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Old 07-24-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Homer's Odyssey

I'm a compulsive reader of contemporary fiction, who has generally struggled with "The Classics". It's a question of style, rathat than content or comprehension - I just find most classical translations are a slog, rather than a pleasure to read. That said, I recently completed (and mostly enjoyed) Samuel Butler's translation of The Iliad. Next step, The Odyssey!

However, I have recently been totally blown away by Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, and that set me wondering whether there might be a translation out there that's suited to my reading tastes.

I know this is an easy question to ask and almost impossible to answer blind, but I'd appreciate any suggestions for a translation that a reader of contemporary fiction (both genre and literary) is likely to find amenable. I guess I'm looking for a version in a modern prose style, but that's about as far as I've got. All suggestions gratefully received!

TIA,
Ian
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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I am sure Harry T. will chime in as he is one of the resident experts on Greek Classics at MR.... I would Recommend T.E. Lawrence's translation:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Odyssey-Ho.../dp/0195068181

It's excellent and it may help one who prefers to read contemporary novels instead of the classics. I read this version on my second reading of the Odyssey and enjoyed it quite a lot. One tip, if it bogs you down read it in tandem with another book ans slowly slog through it. I did this with War and Peace and other classics that I had to struggle with.



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I'm a compulsive reader of contemporary fiction, who has generally struggled with "The Classics". It's a question of style, rathat than content or comprehension - I just find most classical translations are a slog, rather than a pleasure to read. That said, I recently completed (and mostly enjoyed) Samuel Butler's translation of The Iliad. Next step, The Odyssey!

However, I have recently been totally blown away by Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, and that set me wondering whether there might be a translation out there that's suited to my reading tastes.

I know this is an easy question to ask and almost impossible to answer blind, but I'd appreciate any suggestions for a translation that a reader of contemporary fiction (both genre and literary) is likely to find amenable. I guess I'm looking for a version in a modern prose style, but that's about as far as I've got. All suggestions gratefully received!

TIA,
Ian
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Try and compare several different translations - for a very modest price:

http://delphiclassics.com/shop/?p=722

Epub here: http://delphiclassics.com/shop/?p=2625
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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You might be interested in this thread, which has some discussion of translations:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=175779
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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And of course there's a modern adaptation - Spin the Sky by Katy Stauber.

Quote:
Fifteen years after winning the Spacer War, Cesar Vaquero has returned to Ithaca, a rugged orbital colony that boasts the only herd of cattle in space, and a wife and a son who don't even recognize him when he shows up at their doorstep. Posing as a homeless drifter, he soon discovers that making his way home past space pirates, one-eyed giants, and mad scientists was the easy part . . . .

Penelope swore off men after her husband disappeared. She's been busy enough running the ranch, raising her son, and fending off pushy suitors eager to get their hands on her and her herd. But something about this war-weary drifter stirs forgotten feelings in her, even as sabotage, rustlers, and a space stampede threaten to tear Ithaca apart!

Spin the Sky is an rollicking, high-spirited riff on a certain classic odyssey--featuring characters as big and full of surprises as Space itself!
Sorry... I couldn't help myself
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your contributions - one thing I love about this site is people's generosity in sharing their experiences.

hidari - the Lawrence translation certainly sounds appealing. I found Seven Pillars of Wisdom surprisingly readable, if that's anything to go by.

poohbear - thanks for the link. At that price, the epub version will be making its way to my reader for evaluation!

jgaiser - hmm, interesting, but I think I'll leave it until I'm more familiar with the original. Having said that, as a fan of science fiction I'm sure I've read several books that were dervied from The Odyssey in some way!

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Old 07-25-2012, 11:02 PM   #8
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Margaret Atwood wrote "The Penelopiad" as part of Knopf's Myths Series. It tells of Odysseus' homecoming from Penelope's point of view. It's short and written with a light touch; something to augment the other story, rather than replace it.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:46 AM   #9
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My personal favourite translation is Richard Lattimore's, which is available as an ebook. Robert Fagles' translation is also good, and is also available as an ebook (it's the Penguin Classics one).
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rkomar View Post
Margaret Atwood wrote "The Penelopiad" as part of Knopf's Myths Series. It tells of Odysseus' homecoming from Penelope's point of view. It's short and written with a light touch; something to augment the other story, rather than replace it.
Thanks for that suggestion - I've added it to my list, but think I'll leave it until after the main event.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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My personal favourite translation is Richard Lattimore's, which is available as an ebook. Robert Fagles' translation is also good, and is also available as an ebook (it's the Penguin Classics one).
Thanks Harry, I'll be sure to have a look at both.
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