Saturday, June 12, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 27 (Homer)

The Iliad
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
The Iliad
Tr. Robert Fagles

I received this and its companion, Fagles' translation of The Odyssey, together as "desk" copies when I was teaching a course on Western Literature to 1650, or something along those lines. I basically ran it as a greatest hits course, beginning with Homer and ending with Shakespeare.

I am not sure I have actually read this copy of the Iliad, or even this translation. I am certain I read Fagles' translation of The Odyssey. I have a vague memory of having read part of this translation of The Iliad, at night, in bed, around the time the Iraq war began. I don't think I finished it, though.

I have several different translations of Homer besides Fagles -- Lattimore, Fitzgerald, even Pope's Iliad. I have read parts of all of them, but I think I have read only the Fitzgerald and Lattimore Iliads all the way through.

from The Iliad

Rage–Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.
Begin Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.

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