Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
The Odyssey
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Although today epic is often used to suggest the expansive, exhaustive, and possibly overblown, Tolstoy was so impressed by the economy of the father of the form that it caused him to look critically at his own vast works. The greatest strength of Fagles' Homeric translations is that they do nothing to slow the narrative. If anything, they argue that, used well, verse can move faster than prose. Musically, though, they strike the ear as a little ugly. They do not have the strange, hieratic quality (so perfect for the Iliad) of Richmond Lattimore's translation, the strange, off-center power of Alan Mandlebaum's, or the Shakespearean resonance of Robert Fitzgerald's. And some of Fagles' strategies (his italicized pronouns and very modern colloquialisms) seem obvious and contrived. Still, Fagles' Odyssey is the one to put into the hands of younger, first-time readers, not least because of its paucity of notes, which, though sometimes frustrating, is a sign that translation has been used to do the work of explanation. Altogether, an outstanding piece of work. --Stuart Whitwell
The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles<br> <br> A Penguin Classic <br> <br> Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents us with Homer's best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning modern-verse translation. "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." So begins Robert Fagles' magnificent translation of the Odyssey , which Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review hails as "a distinguished achievement."<br> <br> If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. In the myths and legends retold here,<br> <br> Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox's superb introduction and textual commentary provide insightful background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles's translation. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, to captivate a new generation of Homer's students. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.<br> <br> <p>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.</p>
Displaying 1 of 1