The Iliad Paperback – Nov 1 1998
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This groundbreaking English version by Robert Fagles is the most important recent translation of Homer's great epic poem. The verse translation has been hailed by scholars as the new standard, providing an Iliad that delights modern sensibility and aesthetic without sacrificing the grandeur and particular genius of Homer's own style and language. The Iliad is one of the two great epics of Homer, and is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to say the Iliad is a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the tenth and final year of the Greek siege of Troy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Why another Iliad? Just as Homer's work existed most fully in its performance, so the Homeric texts call periodically for new translations. With this in mind, Fagles offers a new verse rendering of the Iliad. Maneuvering between the literal and the literary, he tries with varying degrees of success to suggest the vigor and manner of the original while producing readable poetry in English. Thus, he avoids the anachronizing of Robert Fitzgerald's translation, while being more literal than Richard Lattimore's. Fagles's efforts are accompanied by a long and penetrating introduction by Bernard Knox, coupled with detailed glossary and textual notes.
- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read the Iliad in its original Greek, and I can tell you that the rhythmical enchantment of the original can not in any way be reproduced in English, or in any other language. There is no way to capture the same hilarious moments or grand episodes of bravery with the same music in our language as Homer did with his Greek.Read more ›
The challenge of reading "The Iliad" is reading it as it was meant to be read. That means you have to let go of our modern notion of accessing literature. This text is not a "book" or a "novel," and was never meant to be. (The notion of printed books and private reading of novels came along more than twenty centuries after Homer finished his poem!)
So you'll have to pretend, as you hold your copy of "The Iliad" in your hand, that you're actually back in Ancient Greece sitting in a small crowd of people on a hillside listening to an orator recite the poem. The reading would have been spread out over several days (or perhaps several nights) and the orator would have been a professional, sort of like a one-man theatre troupe. His performance (perhaps recalled from memory, perhaps read from a parchment script--no one knows for sure) would have had the timing, fire, and precision that the great Shakespearean actors would perfect two millenia later.
In short, pretend you're hearing the text, rather than eye-balling it. As you read each line in this top-notch modern English translation, enjoy it and gnaw on it and savor it as though it were from a short verse poem. If you've got the guts, read each line aloud, and listen to the echo. Don't let the work's complexity intimidate you: "The Iliad" gets better as you go along, as the work itself slowly tutors you how to read it. Understand that Homer meant it to be a challenging, marathon event, so don't be discouraged.
As you advance (take your time!Read more ›
In his excellent introduction to this edition, Bernard Knox tells us that the Iliad probably was written down between 725 and 675 B.C. It tells a story that was archaic even for its time that is set around 1200 B.C. The story of the Iliad covers a matter of days in the tenth and final year of the Trojan War. It is allusive to the entire mythology of that ancient struggle. The tale is deliberately mythical, with characters and emotions that, Homer tells us many times, are larger than those of men today. For too many, the Iliad comes encrusted as a "classic". People read it, or portions of it, in high school or college and inevitably miss much of the grandeur and wisdom of the work.
When I came back to the Iliad recently (after not having read the work in many years) in Fagles' translation, I was swept away. I accompanied my reading of the Iliad with an excellent series of lecture tapes on the poem and its background. I thought the translation, written in a modern colloquial free verse helped me to understand and read the poem. The translation, for me, gives the reader a sense of the repetitions, formulas and phraseology of the original. It has a sweep to it, and the style and translation does not get in the way of understanding the work. This is important in a modern translation of an ancient work. The translation was easy to follow and got me involved in the tale. I am sure the poem works differently in the ancient Greek than in this translation. But this is largely irrelevant to the virtue of Fagles's work which makes the Iliad come alive and roar in a manner which encourages the nonclassicist modern reader to approach it.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Be aware that the Kindle version is NOT the version described. It is NOT the "groundbreaking English version by Robert Fagles " but a very old-fashioned version that is... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Bill
This translation is an excellent translation without being convoluted or losing it's historicity. Clear, concise and easy to read, definitely worth the great price and thoroughly... Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2012 by metrikfire
I have to start by saying that I absolutely LOVE The Iliad. I have a passion for Greek mythology and studied Classics in university and Homer is definitely one of my... Read morePublished on June 7 2011 by Coreena
Whether Homer really existed as sole poet or whether the story of Troy is an oral tale passed down through generations before anyone wrote it down (and really, the mystery behind... Read morePublished on May 10 2008 by The Rogue Ninja
With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2007 by Bernie
Robert Fagles translation of the Illiad is supurb! It's very easy to read and yet still retains its essence which has captivated readers for 2800 years!! Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2006 by Aaron Donnelly
Admittedly, the Fagles translation of The Iliad is not the version I am reviewing. Mine was a prose translation, by Samuel Butler, of 'The Way of All Flesh' fame..... Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by B. Morse
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