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The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles
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."
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,
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.
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.
let your true wife linger in the town of Ithaca.” As he spoke thus, Athene grew more enraged in spirit and mocked Odysseus with these angry words: “Odysseus, you have no longer such firm power and spirit as when for the sake of white-armed high-born Helen you fought the Trojans nine years long unflinchingly, and vanquished many men in mortal combat, and by your wisdom Priam’s wide-wayed city fell. Why, now returned to home and wealth and here confronted with the suitors, do you shrink from being
none among the traveling strangers was more welcome at my house. He called himself by birth a man of Ithaca, and said his father was Laeärtes, son of Arceisius. I brought him home and entertained him well and gave him generous welcome from the abundance in my house. Such gifts I also gave as are fitting for a guest: of fine-wrought gold I gave him seven talents, gave him a flowered bowl of solid silver, twelve cloaks of single fold, as many rugs, as many goodly mantles, and as many tunics too.
pleasing. He held my hand and spoke, and thus addressed me: “ ‘Where are you going, hapless man, along the hills alone, ignorant of the land? Your comrades yonder, at the house of Circe, are penned like swine and kept in fast-closed sties. You come to free them? No, I am sure you will return no more, but there, like all the rest, you too will stay. Still, I can keep you clear of harm and give you safety. Here, take this potent herb and go to Circe’s house; this shall protect your life against
really mean; but tell a part and let a part be hid. And yet on you, Odysseus, no violent death shall ever fall from your wife’s hand; for truly wise and of an understanding heart is the daughter of Icarius, heedful Penelope. As a young bride we left her, on going to the war. A child was at her breast, an infant then, who now perhaps sits in the ranks of men, and happy too; for his dear father, coming home, will see him, and he will meet his father with embrace, as children should. But my wife did
them toward the dusky clouds. “And Sisyphus I saw in bitter pains, forcing a monstrous stone along with both his hands. Tugging with hand and foot, he pushed the stone upward along a hill. But when he thought to heave it on clean to the summit, a mighty power would turn it back, and so once more down to the ground the wicked stone would tumble. Again he strained to push it back; sweat ran from off his limbs, and from his head a dust cloud rose. “And next I marked the might of Hercules,—his