ISBN-10:
0872204847
ISBN-13:
9780872204843
Pub. Date:
03/01/2000
Publisher:
Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Odyssey / Edition 1

Odyssey / Edition 1

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Overview

Lombardo's Odyssey offers the distinctive speed, clarity, and boldness that so distinguished his 1997 Iliad.

"[Lombardo] has brought his laconic wit and love of the ribald . . . to his version of the Odyssey. His carefully honed syntax gives the narrative energy and a whirlwind pace. The lines, rhythmic and clipped, have the tautness and force of Odysseus' bow."
—Chris Hedges, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780872204843
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/01/2000
Series: Hackett Classics
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 478
Sales rank: 65,711
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Stanley Lombardo is Professor of Classics, University of Kansas.

Sheila Murnaghan is Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Read an Excerpt

The Odyssey


By Homer

American Guidance Service

Copyright © 1994 Homer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1561036390


Chapter One

Book I

To the Muse.

*

The anger of Poseidon.

*

In Poseidon's absence,

a gathering of the gods in Zeus' halls on Olympus.

Athena's plea for help for the stranded Odysseus;

Zeus' consent.

*

Athena in the guise of Mentes visits Ithaca.

Her advice to Telemachus:

he is to confront the Ithacan elders

with the problem of the suitors

and to leave Ithaca to search

for news of his father.

*

Penelope's appearance among the suitors.

Her silencing of Phemius the singer.

Telemachus and the suitors:

their sharp exchange.

*

Nightfall:

Telemachus and his old nurse, Eurycle*¯¯a.

Muse, tell me of the man of many wiles,*

the man who wandered many paths of exile*

after he sacked Troy's sacred citadel.*

He saw the cities-mapped the minds-of many;*

and on the sea, his spirit suffered every*

adversity-to keep his life intact;*

to bring his comrades back. In that last task,*

his will was firm and fast, and yet he failed:*

he could not save his comrades. Fools, they foiled*

themselves: they ate the oxen of the Sun,*

the herd of Helios Hyperion;*

the lord of light requited their transgression-*

he took away the day of their return.*

Muse, tell us of these matters. Daughter of Zeus,*

my starting point is any point you choose.*

All other Greeks who had been spared the steep*

descent to death had reached their homes-released*

from war and waves. One man alone was left,*

still longing for his home, his wife, his rest.*

For the commanding nymph, the brightest goddess,*

Calypso, held him in her hollow grottoes:*

she wanted him as husband. Even when*

the wheel of years drew near his destined time-*

the time the gods designed for his return*

to Ithaca-he still could not depend*

upon fair fortune or unfailing friends.*

While other gods took pity on him, one-*

Poseidon-still pursued: he preyed upon*

divine Odysseus until the end,*

until the exile found his own dear land.*

But now Poseidon was away-his hosts,*

the Ethiopians, the most remote*

of men (they live in two divided parts-*

half, where the sun-god sets; half, where he starts).*

Poseidon, visiting the east, received*

the roasted thighs of bulls and sheep. The feast*

delighted him. And there he sat. But all*

his fellow gods were gathered in the halls*

of Zeus upon Olympus; there the father*

of men and gods spoke first. His mind upon*

the versatile Aegisthus-whom the son*

of Agamemnon, famed Orestes, killed-*

he shared this musing with the deathless ones:*

"Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say*

that we devise their misery. But they*

themselves-in their depravity-design*

grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.*

So did Aegisthus act when he transgressed*

the boundaries that fate and reason set.*

He took the lawful wife of Agamemnon;*

and when the son of Atreus had come back,*

Aegisthus murdered him-although he knew*

how steep was that descent. For we'd sent Hermes,*

our swiftest, our most keen-eyed emissary,*

to warn against that murder and adultery:*

'Orestes will avenge his father when,*

his manhood come, he claims his rightful land.'*

Hermes had warned him as one warns a friend.*

And yet Aegisthus' will could not be swayed.*

Now, in one stroke, all that he owes is paid."*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered Zeus:*

