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The Odyssey (Vintage Classics): Translated by Robert Fitzgerald Paperback – 6 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099511681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099511687
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,493 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

"Homer's Odyssey is still enchanting readers after thousands of years" (Guardian)

"Surely the best and truest Odyssey in the English language" (Herald Tribune)

"Fitzgerald is taking his place beside Chapman and Pope in the unbroken lineage of English Homeric translations...it has the economy and soar of a poet" (George Steiner)

"A strong salty flavour of its own. And it makes you see things" (C.S. Lewis)

"The Homeric poems are interesting...because of the way in which they present human shocks and surprises... It is the surprising twist that war brings to the domestic...which makes Homer repeatedly shocking" (London Review of Books)

Book Description

The best poetic version of The Odyssey to have appeared this century - Hugh Lloyd-Jones

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mair on 23 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me, this is the only translation, apart from Aexander Pope's, that tries to make real poetry of Homer. Like Pope he uses all the resources of contemporary verse to match Homer where he can. He doesn't always suceed, but even his failures should be instructive to other translators. The visit to the world of the dead in Book 11 is a triumph: mysterious, sorrowful and succinct. His translations of Homer's "standard phrases" are another example of his craft. "Odysseus, master of landways and seaways", "the salt immortal sea", "the sun went down and all the ways grew dark" are some that stay with me.

Fagles and Lombardo are excellent journeymen, but Fitzgereald is a master.

If you haven't yet read the Odyssey I almost envy you. It's one the greatest things ever written and this translation is an open door to its treasures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Margaret O on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I used this translation as a student 40 years ago but have mislaid my original copy, so was delighted to find it was still in print and available at a good price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jsym88 on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The paper quality is not as high as others (although quite good) but the FitzGerald translations of Homer are excellent.
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