I am re-reading Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Iliad.
I would appreciate opinions regarding better translations of Homer.
On translations, remember that there is natural a friction between accuracy and poetic beauty. You can't really have a translation that is 100% accurate that also captures 100% of the spirit and poetic beauty of the original. This trade off is especially pertinent when we're talking about something like Ancient Greek to modern English, where you have a 2,500+ year gap. If you're serious about analyzing one of these books but don't know Ancient Greek, I'd say to read a page from a good literal translation (like Lattimore) and then a page from a good poetic translation that aims to capture the spirit of the story according to the translator (like f*gles or Fitzgerald). You'll get the best of both worlds (and probably realize you missed some super cool nuance the first time around - these are books meant to be ready slowly and thoughtfully). If you just want something that is really accessible and entertaining, then probably f*gles or Fitzgerald alone is fine. Just know that the more the translator aims to capture the "spirit and beauty" over the actual words, the more you find yourself soaking up one guy's interpretation, which means taking liberties with the translation. You get what I'm saying, I'm sure. If you ask classics professors the translation question, you'll get a different answer from every one. As you can imagine, there are whole schools of thought dedicated to furthering certain interpretations over others. Shocking, I know.
As for me, I majored in Latin and Ancient Greek in college, then taught high school Latin for a year after that. In college, I usually translated Ancient Greek directly from the Liddell and Scott dictionary with a Loeb as my guide. Loeb's a series of books that has the actual Latin/Greek text on the left page and a very literal translation on the right page. Very useful as a double-check against what you're looking up in L&S (but not necessarily an exciting read). You're sort of like, "Oh, well, the word is X in L&S, but that doesn't make sense. OK, Loeb's using Y instead, which is listed as the 4th most common meaning in L&S. I wonder why that is. Oh, I see, it's probably because blah blah blah, as listed in the Loeb translation footnotes." Plus, they're just super cool. Anyway, based on my background, I'd probably read Lattimore, but also own Fitzgerald and f*gles.
Post by The Semi-Retired Gamer on Sept 29, 2014 15:45:40 GMT -6
Re-reading this thread I noticed the dialogue on The Game of Thrones books and it led me to wonder about the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I avoided it for years because there were so many books and the series remained uncompleted. Now that Sanderson has completed the series would anybody care to share some opinions about the books?
Grab 'em up, man! They are a truly enjoyable light-hearted read. I adore the language C.S. Lewis writes to us in! It's been just a couple of nights, now... But I've been hard-pressed not to get all the way to the "Dawn Treader". It sure sucks one in!
Post by The Semi-Retired Gamer on Sept 29, 2014 20:05:57 GMT -6
LOL...they are actually sitting on my nightstand in my "reading soon" pile! I think they are going to the top of the list now. I bought a new set a year or so ago after listening to the BBC radio adaptation one of my buddies burned for me. I put them all in ITunes and would listen to the entire series on audio - THUMBS UP.