"Our father, Cronos' son, you, lord of lords,*

Aegisthus died the death that he deserved.*

May death like his strike all who ape his sins.*

But brave Odysseus' fate does break my heart:*

long since, in misery he suffers, far*

from friends, upon an island in the deep-*

a site just at the navel of the sea.*

And there, upon that island rich in trees,*

a goddess has her home: the fair-haired daughter*

of Atlas the malevolent (who knows*

the depths of every sea, for he controls*

the giant column holding earth and sky*

apart). Calypso, Atlas' daughter, keeps*

the sad Odysseus there-although he weeps.*

Her words are fond and fragrant, sweet and soft-*

so she would honey him to cast far off*

his Ithaca; but he would rather die*

than live the life of one denied the sight*

of smoke that rises from his homeland's hearths.*

Are you, Olympus' lord, not moved by this?*

Was not Odysseus your favorite*

when, on the spacious plain of Troy, beside*

the Argive ships, he sacrificed to you?*

What turned your fondness into malice, Zeus?"*

Zeus, shepherd of the clouds, replied: "My daughter,*

how can the barrier of your teeth permit*

such speech to cross your lips? Can I forget*

godlike Odysseus, most astute of men,*

whose offerings were so unstinting when*

he sacrificed to the undying gods,*

the masters of vast heaven? Rest assured.*

Only Poseidon, lord whose chariot runs*

beneath the earth, is furious-it was*

Odysseus who deprived the grandest Cyclops,*

the godlike Polyphemus, of his eye.*

(Thoosa-nymph whose father, Phorcys, keeps*

a close watch on the never-resting deep-*

gave birth to that huge Cyclops after she*

had lain in her deep sea-cave with Poseidon.)*

And ever since his son was gouged, the god*

who makes earth tremble, though he does not kill*

Odysseus, will not let him end his exile.*

But now we all must think of his return-*

of how to bring him home again. Poseidon*

will set aside his anger; certainly*

he cannot have his way, for he is only*

one god against us all, and we are many." NNN*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered him:*

