Eric's Reviews > The Iliad

The Iliad by Homer
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's review
Oct 16, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: war, poetry
Read in October, 2012


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Reading Progress

03/18/2012 page 250
40.0% "Aww, it's Lil' Achilles: "...I took you on my knees/and cut your meat, and held your cup of wine./Many a time you wet my shirt, hiccuping/wine-bubbles in distress, when you were small." But seriously, I'm loving the digressive flashes, the insistence upon relations, what Auerbach called "the need of the Homeric style to leave nothing which it mentions half in darkness and unexternalized.""

Comments (showing 1-7)

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message 7: by David (new) - added it

David Fleming I also noticed a lot of digression and insistence upon relations in a recent reading of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It's interesting the emphasis these ancient writers placed on establishing the identity and lineage of their characters... and their tolerance for digression.

Sparrow Have you read the Lattimore translation? Do you have an opinion about the difference between this translation and that one?

Eric I haven't read Lattimore; Fitzgerald's my first and only.

Matthieu Both are good. Lattimore: literal and attempts to replicate the Greek hexameter; Fitzgerald: more fluid, utilizes contemporary syntax; Fagles: most lyrical but the least accurate.

message 3: by Sparrow (last edited Oct 20, 2012 12:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sparrow Huh, that's interesting. I've always heard that Fitzgerald was the most literal in terms of translation. I find Lattimore the most lyrical, and Fagles very clunky, but I haven't gone very far into the Fitzgerald.

message 2: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Hey so I know this is an old conversation, but I'm contemplating setting out on the Iliad and I currently possess the Fitzgerald translation. Does this one generally get an approving nod and thumbs-up by Homeric readers? Or should I seek out a different translation?

Eric I went with Fitzgerald simply because of the endorsement of William Arrowsmith, a pal of Kenner and Davenport, who sounds like an unbelievable hardass:

...he lived a self-imposed Nietzchean exile from the profession. He was proud of never joining the APA or publishing in any classical journal other than the one he founded to reform the profession, Arion. (Biographical Dictionary of American Classicists)

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