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  • The Odyssey
  • Written by Homer
    Translated by Charles Stein
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  • Written by Homer
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  • The Odyssey
  • Written by Homer
    Read by John Lee
  • Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download | ISBN: 9781415936191
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On Sale: December 12, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-4159-3619-1
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Synopsis

Synopsis

Most translations of The Odyssey are in the kind of standard verse form believed typical of high-serious composition in the ancient world. Yet some scholars believe the epic was originally composed in a less formal, phrase-by-phrase prosody. Charles Stein employs the latter approach in this dramatic, and in some ways truer, version. Famous episodes such as the sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, and the Cyclops, are rendered with previously unseen energy and empathy. The poem’s second half—where Odysseus, returned home to take revenge on his wife’s suitors—has extraordinarily subtle, “novelistic” features that are made more transparent in this version. There is also a special feel for the archaic dimensions of Homer—the world of gods and their complex relations to Fate and Being that other translators tend to deemphasize in order to make the poem feel “modern.” Most versions exclude or minimize the magical aspects of the poem, but Stein gives these elements full play, so that the spirit of a universe predating the classical era shines through. This vibrant version of The Odyssey shows readers not only what the Greeks thought about their gods but the gods themselves. Summaries preceding each chapter and a list of recommended websites help expand the experience.
Homer|Author Desktop

About Homer

Homer - The Odyssey
Homer was a Greek poet, recognized as the author of the great epics, the Iliad, the story of the siege of Troy, and the Odyssey, the tale of Ulysses’s wanderings.

Author Q&A

What Hugh MacDiarmid once said of poetry in general can be said of Homer's Odyssey in particular: it is 'human existence come to life;. And just as no amount of specialist learning can prepare one for the experience of life, no lack of background knowledge can prevent a reader from feeling the truth and vitality of Homer's art. There is, however, something slightly overwhelming about the aura of greatness which surrounds this poet’s name, so a reader approaching The Odyssey for the first time is likely to feel daunted: here, after all, is a masterpiece which has retained its pre-eminence for more than two and a half thousand years. Yet the big surprise awaiting such a reader is Homer's directness as a storyteller, his sheer accessibility and his gift for collapsing the distance between Bronze Age Greece and our own times.

Praise

Praise

“[Robert Fitzgerald’s translation is] a masterpiece . . . An Odyssey worthy of the original.” –The Nation

“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review

“[In] Robert Fitzgerald’s translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world.”
–from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney

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