"Our father, Cronos' son, you, lord of lords,*

if now the blessed gods indeed would end*

the wanderings of Odysseus, let us send*

the keen-eyed Hermes to Calypso's isle,*

Ogy´gia. Let him there at once declare*

to her, the goddess with the lovely hair,*

our undeniable decree: Steadfast*

Odysseus is to find his homeward path.*

But I shall make my way to Ithaca*

at once, to give his son the strength to summon*

the long-haired Ithacans; when they assemble*

he can denounce-and scatter-all the suitors:*

they are forever slaughtering his sheep,*

his shambling oxen with their curving horns.*

Then off to sandy Pylos and to Sparta*

I'll send him to seek tidings of his father's*

return; he may yet hear some hopeful word-*

and men will then commend him for his search."*

That said, Athena fastened on fine sandals:*

these-golden, everlasting-carried her*

with swift winds over seas and endless lands.*

The goddess took her bronze-tipped battle lance,*

heavy and huge and solid; with this shaft,*

she-daughter of so great a force-can smash*

the ranks of warriors who've earned her wrath.*

One leap-and from Olympus' peaks she reached*

the land of Ithaca. She stood before*

Odysseus' door, the threshold of his court.*

She gripped the bronze-tipped shaft, and taking on*

the likeness of a stranger, she became*

lord Mentes, chieftain of the Taphians.*

She found the braggart suitors at the gate.*

Delighting in their dicing, they reclined*

on hides of oxen they themselves had skinned-*

with pages and attendants serving them,*

some mixing wine and water in wide bowls,*

while others washed the tables down with sponges*

and readied them for food, and others still*

stacked meat in heaps on platters-high and full.*

The very first to notice Mentes' presence*

was young Telemachus. He-sad, morose-*

sat with the suitors. In his reverie,*

he saw his sturdy father-would that he,*

returning suddenly, might banish these*

intruders from his palace and restore*

the rights and rule that had been his before.*

Such was the sadness of Telemachus,*

alone among the suitors, till he saw*

Athena; he rushed toward the outer door,*

ashamed that none had gone to greet the stranger.*

He drew near, clasped her right hand, even as*

his left relieved her of the heavy lance.*

And when he spoke, his words were like winged shafts:*

"My greetings, stranger. Welcome to our feast.*

Eat first-and then do tell us what you seek."*

He led the way; Athena followed him.*

Once they were in the high-roofed hall, he placed*

her lance against a column at whose base*

a polished rack, with slots for spears, was set;*

within that rack there stood still other shafts,*

the many spears that brave Odysseus left.*

He led the stranger to a tall chair, wrought*

with care; across its frame he spread rich cloth.*

There he invited her to sit and rest*

her feet upon a stool; and he himself*

sat nearby, on another well-carved chair,*

set far off from the suitors, lest his guest,*

in all that brouhaha, might look askance*

at feasting with such overbearing men-*

and, too, because he wanted so to gather*

what news he could about his distant father.*

That they might wash their hands, a servant poured*

fresh water from a lovely golden jug*

into a silver basin; at their side*

she placed a polished table. The old housewife*

was generous: she drew on lavish stores;*

to each of them she offered much and more.*

The carver offered meats of every sort,*

and for their wine he set out golden cups;*

and these-again, again-a page filled up.*

But then the suitors swaggered in; they sat,*

in order, on low seats and high-backed chairs.*

The pages poured fresh water for their hands,*

and servants brought them baskets heaped with bread.*

The suitors' hands reached out. The feast was theirs.*

When they had had their fill of food and drink,*

the feasters felt the need for chant and dance-*

at banquets, these are pleasing ornaments.*

A steward now consigned a handsome harp*

into the hands of Phemius, who was forced,*

from time to time, to entertain those lords.*

He struck the strings, and music graced his words.*

Then, as Telemachus turned toward his guest,*

lest he be overheard, he held his head*

close to the gray-eyed goddess-and he said:*

"Dear guest, will you be vexed at what I say?*

This harping and this chant delight these men,*

for all these goods come easily to them:*

they feed-but never need to recompense.*

They feast at the expense of one whose white*

bones, surely, either rot beneath the rain,*

unburied and abandoned on the land,*

or else are preyed upon by churning waves.*

Yet, were Odysseus to return, were they*

to see him here again, they would not pray*

for gold or richer clothes-just faster feet.*

But he has died by now, died wretchedly;*

and nothing can console us now, not even*

if some man on this earth should say my father*

will yet return. The day of his homecoming*

is lost: it is a day we'll never see.*

But tell me one thing-tell me honestly:*

Who are you? Of what father were you born?*

Where is your city, where your family?*

On what ship did you sail? Why did that crew*

bring you to Ithaca? And who were they?*

For surely you did not come here on foot!*

And also tell me truthfully-is this*

the first time you have come to Ithaca,*

or have you been my father's guest before?*

For many other foreigners have come*

to visit us-like you, my father knew*

the ways of many men and many lands."*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered him:*

"My words to you are true: I'm Mentes, son*

of wise Anchialus; the Taphians,*

tenacious oarsmen, are the men I rule.*

Now I have landed here with ship and crew;*

we cross the winedark sea toward Temese-*

all this in search of copper. What we stow*

is gleaming iron, which we're set to barter.*

Outside the city, moored in Rhe*¯¯thron's harbor,*

close to the fields, beneath Mount Neion's forest,*

my ship is waiting. Years ago, your father*

and mine were guests and friends. (Just ask the brave*

Laertes-though they say he shuns the city;*

it seems that now he much prefers to grieve*

far off, alone, except for one old servant.*

She, when his body aches from the hard climb*

he makes, from slope to slope, to tend his vines,*

still carries food and drink right to his side.)*

NNN*

"Now I have come-for I had heard indeed*

that he, your father, had returned. Surely*

it is the gods who now obstruct his journey.*

For bright Odysseus has not died upon*

this earth: he is alive somewhere, delayed*

upon an island set among vast waves,*

held by harsh savages, against his will.*

I am no augur or interpreter*

of flights of birds, but now I shall foretell-*

even as the immortals prompt my soul-*

events my mind can see: Your father will*

not be kept back from his dear land much longer,*

though they may bind him fast in iron chains;*

he is a man of many wiles, who can*

contrive the way to reach his home again.*

But you-do tell me now with honesty:*

Are you, so tall, indeed Odysseus' son?*

Your head and handsome eyes resemble his*

extraordinarily; we two had met*

quite often in the days before he left*

for Troy, where others, too-the Argives' best-*

sailed in their hollow ships. But since then I*

have not seen him, and he has not seen me."*

Telemachus' reply was keen and wise:*

"Dear friend, I cannot be more frank than this.*

My mother says I am his son, but none*

can know for sure the seed from which he's sprung.*

In any case, would I had been the son*

of one so blessed that he grew old among*

his own belongings. I, instead, am born-*

or so they say-of one who surely was*

the most forsaken man, the most forlorn.*

Now you have had and heard my full response.&

Continues...

