Cover image for The Odyssey / Homer ; translated by Emily Wilson.
Title:
The Odyssey / Homer ; translated by Emily Wilson.
Author:
ISBN:
9780393356250
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton and Company, 2018.
Physical Description:
582 pages : maps ; 21 cm
Contents:
Introduction -- Translator's note -- Maps. The world of The Odyssey -- The Aegean and Asia Minor -- Mainland Greece -- The Peloponnese -- The Odyssey. The boy and the goddess -- A dangerous journey -- An old king remembers -- What the sea god said -- From the goddess to the storm -- A princess and her laundry -- A magical kingdom -- The songs of a poet -- A pirate in a shepherd's cave -- The winds and the witch -- The dead -- Difficult choices -- Two tricksters -- A loyal slave -- The prince returns -- Father and son -- Insults and abuse -- Two beggars -- The queen and the beggar -- The last banquet -- An archery contest -- Bloodshed -- The olive tree bed -- Restless spirits.
Abstract:
Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home. This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the "complicated" hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson's Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer's music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer's swift, smooth pace. A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem's major themes, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.
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Summary

Summary

Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the "complicated" hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson's Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer's music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer's swift, smooth pace.A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem's major themes, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.


Author Notes

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable.

The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Horn Book Review

This inexpensive condensed version of Homer's epic competently delineates plot points, following Odysseus on his myriad adventures. However, the retelling sacrifices complexity of language and depth of theme ostensibly in the name of age-appropriateness. Occasional black-and-white illustrations highlight the hero's quest and some of the mythical creatures he encounters. Discussion questions and a "Note to Parents and Educators" are appended. Copyright 2010 of The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.


New York Review of Books Review

the odyssey translated by Emily Wilson, read by Claire Danes. (Audible.) Wilson is the first woman to translate Homer's epic of adventure and yearning for home into English. It's a version that has been widely praised for its lyricism and use of contemporary idiom, made even more vibrant here through the voice of Danes, have a nice day by Billy Crystal and Quinton Peeples, read by Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, Darrell Hammond, Rachel Dratch, et al. (Audible.) This live reading of Crystal and Peeples's new play, performed at New York's Minetta Lane Theater, captures its dark humor, the story of a fictional president of the United States and his encounter with the angel of death, the power of love by Bishop Michael Curry, read by the author. (Penguin Audio.) Best known now for delivering a passionate sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Curry, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, here offers more thoughts on love and social justice, how to be alone by Lane Moore, read by the author. (Simon & Schuster Audio.) Moore is the former sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan and in this memoir she tells of her lonely childhood and teenage years, spent largely without any family, and the struggle to find connection with others, thanks a thousand by A. J. Jacobs, read by the author. (Simon & Schuster Audio/TED.) The stunt writer returns, this time with a book about his attempt to personally thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. This aim sets him on a journey from miners in Minnesota to farmers in Colombia, musing about the benefits of gratitude along the way. & Noteworthy "To my mind, talent was innate: You either had it, or you didn't; you were brilliant, or you were not. This mindset made writing no less than torturous. Listening to an audiobook version of grit by Angela Duckworth changed that. Duckworth's book is essentially an ode to practice, arguing that far from innate, genius is a result of a combination of passion for your subject and perseverance in your mastery of it. It's a simple but potentially transformative idea. I played Duckworth's narration throughout the day, in the shower through waterproof speakers or dodging pedestrians near Herald Square, and it was a balm for my perfectionism. Afterward, I started seeing the message of 'Grit' everywhere: It's the work you need to fall in love with, not the end result. And as the long, sometimes challenging paths trailing my heroes came into view, I felt safer getting on the road behind them." - CONCEPCIÓN DE LEÓN, DIGITAL STAFF WRITER, BOOKS, ON WHAT SHE'S READING.


