Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Emily Wilson and translating The Odyssey

I have yet to read Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey, but I fully intend to soon. In the meantime I have been keeping up with her Twitter account @EmilyRCWilson, where she selects passages from the poem and compares various translations and explains why she chose the words/phrases she did for these selections. It's a great look behind the curtain as she
comments on how translators such as George Chapman (1615), Alexander Pope (1725), T.E. Lawrence (1932), Robert Fitzgerald (1961), Richmond Lattimore (1965), Robert Fagles (1996), Stanley Lombardo (2000), and Stephen Mitchell (2013) have interpreted different words, phrases, and concepts from the original Greek into English.

The quote is from the page at her site that gathers the various tweets on each passage and her comments. If you have any interest in The Odyssey, these threads are essential reading. As Dan Chiasson put it in his article at The New Yorker, Wilson is "The Classics Scholar Redefining What Twitter Can Do."

There are many articles mentioned at Wilson's home page, but I want to link to a few I found helpful.

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