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The Iliad (Fagles translation)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A readable Iliad in modern idiom

Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted,...
Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus. In English, the repetitions sometimes become tedious, especially when the same speech is given three times in two pages, as in the relay of Zeus's orders in Book II. Especially noteworthy is Bernard Knox's long and fascinating Introduction, a masterpiece of literary criticism which conveys Homer's grim attitude toward war, the interplay of divine and human will, and the ancient concepts of honor, courage, and virility in the face of the stark finality of death. Knox also includes a succinct explanation of the quantitative, rather than accentual, basis of Greek (and Latin) verse. For easy readability, Fagles's translation is without rival. For elegance and poetry, however, I recommend Richmond Lattimore's older but still gripping and fluent translation.

posted by Anonymous on June 25, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Fagles' Iliad ebook is full of mistakes! Do not buy!

The Nook version of this title is rife with errors -- for anyone out there that is thinking of buying Fagles' transation of the Iliad for the Nook, DO NOT BUY! Penguin's disrespect for the reputation of their house, together with their decision to sell this ebook to con...
The Nook version of this title is rife with errors -- for anyone out there that is thinking of buying Fagles' transation of the Iliad for the Nook, DO NOT BUY! Penguin's disrespect for the reputation of their house, together with their decision to sell this ebook to consumers WITHOUT EVEN PROOFREADING IT is shameful. This is a seminal work of epic poetry, part of the foundation of our Western literary tradition. An example: "You fool" is "You foot", "corn" becomes "com", lowercase L's replace exclamation points, and quotation marks go in the wrong direction. Shame on Penguin, and shame on Barnes and Noble for not providing a feedback link for poorly formatted ebooks. B&N, take this title down immediately, until Penguin reviews it. B&N is charging $14 for this? An outrage.

posted by RachelCRC on October 1, 2012

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