1. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    A verse translation of the Illiad.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lemex, Jul 10, 2011.

    Does anyone know of any good verse translations of the Illiad and The Odyssey?
    So far the only one I can find is the Penguin edition of Bernard Knox's translation, and I was wondering if there was any more I should perhaps know about before parting with some cash.
     
  2. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    In my opinion, Robert Fagles is the best.
     
  3. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not go for Pope's?

    Personally, I think most modern verse translations are excruciating...though, as above, Fagles' is held in high regard. I'm very fond of EV Rieu's prose translation.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Apparently the Robert Fitzgerald translation is held highly too. I just read the opening stanza and found it really engaging. Any strong opinions on the Fitzgerald version?

    I thought about Pope's translation, I'll check it out.

    Thanks for the feedback. Reading the Greek classics is something I've always wanted to do.
     
  5. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Pope, Fitzgerald and Fagles are all pretty top-tier. I was recommended Fagles in college, and I found both his translations of The Illiad and The Odyssey to be a smooth read.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Someone asked the same question a long time ago, and this was my answer:

    I never mentioned Fitzgerald because I never got a chance to read him, though I'm sure he has his merits.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Thanks for the info everyone.

    I just now have to decide between Fagles and Fitzgerald. These two seem the best.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have the Fagles translations and I like them a lot! Very vigorous. I read Lattimore in high school and wasn't very impressed (but back then, I had nothing to compare it with). I keep hearing about Pope's translations, and most people seem to like them, so I should check them out sometime.

    Go with Fagles. I bet you won't be sorry.
     
  9. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    Third makes a pretty good point. The 18th centruy translation is quite dated. When I read The Inferno, I first picked up the Longfellow translation and it was quite a chore to get through. I would really pick up Fagles.
     
  10. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    The runners and riders.

     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, art! That gives us all a taste of each. Pope is definitely dated. I still prefer Fagles.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah thanks art! After reading all of the stanzas you quoted a number of times I have decided that Fagle's translation is maybe the best.
     

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