The Odyssey

Homer (Author) Emily Wilson (Translator)
Available

Description

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.

Product Details

Price
$18.95  $17.43
Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
November 06, 2018
Pages
592
Dimensions
5.7 X 1.4 X 8.2 inches | 1.5 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780393356250

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Homer is the presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary. The Homeric Question - concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed - continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, and that Homer is best seen as a label for an entire tradition. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic.Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of Homeric epic on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film.[9] The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who has taught Greece - ten Hellada pepaideuken.
Emily Wilson is professor of classical studies and graduate chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson attended Oxford University (Balliol College, B.A., and Corpus Christi College, M.Phil.) and Yale University (Ph.D.). In 2006, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in Renaissance and Early Modern scholarship, and in 2019 was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition to The Odyssey, she has published translations of Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca. Among her other books are Mocked with Death: Tragic Overliving from Sophocles to Milton; The Death of Socrates: Hero, Villain, Chatterbox, Saint; The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca; and Faithful, a book about translation. Wilson is an editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature and an advisory editor of the Norton Library.

Reviews

A masterpiece of translation.--Rowan Williams, University of Cambridge
A revelation. Never have I been so aware at once of the beauty of the poetry, the physicality of Homer's world, and the moral ambiguity of those who inhabit it.--Susan Chira
Emily Wilson's crisp and musical version is a cultural landmark.... This translation will change the way the poem is read in English.--Charlotte Higgins
Emily Wilson has given us a staggeringly superior translation--true, poetic, lively and readable, and always closely engaged with the original Greek--that brings to life the fascinating variety of voices in Homer's great epic.--Richard F. Thomas, Harvard University
In her powerful new translation, Emily Wilson... has chosen immediacy and naturalism over majestic formality. She preserves the musicality of Homer's poetry, opting for an iambic pentameter whose approachable storytelling tone invites us in, only to startle us with eruptions of beauty.... Wilson's transformation of such a familiar and foundational work is... astonishing.--Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Wilson's translation is a superb achievement and a striking departure from the tradition of Homeric translation into English.... There is no elaborate or antiquated diction, just a crispness and clear-headedness that will seem quite alien to anyone familiar with earlier versions.... Wilson has produced a wonderfully distinctive--and modern--version of the poem.--Henry Power
This translation is a marvel! Bold and timely and ever so exciting.... As majestic as literature gets.--Max Porter, author of Grief Is the Thing With Feathers