Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Fragments (Penguin Classics) (English and Greek Edition) Paperback – October 28, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Heraclitus's fragments come to us like sparks off an anvil. . . . a luminous translation." (Nicholas Christopher)
"Breathtaking." (Richard Howard)
"A pellucid and informed translation." (Rita Dove, The Washington Post)
Text: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The problems here are legion. For one, Haxton doesn't use Diels' numbering scheme, favouring Bywater's dinosaur-era numbers, which means this work is out of touch with most collections of Heraclitus. The Greek typeface used is very idiosyncratic and not conformant to classical norms. But the translation itself is horrid.
A lot of what the reader is getting here simply isn't Heraclitus. Instead of providing a footnote with his opinion on what the fragment may mean in context, as reputable scholars would do, Haxton simply adds content to the translation. Unless he were to look at the translation notes in the back, the average reader would be unaware that much of what he was reading wasn't actual said by the philsopher, but is just one modern translator's opinion. Take, for example, Haxton's rendition of the fragment "Nyktipoloi, magoi, bakchoi, lenai, mustai", which is literally translated "Night-walkers, mages, bacchants, lenai, and the initiated", but which Haxton inexplicably expands to "Nightwalker [sic], magus, and their entourage, bacchants and mystics of the wine press, with stained faces, and damp wits". One that really takes the cake is 89: "Ex homine in tricennio potest avus haberi," which simply means "A man could be a grandfather in thirty years." Haxton somehow comes up with "Look: the baby born under the new moon under the old moon holds her grandchild in her arms".
This translation is a crime. If you are interested in Heraclitus' thought, try getting a reputable scholarly translation. Dennis Sweet's HERACLITUS: Translation and Analysis (University Press of America, 1995) is quite easily readable and entertaining. Stay far away from Haxton's kookish work.
The edition smacks of a trendy-dogmatic approach that is neither honest to the subject nor the ideological disposition at work. The introduction by James Hillman emphasizes a constricted view of the subject from the onset. The reader, already primed by this incompatible perspective, is then given an adaptation. This adaptation-approach is undertaken by the translator to 'freshen up' the original and increase its accessibility. Unfortunately, it merely continues to corrupt Heraclitus' fragile remnants. For example, the first fragment page translates 'Logos' as the Christian Biblical 'The Word'. John the Baptist is centuries removed from Heraclitus, who is quite an outlier even amongst ancient Greek thinkers. It is disrespectful, confusing and ahistorical--taking liberties such as this promotes a total loss of a work's identity, regardless of whether or not John the Baptist shared the literal sentiment. Some of these liberties in translation appear in the notes, but others do not.
While there are derivations and flights of fancy, they are all--like the example above--blatantly obvious to those familiar with Greek literature and/or familiar with the spurious offspring of Nietzsche and Heidegger and Carl Jung.
Heraclitus, in short, doesn't need sprucing up. The Fragments aren't improved by a psychologist's ruminations. Heraclitus speaks for Heraclitus, without being soiled by an extra-serving of modern baggage/bias.