Continues...


Excerpted from The Odyssey by Homer Copyright © 1994 by Homer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Translator's Prefaceix
Introductionxix
1Trouble at Home3
2A Gathering and a Parting16
3In the Great Hall of Nestor28
4With Menelaos and Helen43
5A Raft on the High Seas67
6Laundry Friends81
7The Warmest Welcome91
8Songs, Challenges, Dances, and Gifts101
9A Battle, the Lotos, and a Savage's Cave118
10Mad Winds, Laistrugonians, and an Enchantress135
11The Land of the Dead152
12Evil Song, a Deadly Strait, and Forbidden Herds171
13A Strange Arrival Home184
14The House of the Swineherd197
15Son and Father Converging213
16Father and Son Reunited229
17Unknown in His Own House243
18Fights in the Great Hall261
19Memory and Dream in the Palace274
20Dawn of the Death-Day292
21The Stringing of the Bow304
22Revenge in the Great Hall317
23Husband and Wife at Last332
24Last Tensions and Peace343
Notes359
Names in the Odyssey409
Bibliography417

What People are Saying About This

William F. Wyatt

"Edward McCrorie's translation of the Odyssey answers the demands of movement and accuracy in a rendition of the poem. His verse line is brisk and efficient, often captures the rhythm and the sound of the Greek, and functions well as an English equivalent of the Greek hexameter. Unlike most translators, he wishes to preserve at least some of the sound of the Greek, and his rendition of the formula glaukôpis Athene as glow-eyed Athene is inspired. He remains true to the formulae of Homeric verse, and several of his choices—such as rose-fingered daylight or words had a feathery swiftness—delight. Homer, Zeus-like, would have nodded his approval."

Keith Stanley

"This is a fine, fast-moving version of the liveliest epic of classical antiquity. With a bracing economy, accuracy, and poetic control, Edward McCrorie conveys the freshness and challenge of the original in clear, sensitive, and direct language. Instead of the uncertain solemnity of some previous translations or the free re-creation of others, McCrorie has managed a version that will have immediate appeal to this generation of students and general readers alike."

