Odyssey

ISBN-10: 0801882672

ISBN-13: 9780801882678

Edition: 2004

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"Tell us, Goddess, daughter of Zeus, start in your own place: when all the rest at Troy had fled from that steep doom and gone back home, away from war and the salt sea, only this man longed for his wife and a way home." Homer's Odyssey, at once an exciting epic of strife and subterfuge and a deeply felt tale of love and devotion, stands at the very beginning of the Western literary tradition. From ancient Greece to the present day its influence on later literature has been unsurpassed, and for centuries translators have approached the meter, tone, and pace of Homer's poetry with a variety of strategies. Chapman and Pope paid keen attention to color, drama, and vivacity of style, rendering the Greek verse loosely and inventively. In the twentieth century, translators such as Lattimore kept rigorously close to the sense of each word in the original; others, including Fitzgerald and Fagles, have departed further from the language of the original, employing their own inventive modern style. Poet and translator Edward McCrorie now opens new territory in this striking rendition, which captures the spare, powerful tone of Homer's epic while engaging contemporary readers with its brisk pace, idiomatic language, and lively characterization. McCrorie closely reproduces the Greek metrical patterns and employs a diction and syntax that reflects the plain, at times stark, quality of Homer's lines, rather than later English poetic styles. Avoiding both the stiffness of word-for-word literalism and the exaggeration and distortion of free adaptation, this translation dramatically evokes the ancient sound and sense of the poem. McCrorie's is truly an Odyssey for the twenty-first century. To accompany this innovative translation, noted classical scholar Richard Martin has written an accessible and wide-ranging introduction explaining the historical and literary context of the Odyssey, its theological and cultural underpinnings, Homer's poetic strategies and narrative techniques, and his cast of characters. In addition, Martin provides detailed notes -- far more extensive than those in other editions -- addressing key themes and concepts; the histories of persons, gods, events, and myths; literary motifs and devices; and plot development. Also included is a pronunciation glossary and character index.
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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 8/23/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 472
Size: 6.13" wide x 9.25" long x 1.21" tall
Weight: 1.452

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable. The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

Edward McCrorie is a poet and translator whose works include several collections of poems and an acclaimed translation of Virgil's Aeneid. He is also a professor of English at Providence College. Richard P. Martin is the Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor of Classics at Stanford University and the author of several books, including The Language of Heroes: Speech and Performance in the Iliad and Myths of the Ancient Greeks.

Translator's Preface
Introduction
Trouble at Home
A Gathering and a Parting
In the Great Hall of Nestor
With Menelaos and Helen
A Raft on the High Seas
Laundry Friends
The Warmest Welcome
Songs, Challenges, Dances, and Gifts
A Battle, the Lotos, and a Savage's Cave
Mad Winds, Laistrugonians, and an Enchantress
The Land of the Dead
Evil Song, a Deadly Strait, and Forbidden Herds
A Strange Arrival Home
The House of the Swineherd
Son and Father Converging
Father and Son Reunited
Unknown in His Own House
Fights in the Great Hall
Memory and Dream in the Palace
Dawn of the Death-Day
The Stringing of the Bow
Revenge in the Great Hall
Husband and Wife at Last
Last Tensions and Peace
Notes
Names in the Odyssey
Bibliography
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