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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.
lay down upon the beach to sleep. Then as the early rosy-fingered dawn appeared, along the shore of the wide-stretching sea I went with many supplications to the gods. I took three comrades with me, men whom I trusted most for any enterprise. “She, in the meantime, having plunged into the sea’s broad bosom, brought from the deep four skins of seals; all were fresh-flayed; and she prepared the plot against her father. She had scooped hollows in the sand, and sat awaiting us. Near her we drew. She
anywhere appears out of the foaming sea. Outside are jagged reefs; around thunder the surging waves, and smooth and steep rises the rocky shore. To the edge the sea is deep, and impossible it is to get a footing with both feet and so escape from harm. If I should try to land, great sweeping waves might dash me on the solid rock; useless would the attempt be! But if I swim still farther, hoping to find a sloping shore and harbors off the sea, I fear a sweeping storm may bear me yet again along the
more. “Six days we sailed, as well by night as day, and on the seventh came to the steep citadel of Lamos, Telepylus in Laestrygonia,af where one shepherd leading home his flock calls to another, and the other answers as he leads his own flock forth. Here a man who never slept might earn a double wage: this, herding kine; that, tending silvery sheep; so close are the outgoings of the night and day. Now when we reached the splendid harbor,—round which the rock runs steep, continuous all the way,
beast was to be seen, only we saw some smoke ascending from the ground. So I sent sailors forth to go and learn what men who live by bread dwelt in the land,—selecting two, and joining with them a herald as a third. Leaving the ship, they took a beaten road where carts brought timber from the lofty hills down to the town below. Before the town they met a maiden drawing water, the stately daughter of the Laestrygonian Antiphates. She had come down to the clear-flowing fountain of Artacia, from
abomination at the palace against a man like you. But tell me, do you willingly submit, or are the people of your land adverse to you, led by some voice of a god? Or have you any cause to blame your brothers, on whom a man relies for aid when bitter strifes arise? Would that, to match my spirit, I were young as you, and were the son of good Odysseus, or even Odysseus’ self come from his wanderings, as there still is room for hope; then quickly should my foe strike off my head, or I would prove