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The Iliad: A New Translation Hardcover – 13 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (13 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297859730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297859734
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 4.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer - The Iliad and The Odyssey - are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In The Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller's tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact 'Homer' may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps 'the hostage' or 'the blind one'. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years' time.

Product Description

Review

A sturdy, muscular, and nuanced translation that will surely bring many new readers to this great work, 'one of the monuments of our own magnificence,' in Stephen Mitchell's happy formulation. (John Banville)

The verse is well-forged and clean-limbed, pulsing along in an unobtrusive pentameter...Mitchell has re-energised it for a new generation. (Philip Womack Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

A stunning new translation of the classic tale of Greeks, Trojans and the fall of Troy; An ILIAD for the 21st century.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad. Each translation can give a different insight and feel to the story. Everyone will have a favorite. I have several.

For example:

"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 souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by Robert Fagles, 1990

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler, 1888

"Rage:
Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And let their bodies rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon--
The Greek Warlord--and godlike Achilles.
Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steampunk TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ok, so the translator points out that Book Ten of the Iliad has been recognised 'since ancient times' as a later addition to the Iliad. Fine.

But dropping it out of the translation altogether is a step too far for me. The fact is, for a long, long time there HAS been a Book Ten forming part of the story. For many of us, it's become part of the Iliad. Chopping it out of the book altogether feels petty and almost spiteful - like taking a pair of scissors to the book, just to make a point.

I would have been happy to have it included together with a note about it being a probable later addition.
I would have been happy even to find it tucked away in an appendix.

But no Book Ten? Not at all?

Regardless of any other merits of this translation, that was a step too far for me. I'll be dumping this and going back to my previous translations.
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Format: Audio CD
Although the reading is satisfactory, my hope that I could copy the CDs on to the i tune programme on my computer was shattered. There seems to be a mish mash of labelling of individual CDs that makes their appearance on the computer screen erratic and some CDs have chinese labelling. Rather disappointing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By n.kushka on 18 Dec 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Mitchell is a great translator i am loving this book. We are taking it in turns to read it aloud and it reads beautifully. It would be a great present for anyone.
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