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Humphries' translation? Ommissions galore!
on February 1, 2009
This is not a critique of Ovid, whose poetry is phenomenal and should be read and re-read. Rather, this is a critique of this translation in particular. Humphries not only does not faithfully render the Latin into English, he omits significant portions (for reasons unclear). One example: in the Deucalion and Pyrrha myth (Book 1), there is a rather lengthy description of Triton's horn in the Latin original (lines 335-342) that is entirely left out in this translation. Now, this doesn't effect the overall story, but it does omit Ovid's intention for the work. It seems that Humphries wrote for modern tastes, but is a rather jarring misrepresentation of what readers of Latin find on their own. Perhaps he chose to omit this passage because, well, it's rather challenging! If the ommission here (and from this I'll assume there are others) is telling of his work on the whole, I would advise those who want to read a good English translation of Ovid's poem to look elsewhere.