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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.
staff. Upon his back were miserable clothes, and none of us could know him as he suddenly appeared, not even our older men; but we assailed him with harsh words and missiles. A while he bore with patience this pelting and abuse in his own house; but when at last the will of aegis-bearing Zeus aroused him, he and Telemachus gathered the goodly weapons and put them in the store-room, fastening the bolts. Then, full of craft, he bade his wife deliver to the suitors the bow and the gray steel, to be
to bury his companion and to pay the funeral rites. But when he also, sailing in his hollow ships over the wine-dark sea, reached in his course the steep height of Maleia, from that point on far-seeing Zeus gave him a grievous way. He poured forth blasts of whistling winds and swollen waves as huge as mountains. Dividing the ships, he brought a part to Crete, where the Cydonians dwelt around the streams of Iardanus. Here is a cliff, smooth and steep toward the water, at the border land of Gortyn,
its means sacked Ilios.ac And if you now rightly relate the tale, forthwith I will declare to all mankind how bounteously God gave to you a wondrous power of song.” So he spoke. Then the other, stirred by the god, began and showed his skill in song: starting the story where some Argives boarding the well-benched ships were setting sail and spreading fire through the camp; while others still, under renowned Odysseus, lay in the assembly of the Trojans hidden in the horse; for the Trojans
has granted reason, to him alone sound understanding; the rest are flitting shad ows.’ “As she thus spoke, my very soul was crushed within me, and sitting on the bed I fell to weeping; my heart no longer cared to live and see the sun. But when of weeping and of writhing I had had my fill, then thus I answered her and said: ‘But, Circe, who will be my pilot on this journey? None by black ship has ever reached the land of Hades.’ “So I spoke, and straight the heavenly goddess answered: ‘High born
goods of mine. I left an equal portion to my children and fled away from home; for I had killed the dear son of Idomeneus,am Orsilochus, the runner, who on the plains of Crete beat all us toiling men in speed of foot. The cause was this: he sought to cut me off from all the Trojan spoil to gain which I bore grief of heart, cleaving my way through wars of men and through the boisterous seas; and all because I did not, as he wished, serve with his father in the land of Troy, but led my separate