Customer Reviews

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The Odyssey (Marvel Illustrated) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 388 reviews.
ZebraStripe More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing translation; the language is flawless, almost poetic. And, of course, a timless classic. I had to read this book for my English Honors course and expected boredom. However, I was pleasently surprised-- I enjoyed it! It's the story of the Greek hero, Odysseus, after the Trojan War. On the start of his voyage home, he provokes Poseidon, god of the sea. Thus, releasing the god's wrath. Odysseus faces many obstacles, on account of Poseidon's anger, including an encounter with Cyclops, Circe, and the Sirens, and a journey to Hades' Underworld. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates classic literature. Though the language does take time to become accustomed to, the hardest part of this book is the vast amount of characters. I recommend composing a list of all the gods and goddesses in addition to demigods and heroes.
extreme-reader08 More than 1 year ago
I am amazed at this book! I was actually required to read this for summer reading and I wasn't exactly thrilled to see how thick it was of pages. But as I read it I became enchanted of the way the words are written and the characters, and the plot! I loved it so much I kept on reading, and before I knew it I was finished with it! An incredible tale written in ancient times that tells the story of an exiled soldier trying to return home with many sinister obstacles bloking his way. A great read for anyone who loves greek mythology, and for people who just love monsters and heroes.
Diangirl More than 1 year ago
Fagles makes this classical story accessible to everyone, using easy to read language while relating the adventures of Aeneas as he leaves Troy after being defeated by the Greeks and makes his way to Italy to found Rome. It contains travel tales like the Oddyssey and battles as in the Illiad. The introduction is also well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for those who are new to epic poetry, like myself. It's written in prose (in paragraphs, rather than poetic stanzas). Squillace has done a fine job of introducing contemporary terms, where appropriate, without interrupting Homer/Palmer's story-telling rhythm. It's an engaging story, and the characters are fascinating, and I enjoyed it so much that I read all the footnotes at the end. Somewhat-interesting discussion questions at the conclusion. Read the Introduction after you read the book, not before. I wish I could find a translation of the Illiad by Palmer/Squillace, as they did a very good job of making the story, the characters and the language approachable. 'O'Brother Where Art Thou'? Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.
dirkjohnson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(This review applies specifically to the HighBridge audiobook. From my point of view, Homer requires no review, being the fountainhead of European, and by extension, American culture.)This is a well-executed reading by Derek Jacobi of the fine Mandelbaum translation. Unfortunately this is an abridgment, and I only realized that it was abridged while listening to it after having already bought it at a bookstore. If the ratings were for the specific execution, I'd give this book (recording) one star because of the fact that it's abridged. It seems very likely to me that there are people who have heard this and believe that they've heard a translation of the Odyssey. They have most definitely not heard a translation of the Odyssey. I would never this audiobook it to anyone except, possibly, someone already very well versed in the available translations of the Odyssey, and maybe to someone who has read Homer in Greek for them to listen to when they go on a driving vacation.If publishers trick me into buying an abridgment, I am far less likely to ever purchase anything from them if I can get it elsewhere. I won't forget that HighBridge didn't prominently display the fact that this was an abridgment.
mnlohman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, I finally forced myself to read it after all these years, and I found it boring,lengthy, slow reading, who cares! The gods are mad at Odysseus, so they put him through hell getting home. He's forced to sleep with a bevy of minor goddesses while his wife is plagued by slimy suitors at home. His son goes in search of him, but after slogging through nearly 200 pages, I gave up. Skip the book and watch "O, brother, Where art Thou?" Far more entertaining!
librarianbryan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never been inspired by Homer. If you're looking for the blueprint for the best/worst action movie you ever saw here ya go. But in another way it is about fate, are arguably, that's the lesson of the Odyssey. You are not in control. The "gods" are. So just keep on keepin' on. Lombardo's translation is brisk. I recommend it.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure, but I think this was the edition I read & liked the best - I've read several over the years. I liked the 'full' or 'best translated' versions & the highly edited versions the least. There's a happy medium in there. The full versions have a lot characters & stuff going on that doesn't add to the story & just confuses me. When edited too much, the story loses its flavor. The story line, plot, can't be beat. Much of the motivation of the characters seems weak or over-used, but that's only because it is the great-granddaddy of so much of our current literature, of course.
superphoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining book..there is drama, action, romance, mythical creatures, magic, gods and goddesses, and many more. Its not just for those who love classics but should be read by everyone. Its worth the time and one gets to understand why people love the work of Homer so much