Library Journal Review

Green (Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics, Univ. of Texas at Austin), classical historian, translator, and poet, whose many books include a noted biography of Alexander the Great, a history of the Persian War, and translations of the Argonautika and Ovid's Tristia, offers a new verse translation of the Odyssey, the product of many years of reading and thinking. As with his earlier translation of the Iliad, Green aspires to a "declaimable" style, inspired by C. Day Lewis's Aeneid and Richmond Lattimore's Iliad. He avoids the anarchizing tendencies of Stanley Lombardo, following an approach closer to that of Anthony Verity and Robert Fagles. Comparisons to Emily Wilson's recent translation are inevitable. While Wilson seeks a modern, readable version Green wishes to capture the strangeness of Homer's oral language, preserving the repetitive epithets and phraseology, using the transliteration of the Greek names rather than their Latinate forms, and following the linear rhetoric and syntax of the original. VERDICT Both Wilson and Green capture the spirit of the Odyssey, but word-for-word, Green also captures a feel for the Homeric language, an experience closer to the original.-Thomas L. Cooksey, formerly with Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

I Athene Visits Telemachus Tell me, Muse, the story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy citadel of Troy. He saw the cities of many people and he learnt their ways. He suffered great anguish on the high seas in his struggles to preserve his life and bring his comrades home. But he failed to save those comrades, in spite of all his efforts. It was their own transgression that brought them to their doom, for in their folly they devoured the oxen of Hyperion the Sun-god and he saw to it that they would never return. Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will. All the survivors of the war had reached their homes by now and so put the perils of battle and the sea behind them. Odysseus alone was prevented from returning to the home and wife he yearned for by that powerful goddess, the Nymph Calypso, who longed for him to marry her, and kept him in her vaulted cave. Not even when the rolling seasons brought in the year which the gods had chosen for his homecoming to Ithaca was he clear of his troubles and safe among his friends. Yet all the gods pitied him, except Poseidon, who pursued the heroic Odysseus with relentless malice till the day when he reached his own country. Poseidon, however, was now gone on a visit to the distant Ethiopians, in the most remote part of the world, half of whom live where the Sun goes down, and half where he rises. He had gone to accept a sacrifice of bulls and rams, and there he sat and enjoyed the pleasures of the feast. Meanwhile the rest of the gods had assembled in the palace of Olympian Zeus, and the Father of men and gods opened a discussion among them. He had been thinking of the handsome Aegisthus, whom Agamemnon's far-famed son Orestes killed; and it was with Aegisthus in his mind that Zeus now addressed the immortals: 'What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles, when it is their own transgressions which bring them suffering that was not their destiny. Consider Aegisthus: it was not his destiny to steal Agamemnon's wife and murder her husband when he came home. He knew the result would be utter disaster, since we ourselves had sent Hermes, the keen-eyed Giant-slayer, to warn him neither to kill the man nor to court his wife. For Orestes, as Hermes told him, was bound to avenge Agamemnon as soon as he grew up and thought with longing of his home. Yet with all his friendly counsel Hermes failed to dissuade him. And now Aegisthus has paid the final price for all his sins.' Excerpted from The Odyssey by Homer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Translator's Notep. 81
Mapsp. 93
1 The World of The Odysseyp. 94
2 The Aegean and Asia Minorp. 96
3 Mainland Greecep. 98
4 The Peloponnesep. 100
The Odyssey
Book 1 The Boy and the Goddessp. 105
Book 2 A Dangerous Journeyp. 120
Book 3 An Old King Remembersp. 135
Book 4 What the Sea God Saidp. 152
Book 5 From the Goddess to the Stormp. 180
Book 6 A Princess and Her Laundryp. 197
Book 7 A Magical Kingdomp. 208
Book 8 The Songs of a Poetp. 220
Book 9 A Pirate in a Shepherd's Cavep. 240
Book 10 The Winds and the Witchp. 259
Book 11 The Deadp. 279
Book 12 Difficult Choicesp. 301
Book 13 Two Trickstersp. 316
Book 14 A Loyal Slavep. 332
Book 15 The Prince Returnsp. 350
Book 16 Father and Sonp. 369
Book 17 Insults and Abusep. 386
Book 18 Two Beggarsp. 408
Book 19 The Queen and the Beggarp. 424
Book 20 The Last Banquetp. 445
Book 21 An Archery Contestp. 460
Book 22 Bloodshedp. 476
Book 23 The Olive Tree Bedp. 494
Book 24 Restless Spiritsp. 507
Notesp. 527
Glossaryp. 553
Acknowledgmentsp. 579