The Odyssey

The Odyssey Cover

The Odyssey

By Homer; Robert Fagles (Translator); Bernard Knox (Introduction by)

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143039952, 541pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2006

Description
Robert Fagles's stunning modern-verse translation-available at last in our black-spine classics line
The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life. In the myths and legends that are retold here, renowned translator Robert Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom and given us anOdysseyto read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. This is anOdysseyto delight both the classicist and the general reader, and to captivate a new generation of Homer's students.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


About the Author
Homerwas 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 theIliadand theOdyssey 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. TheOdysseyis 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 sThree Theban Plays, Aeschylus sOresteia(nominated for a National Book Award), Homer sIliad(winner of the 1991 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by The Academy of American Poets), Homer sOdyssey, and Virgil'sAeneid. 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 includeThe Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy, Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles Tragic Hero and His TimeandEssays Ancient and Modern(awarded the 1989 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award)."


Praise For The Odyssey

Wonderfully readable... Just the right blend of roughness and sophistication. (Ted Hughes)

Robert Fagles is the best living translator of ancient Greek drama, lyric poetry, and epic into modern English. (Garry Wills, The New Yorker)

Mr. Fagles has been remarkably successful in finding a style that is of our time and yet timeless. (Richard Jenkyns, The New York Times Book Review)

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