Emlyn_Chand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Preview¿If you¿re looking for a crash course in ancient Greek mythology, there is perhaps no better choice of reading material than the exciting epic poem ¿The Odyssey.¿ The details of Odysseus¿ heroic journey home from the Trojan War were kept alive through oral tradition for hundreds of years before Homer ever set pen to parchment¿which means every detail works together to weave a fascinating and rhythmic tale.Athena, goddess of wisdom, is on Odysseus¿ side. Unfortunately, Poseidon, god of the sea, wants for his destruction. Every time Athena helps him gain some ground, Poseidon finds a way to introduce new difficulties to our hero. Odysseus faces angry gods, lustful goddesses and princesses, tempting sirens, the deadly Scylla and the Charybdis, the haunted underworld, the cursed cattle of the sun, a hungry Cyclops and oh-so much more.When he finally returns home, more than 10 years after the war¿s end, he finds that a group of hostile suitors have taken over his palace in Ithaca. They are all vying for his wife Penelope¿s hand; ultimately whoever she chooses will be made the new ruler. The suitors also have secret designs to murder Odysseus¿ son, Telemachus, thus removing their last remaining obstacle.Penelope, the faithful wife, has through a variety of tricks and stalls been able to put off choosing a groom thus far. Will Odysseus make it home in time to save his family and the kingdom? Even if you already know how the tale ends, it¿s so exciting getting there that you won¿t want to pass up the opportunity to give ¿The Odyssey¿ another look or to read it for the very first time.You may like this book if¿you like Greek mythology; you enjoy epic adventure tales, you like stories written in verse; the thought of gods meddling in the lives of mortals appeals to you; you¿re intrigued by fantastic elements; you¿re looking for something different than much of contemporary literature; you like reading books for free online.You may not like this book if¿you don¿t like stories that couldn¿t really happen; poetry annoys or confuses you; it bothers you that the male gods can take on lovers whenever they want but when Calypso wants the very same thing she isn¿t allowed to have it; you don¿t like how Penelope remains faithful for so many years but Odysseus engages in a string of love affairs.
Tpoi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I resented being forced to read this in high school though even then parts of it struck me as potent, heavy, cool. Reading it aloud in class in college made it come alive, fire dry to tinder (more so than the Illiad which, aside from the actual fighting and the bits of betrayal, was ponderous).
es135 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a harrowing epic tale. While I enjoyed reading it, I think it may have been more effective if I heard it told, much like it would have been when Homer was alive. Regardless, adventure fans should enjoy this.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the proof of a classic is that upon reading it one says: I can see why that's a classic. Whether one man or a compilation of storytellers actually wrote this tale, it clearly does well in its role as the first epic and a fundamental tale of early Greece. The struggle is man against god and man against man. It brings out the relationships felt between the early Greeks and their gods in a way none of the shorter myths possibly can. I have always heard of strong parallels between Christian stories and the Greek myths, but have never seen the comparisons as strong as here. Odysseus plays the role first of David, condemned to wander and suffer one setback after another because of the disfavor of Poseidon. And yet upon his return to his own land, the analogy transfers to the role of Christ, with Odysseus returning at a time unknown, with his prophecying it, and clearing his house of the wooers of his bride. He also tests the nature of each man and maid, slaying those untrue to him. Other events of note: his entrapment with Calypso, his leaving and being cast to the shores of the land of Alcinous, the Cyclops, the Lotus-eaters, the men turned to swine, the visit to the edge of Hades (and speaking with relatives, friends, and foe), the Sirens, the return to his own land, his ruse as a beggar, and the slaying of the wooers.
Ameliaiif on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
if only circe had turned the men into guinea pigs...i might have liked this more
BookWallah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Experienced an unplanned event while traveling? Or feel like you are living through an epic of misfortune that will not end? Or just having a really bad day? If you answered yes to any of these questions then rush to your shelves and re-read a chapter of Odysseus¿ travails on his way home. [Pause for you to finish reading chapter]. OK, deep breath, now your problems don¿t seem so bad, do they? Recommended for all adventurers who need more perspective.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This translation is a must read for anyone interested in literature, classics, or history. The pace of the story is amazing with action and adventure mixed in with society and home life.
Elizabeth.Michele on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How much more can possibly be said about this book?
steve.clason on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read the Odyssey in college (don't remember what translation) and even struggled through bits in Greek in a first-year language class, but I never got what the big deal was. I didn't like Odysseus--raised as I was in a cowboy ethos I took his celebrated cunning as a kind of weakness, believing that a true man delat directly and simply with everything.Some decades later, I am much more sympathetic. Scarred, bruised and broken in places with a head often barely screwed on, I've come to value a little forethought more than I ever did when younger, and come to sympathize with Odysseus' tormented wanderings and to celebrate his eventual triumph profoundly.Fagles' translation is true to the story, readable yet retaining the loftiness of spirit so crucial to the unfolding of the story. I'll be returning to this many times, I think.
