- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (30 Jan. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140449116
- ISBN-13: 978-0140449112
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 30 Jan 2003
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[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"
About the Author
Homer is thought to have lived c.750-700 BC in Ionia and is believed to be the author of the earliest works of Western Literature: The Odyssey and The Iliad.
E V Rieu was a celebrated translator from Latin and Greek, and editor of Penguin Classics from 1944-64. His son, D C H Rieu, has revised his work.
Peter Jones is former lecturer in Classics at Newcastle. He co-founded the 'Friends of Classics' society and is the editor of their journal and a columnist for The Spectator.
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Top Customer Reviews
One reviewer had trouble digesting some paragraphs. Were they reading a different translation? I had little trouble digesting this; the only (slight) difficulty was with the large cast of characters. Greek Gods are dropped in without much explanation, and as I'm not an expert on Ancient Greek Myth I needed some help with placing these endlessly interesting characters. Fortunately the editors provide a superb glossary! This gives you a short sentence about every place and person involved -- no more or less than you need to get on with the story.
Rieu's translation was the first of the Penguin Classics,the series which he and Sir Andrew Lane founded. His aim was to translate classics into good modern English. So I guess he thought he had to to a really good job on this first book. And he did! The vision of founding the Penguin Classics came to him while translating the Odyssey aloud to his wife and daughters while bombs dropped on London during the blitz. You might call him "the ace who launched a thousand books".
The tale of the wandering of Odysseus and the trials, tribulations and adventures that befall him as he attempts to return to his rocky Ithaca and Penelope of the shapely ankles. It's a rollicking read. You'll be reminded of snippets of Sindbad, Aladdin, Watership Down, Captain Corelli's bloody Mandolin and so many other later works that involve a "homecoming". But this was the first.
The first time these stories about men, gods and monsters were all pulled together into a pretty coherent narrative. Most of the sub-tales such as Odysseus' trip into Hell, his encounter with monsters such as Polyphemus the Cyclops and the Harpies; with Proteus, the Sirens and the witch Circe were all probably part of a repetoire of tales delivered by the local poet/entertainer long before someone called Homer grabbed the posthumous glory by having them ascribed to him.
Homecomings are still a pretty popular genre in film, television and print. There must be something in the plot device which touches an unconscious part of us. It's a bit feelgood; it's a bit dreadful. It engages us all. Is Odyseus going to get home? What will happen to his wife and son? What would I do?
So, read it first for the story. And surprise yourself at how well you recognise the motivations and actions of characters placed in these situations over 2700 years ago. We haven't changed much, have we?
Then read it again.
This time, read it for the world of Odysseus. For what it tells you about the way we lived in a pre-literate, feudal society where any kind of progress was hard-won and very easily lost.Read more ›
Read the story and then the DCHR Preface followed by the PVJ Introduction with His analysis of the construction of the 'plot' and why it is arranged in the way that it is.
Finally, I learned that the EVR translation gave us the very first book in the Penguin Classics series. A Really Fine package; you will be glad to own and treasure it. Just do not mislay it, you never know ...!
The paperback (1991) edition contains 394 numbered pages and contains the following sections:
2) Introduction - Peter V Jones.
3) Brief Reading List - Peter V Jones.
4) The Odyssesy - Pages 1-394.
The original text of this translation was published in 1946, by EV Rieu, the co-founder of the Penguin Classics series (with Sir Allen Lane). The purpose of this series was to produce modern English version of literary classics that everyone could easily access. The Oydssey was the first published Penguin Classic, whilst the Illiad was the second.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was exactly what I wanted and I am completely satisfied. It arrived quickly which was useful as I had a reading group to attend.Published 4 days ago by Zelide
Despite the description on the mobile phone app banging on about a translation by Fitzgerald, this copy is the E V Rieu translationPublished 8 days ago by CB2012
As previously stated all three books arrived safely and well packaged these had been a Christmas Present for my husband,
so I hope he has wonderful reading time in the New... Read more
The cloth bound copy enhances the pleasure of reading this great book.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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