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The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles
Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents us with Homer's best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning modern-verse translation. "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." So begins Robert Fagles' magnificent translation of the Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review hails as "a distinguished achievement."
If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. In the myths and legends retold here,
Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox's superb introduction and textual commentary provide insightful background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles's translation. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, to captivate a new generation of Homer's students. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
order all the slave-maids throughout the house to come.” Then said to him his dear nurse Eurycleia: “Truly, my child, in all this you speak rightly. Yet let me fetch you clothes, a coat and tunic. And do not, with this covering of rags on your broad shoulders, stand in the hall. That would be cause for blame.” But wise Odysseus answered her and said: “First let a fire be lighted in the hall.” At these his words, his dear nurse Eurycleia did not disobey, but brought the fire and sulphur.
warriors at need. Then when they had arrayed themselves in glittering bronze, they opened the doors and sallied forth, Odysseus leading. But Athene now drew near, the daughter of Zeus, likened to Mentor in her form and voice; whom long-tried royal Odysseus saw with joy, and to Telemachus his son he at once said: “Now shall you learn, Telemachus, by taking part yourself while men are battling where the best are proved, how not to bring disgrace upon your line of sires; for they from ancient times
to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene: “Surely the gods meant that your house should never lack when they allowed Penelope to bear a son like you. But now declare me this and truly tell, what means the feast? What company is this? And what do you do here? Is it a drinking bout or wedding? It surely is no festival at common cost. How rude they seem, and wanton, feasting about the hall! A decent man must be indignant who comes and sees such outrage.” Then answered her discreet Telemachus:
anger was his dark soul filled. His eyes were like bright fire. “By heavens! Here is a monstrous action impudently brought to pass, this journey of Telemachus. We said it should not be; and here in spite of all of us this young boy simply goes, launching a ship and picking out the best men of the land. Before we think, he will begin to be our bane. But may Zeus blast his power before he reaches manhood! Come then, and give me a swift ship with twenty comrades, and I will lie in wait upon his
too, and godlike Alcinouäs sat beside him, while servants cleared away the dishes of the meal. Then thus began white-armed Arete; for when she saw Odysseus she knew his robe and tunic to be the beautiful clothing which she herself had made—she and her waiting-women; and speaking in winged words, she said: “Stranger, I will myself first ask you this: Who are you? Of what people? Who gave this clothing to you? Did you not say you came to us when lost at sea?” Then wise Odysseus answered her and