All the extant fragments of Herakleitos and a collection of Diogenes' words from various sources. Herakleitos' words, 2500 years old, usually appear in English translated by philosophers as makeshift clusters of nouns and verbs which can then be inspected at length. Here they are translated into plain English and allowed to stand naked and unchaperoned in their native archaic Mediterranean light. The practical words of the Athenian street philosopher Diogenes have never before been extracted from the apocryphal anecdotes in which they have come down to us. They are addressed to humanity at large, and are as sharp and pertinent today as when they were admired by Alexander the Great and Saint Paul. Guy Davenport (1927-2005) has also translated the complete extant fragments of the Greek poets Archilochos, Sappho, and Alkman. He taught at the University of Kentucky, lecturing on European literature of the first half of the twentieth century: Joyce, Pound, and others. His work includes criticism, short stories, essays, poems, drawings, and paintings.
GUY DAVENPORT (1927-2005) was born in South Carolina and lived for more than forty years in Lexington, Kentucky, where he died in 2005. The author of more than twenty books, including The Geography of the Imagination, Eclogues, and The Death of Picasso, he was also a distinguished professor at the University of Kentucky and a MacArthur Fellow in 1990.