1. Mateius
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    Mateius Member

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    The Illiad

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Mateius, Jan 13, 2009.

    I'm interested in reading the Illiad by Homer, but I'm unsure of which translation is the best. I was looking online for a version, but there seemed to be a lot of divided opinion. So I was just wondering if anyone can help me out? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I only know of three well known translators: Pope, Lattimore, and Fagles. Fagles seems to be the most popular right now. His is easily accessible and understood and this is the translation I recommend.

    If you're interested, here is what I thought of the other two. I read a few pages of Lattimore, and it seems to be a translation more suited to a close study of the Iliad. It's supposed to be the closest copy of the original, but it takes more time to read and understand the sometimes awkward wording. Pope's translation is good, but there are two problems. First, he lived and wrote in the 18th century, so the language might be harder to grasp. Second, he was a poet, so some of what he translated might not be accurate for the sake of sounding good.

    If I had to choose, I would go with Fagles, then Lattimore, and Pope last.
     
  3. Mateius
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    Mateius Member

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    Thanks for the advice, friend.
     
  4. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    What ever you end up reading, try to go past the translated language and concentrate on images, feeling etc. Think of it in your mind as a movie. I am saying that because over the years I have read random bits in english (from several translators apparently), and I didn't recognize one of my favourite reads! I know that is a strange thing to say, since it is a poem and all about language.
    It is not stuffy or academic in it's original form. It's poetic, simple and magnificent, wild, passionate, youthful and cool! It it full of sensual descriptions of everything. It focuses on the essential while being poetic and lyrical.
    In fact, in Greece we say that untill you start to prefer the Odyssey to the Illiad, you haven't really matured yet!
    I just wanted to say that...
     
  5. SingToMeMuse
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    SingToMeMuse Member

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    I'm reading it right now and I LOVE it, Athena kicks SOOOO much a$$! I have the translation by Robert Fagles and it's easy to read and there's also lots of endnots that are extremely helpful. It's awesome you should defintiely read it!
     
  6. topper
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    Stanley Lombardo does a good translation; it's easy to follow/understand for the modern mind and makes it a pleasurable. The only thing I didn't like about it was that a few spots were too modern and jarred me out of the time frame of the story.
     

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