7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Satires and Epistles were intended by Horace to dance, but now and then, have a sting in their tail.
This translation, compared to several others I've bought from Amazon, has several advantages over them, The translation is a fuller, almost literal, presentation of the Latin. In comparison, the verse translations are more compact. Another advantage is completeness. By and large, what we have of the Satires and Epistles is here. Not so in some other translations.
But these "Satires and Epistles" translations do not dance. They go on leaden feet. Where a phrase could have some metre, some wings, it is clunky. The Epistles, for example, were written as poetry, light poetry to be sure and using as Horace did, metre rather than rhyme. Horace delighted in metre, in studying the Greek metres and "being the first" to find Latin equivalents. The Satires properly translated (as another example) would show his mastery, each being in a different metre.
And to be fair Horace is difficult enough in Latin, since some perhaps many of his effects come from juxtapositions of sound and sense, rather than traditional word order.
Still---this is clunky. There are better translations but I still refer to this one when I want a full & literal translation. Perhaps this is the best we can do to be close-to-lietral, even though it wrings out the lightness and the laughter that make so many of us dearly love him after 2,000 years.