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Simone Weil's The Iliad or the Poem of Force: A Critical Edition Paperback – May 26, 2006
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«This new edition of Weil’s well-known essay on the ‘Iliad’ is welcome on several counts. James P. Holoka’s commentary and notes draw richly yet judiciously from scholarship on both Weil and her beloved Homer, and his translation fairly matches the limpid French of the original. In an age feverish with wars and their rumor, it is hard to imagine that any reader will be unaffected by Weil’s vigorously argued perceptions in what must be rated one of the most effective briefs ever written against the inhuman nature of violence. This book will benefit students and teachers in French, classical studies, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology.» (Thomas R. Nevin, Professor of Classical Studies, John Carroll University; Author of ‘Simone Weil: Portrait of a Self-Exiled Jew’)
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Weil mastered Ancient Greek in her teens and used to correspond with her brother in Attic script. She even contemplated translating the Iliad, which she considered "the purest and lovliest mirror" of the human condition. But the onslaught of Hitler's armies turned her efforts toward a more focused reflection of the critical moment in which she lived and how its essence was distilled in Homer's storied epic. Her writings on Greek thought, eloquent and profound, are collected in a svelte volume, 'Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks' Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957. Wonderful as it is to have these works in English in one volume - the product of her teaching career (she taught Greek literature and ideals at High School and undergraduate levels)- The Holoka is the best translation of her noted masterpiece, 'The Iliad, the Poem of Force'. Not only does the Holoka translation capture the honed edge of her prose (which other, more dolled up versions fail to do), but exhibits admirable fidelity throughout. Holoka also provides Weil's original French text, as well as the Greek texts of all citations (Holoka is a Classsics scholar), a solid introduction, commentary, and thorough references.Read more ›