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The Iliad Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 1, 1998
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"Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics." -"Atlantic Monthly "
"Fitzgerald's swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before...This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time."-"Library Journal "
"[Fitzgerald's "Odyssey" and "Iliad"] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer's art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase." -"The Yale Review
"What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald's." -"National Review"
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy
Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics. "Atlantic Monthly "
Fitzgerald s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time. "Library Journal "
[Fitzgerald s "Odyssey" and "Iliad"] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase. "The Yale Review
What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald s. "National Review"
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy"
About the Author
Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives. He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.
In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.
We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.Robert Fagles (1933-2008) was Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He was the recipient of the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His translations include Sophocles’s Three Theban Plays, Aeschylus’s Oresteia (nominated for a National Book Award), Homer’s Iliad (winner of the 1991 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by The Academy of American Poets), Homer’s Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid.
Bernard Knox (1914-2010) was Director Emeritus of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. He taught at Yale University for many years. Among his numerous honors are awards from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His works include The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy, Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles’ Tragic Hero and His Time and Essays Ancient and Modern (awarded the 1989 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award).
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The Iliad brings the horrors of war with startling detail. Men slashed to pieces on the Trojan plain aren't just nameless enemies they are real people. Homer tells us who they were. We know their names; we know something of their family. Homer makes us care about them. He gives us a clear insight into the mind of the soldier in the ancient world. With tales of courage, honor and principle one can almost feel the horror of this titanic battle.
Robert Fagles does a masterful job in translating this epic poem; now more than 2700 years old. I found the reading easy and quite enjoyable but one would do well to set aside plenty of time for reading. The story is over 15,000 lines in length. Fagles provides a nice introduction, covering the major themes of the story, and a glossary of names and a pronunciation guide at the back of the book. I highly recommend the book as one that belongs on everyone's book shelf.
Great book. It's a keeper.
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I habe mad respect for what it is, but it is horrible.