akbibliophile on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Everything classic Greek literature should be.
sjstuckey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely a classic and a must-read for anyone interested in pre-classical Greece.
julie10reads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just finished listening to the unabridged audiobook of The Odyssey, translated by Samuel Butler (no relation to Gerard Butler) and read in rich, rotund diction by John Lee. Who is, of course, English. I don¿t remember when I first heard the story of Odysseus¿ journey home to Ithaca; seems as if I¿ve always known it.In my 20s,I heard and fell in love with Monteverdi¿s Il Ritorno d¿Ulisse in Patria (which sounds inestimably more luscious in Italian than English:The Return of Ulysses to his Country) from the Met with baritone Richard Stilwell as the wily hero and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade as Penelope. The joyful babbling of their ecstatic reunion duet brought out the humanity of the characters.And I used to read Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne to my youngest daughter. She is still the only one who shares my enthusiasm for this classic.End of long intro¿..The Odyssey can be enjoyed on many levels. It¿s a great yarn about a shrewd soldier/king making his perilous (and tardy!) way home after the Trojan War (by the way, it was Odysseus who thought up the Trojan horse). It¿s also a wide-ranging allegory about the often perilous journey of life. It abounds in psychological and spiritual archetypes. There¿s something for every kind of reader.As for Odysseus himself, he seems to lie for the sake of lying, is boastful and reckless. His very name means ¿he who causes pain or makes others angry.¿ Early on in the story, having outwitted the cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus and his men make their escape by boat. When he judges them to be out of danger, Odysseus does a ¿nyah-nyah¿ boasting chant to the cyclops who of course tears the top off a mountain and hurls it at the boat. This causes an enormous wake whose waves draw Odysseus¿ boat back to shore! The sailors row like mad to get away from the shore. When they are at a safe distance, our wily hero starts up with the ¿nyah-nyah¿ chant again! His poor men beg him to stop.In the Iliad, it was all manly soldiers fighting other manly soldiers to recover the prize trophy wife, Helen. Conservative, stylistic, a time already ancient when Homer sang of it . By contrast, the Odyssey looks to the future, reflecting a new culture currently stable enough to become introspective. Odysseus¿ journey home is populated by women/goddesses and monsters. No all out war any more, army against army, face-to-face combat. Rather the enemy becomes singular, hidden in caves or in the bodies of beautiful women or ¿lotus-eaters¿. While completely enjoyable on a literal level, the story is also leading the listener, as all good stories do, into the realm of the inner life. It seems to me that few could identify with Achilles or Hector or Helen. However, we are all Odysseus and Penelope and Telemachus in one way or another. Homecoming can be almost anything: love,death, faith, consciousness. Likewise waiting. Back to the story¿..The women want to sleep with Odysseus and the monsters want to eat him. The monsters ultimately succeed in devouring his crew leaving the ageing soldier to finish the journey alone. Polyphemus, Calypso, Circe, Scylla and Charibdis, the eponymous Mentor, Poseidon, and Athena make this a mythological all-star story. But for me, none of them can rival Penelope in character and depth. She is the other half of the ¿wily¿ Odysseus and I think that we can extrapolate much about her from what is said about him. She is the modern ¿Helen¿:the kidnapped trophy wife appropriate for the old militaristic nation becomes the faithful wife and mother who waits 20 years (!) for the return of her husband. It only requires one man, Paris, to steal Helen away (she seems to have been agreeable to the idea). Yet an invading mob of suitors cannot coerce Penelope into abandoning her absent husband. Helen¿s is ¿the face that launched a thousand ships¿; Penelope holds herself in readiness for one ship only. Her waiting is not in the least passive however. Her husband¿s goal is to reach home; Penelop
Jsaj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story, but can be a bit hard to read. Some of the phrases used in this translation are a bit weird- I suppose they were chosen to fit the rhythm, but it doesn't really fit. However, it is a very readable translation and the story is, of course, excellent.
lyzadanger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having trouble getting through the more academic poetic translations? I totally recommend the modern prose tranlsation by Eickhoff. Reads more like a novel than an esoteric, long-ago epic. Not that he can erase Homer's overarching misogynism, but that's a story for another day ;).
TerrapinJetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good fun to read, the end in this translation though seems to descend into rambling nonsense. A lot of it didn't really seem to make much sense, but the poetry of it carries you away so you don't really care anyway. I'd say this was a lot easier to read than say, Dickens, or somebody, for those who think they might be put off by the language/age of the text.
tcarter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How do I meaningfully review a piece of work that has been around so long and is part of the foundation of all western literature? If you've read it, you'll know how great it is, and if you're thinking about reading it, then do so. Don't be afraid. It is great literature, but it's also a great read. It's deep but it's readable, it's tragic and it's comic. What strikes me is that you can imagine meeting the characters today, despite them having been written thousands of years ago, in another language, in another place. Sheer, accessible, genius.