.
The book itself is also five stars. Humility is probably the most notable quality I get from Augustine, and in most traditions that seems to be the highest of virtues. Sometimes his abstractions are a chore to get through, but rather than attempting to understand them, simply looking into his deeply inquiring mind I believe gives the reader the most value, and I hope it would encourage readers to deeply inquire as did the great saint himself.
This is indeed one of the more important books to read, and we are given a great account of how Augustine observed and revealed his human nature and his own wretchedness. The honesty of the account is remarkable, and should hopefully inspire his readers to be just as sincere.
Aside from the fact, that Augustine's Confessions is one of the most revolutionary works of Western Literature, and one of the first psychological-autobriographies we have seen.
It is beautifully written, almost lyrical, and this translation captures it.
You can easily download another edition of the Confessions, with a weaker, and older translation for a tenth the price. I think it is definitely worth paying more for a quality translation.
The first nine books give an account of Augustine's life. It is important however to read as well his philosophical thoughts on Memory, Time and Eternity, Heaven and Earth and Days of Creation. These make it very clear that he was not afraid of asking difficult questions. They show his ability to move between literal and allegorical modes. They also reveal how he faces his critics without attacking their dignity even though they may have attacked his.
Augustine's legendary wrestling with his sexual urges looks like small beer in this age of internet porn, but it is testimony to the effect of persistent mindfulness and reaching out which eventually place repetitively troubling and possibly compulsive behavior at a remove that allows for increasing freedom to choose.
This is a translation that merits more than one reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My only complaint on this book was the publisher cropped the pages so bad on a number of them you could not fully read the whole page. Read morePublished 23 days ago by M. Green
Consider this: Of all the "contemporary issues" and "modern spirituality" books you may have used in adult catechesis and adult faith formation (I am a Catholic... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mark-Cyprian Obl.S.B.
This is one to keep and re-read every so often. It offers insights into one of history's great minds and most influential religious philosophers. Read morePublished 5 months ago by James F. McBride
A good modern English translation of Augustine's “The Confessions,” like this one by Maria Boulding, O.S.B. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M. L. Asselin
It came exactly as it appeared online, was in good condition, and arrived safely and on time!Published 11 months ago by Madeleine Layton