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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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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
"All the artistic choices work. I must admit when I heard we were reviewing The Odyssey, I thought 'Oh no, it's going to be wordy and dull'...but it wasn't, it really felt fresh and alive and exciting."
--Sophie Hannah, BBC Radio 4, Saturday Review
"Wilson's translation is a superb achievement and a striking departure from the tradition of Homeric translation into English... [She] has produced a wonderfully distinctive and modern version of the poem."
--London Evening Standard
"The real reason why Emily Wilson's version of this nearly three millennia-old poem is so important is that it combines intellectual authority with addictive readability."
--Edith Hall, The Telegraph
"Wilson, the first woman to translate the text into English, does a magnificent job of bringing this archaic poem to a new audience. Fresh, crisp and thoughtful, the translation reflects smart choices across the board...Homer has long deserved better, as have his readers. Now we have it."
"...this is a really significant literary moment."
--Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
"...this instantly hot-wired me into tears."
--Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
"When I first read these lines...I was floored. I d never read an "Odyssey" that sounded like this. It had such directness, the lines feeling not as if they were being fed into iambic pentameter because of some strategic decision but because the meter was a natural mode for its speaker."--The New York Times Magazine
"Wilson's Odyssey feels like a restoration of an old, familiar building that had over the years been encrusted with too much gilt. Wilson translates as though translation is a moral choice you owe fidelity not to the author, nor to the protagonist, but to the truth behind the words and the times. She scrapes away at old encrusted layers, until she exposes what lies beneath."
"It is immensely satisfying to see The Odyssey in the hands of such a careful and creative scholar who can pore over the semantic nuances of Homer's Greek as well as those of her own English. Considerations of gender aside, perhaps Wilson's greatest achievement is to disprove the increasingly held view that versions of ancient texts require an established poet to be parachuted in, like a literary James Bond, to rescue their English lines from the prosaic. For a translation of The Odyssey that knows what it is talking about and sings as it speaks, this is the one to read."--New Statesman
Emily Wilson is a professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philadelphia.
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