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The Iliad (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 2 Apr 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (2 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192834053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192834058
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics." - "Atlantic Monthly"
" Fitzgerald' s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before... This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time." - "Library Journal"
" [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
"
" What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald' s." - "National Review"
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy

"Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics." -"Atlantic Monthly "
"Fitzgerald's swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before...This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time."-"Library Journal "
"[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
"
"What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald's." -"National Review"
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy

Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics. "Atlantic Monthly "
Fitzgerald s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time. "Library Journal "
[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
"
What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald s. "National Review"
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Introduction by Gregory Nagy; Translation by Robert Fitzgerald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are looking for the best translation of Homer's The Iliad, then look no further. Fitzgerald's succinct, yet informative, translation is as close to the original 2700-year-old presentation you can get without taking ancient Greek lessons. Take my advice: steer clear of those verbose, lengthy, and particularly misleading prose translations of literature's greatest charm.
The Iliad was created as an epic poem - and that is how it should be experienced, not as the modern format of the novel. Fitzgerald's verse translation flows, it captivates, in fact it transports you to the towers of Ilium, and the aura of Achilles, literature's greatest warrior.
So, exactly what is The Iliad all about? The very first lines of the poem can answer this question - in part:
"Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Achilles' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Achaean's (Greek's) loss on bitter loss" (I.1-3)
The Iliad is the story of Achilles, the "almost immortal" Greek hero of the Trojan war, and his anger at being slighted by his own ally General - Agamemnon. This results with literature's infamous temper tantrum. Achilles the great warrior sulks, refusing to fight, which in turn causes many Greek deaths. Now, if you're thinking that "all this Greek/Trojan war stuff sounds a bit tough, I'll forget about buying this book", and you're just about to select BACK on your browser... then WAIT a minute! The whole Trojan war thing can be simply summed up in one sentence - The Greek princess Helen is stolen from her husband by the Trojan prince Paris and taken to his Troy, all the Greeks say "Oi! You can't do that!" and nine years down the line Achilles, Agamemnon and cuckolded Menelaus are still pounding away at Troy's (Ilium's) walls.
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By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on 28 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
A really excellent translation; my only quibble being that Fitzgerald does away with the epithets to make for easier reading. While this is not a problem unless you're a classics nerd, I personally enjoy the repetitions and feel that without them the "special Greekness", as G. S. Kirk has it, is lost. Far from being monotonous, "swift-foot'd Achilles" appeals in a way "the great runner, Prince Achilles" can never do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished this book and I have to admit that for much of the time it was both highly enjoyable in parts but a big mental effort for much of the time. This version of the epic story is I understand less "poetic" in structure than others and indeed it does appear to have a straightforward dramatic narrative structure. I have for some time had an
interest in the classical historic periods of Greece and Rome and I think that this sustained me in getting to the end. The book is at its best when engaging the central cast of the dozen or so well known names. The dialogue and speeches are captivating and resonate in a Shakespearean manner.
The epic and heroic nature of the story and the central characters is well conveyed as is the savage and brutal nature of the hand to hand fighting. However the problem of the booklies with the vast sections (over 150 pages) which depict far too much "A speared B", "C shattered the head of D" etc etc, wherein the blow by blow slaughter of a vast peripheral cast of 100's of unrememberable names is recounted ad nauseum.
This however is magnificently countered by the last third of the book after the re-entry into the conflict firstly of Patroclus and then more importantly of Achilles. The story then soars to its epic conclusion.
I have to admit that this was a book I thought I should read, but although it is clearly a work of considerable achievement and merit, hand on heart I have to question the judgement of those who overstate the enjoyment factor. This is certainly a book I am glad to have read but most likely it will remain on my book shelf as testament to the fact I have done so rather than the likelihood I will ever pick it up again. I suspect that the copies of those less honest will have the same destiny.
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