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Philoctetes (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195136579
ISBN-10: 0195136578
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

About the Author

Carl Phillips is a well-known poet and Professor of English and African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University. He is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Rock Harbor. Diskin Clay is RJR Nabisco Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Greek Tragedy in New Translations
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195136578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195136579
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian R. Jones on March 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm working with a Croatian director to find a translation of PHILOCTETES to perform in America. Since his English is good enough for commuication, but not up to poetic standards, I've had to do my research. This seems to be the most performable, direct AND poetic translation currently available. Better than Grene, even.

Brian Jones

Associate Professor of Theater

Indiana University of PA
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This translation of the "Philoctetes" sets out to convey the force of the Greek original, its nuances, and its strangeness. It delivers on each of these counts, offering a version which is attuned to the range of tones employed by Sophocles, which comes across well in oral delivery, and which exudes raw emotion. The accompanying notes offer a sensitive treatment of key themes of the play and give important mythical background. They do not measure up to the series' aim to provide notes "to mediate the conventions of the Athenian stage," providing only minimal treatment of issues of performance. Overall, though, this edition offers a vigorous translation and helpful notes suited to the needs of the Greekless reader.

The introduction by Diskin Clay does an excellent job of situating the "Philoctetes" in the context of the constellation of preceding works dealing with the Trojan War. "The Iliad", "The Odyssey", "The Epic Cycle", the lost "Philoctetes" plays by Aeschylus and Euripides and numerous extant and lost Sophoclean tragedies are introduced as the necessary backdrop for understanding what is distinctive about Sophocles' handling. Such background could easily read like a catalogue, but Clay avoids this by organizing his introduction thematically, interweaving references to literary predecessors as and when they are relevant. So, for example, the characterizations of Philoctetes, Neoptolemos and Odysseus are elucidated by a succession of thought-provoking comparisons. Although Philoctetes is at the periphery of the Iliad while Achilles is at its heart, they are both heroes who are characterized by their anger and notable by their absence.
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Concerning chronic pain, this was a very interesting and intellectual read. I enjoyed being introduced to the silencing and alienation aspects of chronic pain. This book does it in a not-so-subtle way, and I think it is perfect for pre-med students or just anyone who would like to learn more about pain in the form of a play.
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