THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER by Richmond- Trans. Lattimore


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The revered Homer is a classroom god piously revived in a new translation every decade or so. Richmond Lattimore is generally considered the best of the current crop of textual resuscitators and his version of The Iliad has been justly acclaimed as the definitive one for our generation, an estimate no doubt bound to be eagerly extended to his long-awaited revamping of The Odyssey. Lattimore's lucid and manly six-beat line, dramatically flexible, majestic, and lyric by turns is well suited to the epic design and mighty verbal armor of the original. It captures in viable enough English the hortatory speeches, the hightoned descriptions, the spangled fantasies and adventures, and the inveterately heroic mood throughout as Odysseus leaves burning Troy and undergoes his disruptive journey homeward to Ithaca. Of course the kettle has simmered many times since Homer's day, so The Odyssey is not particularly a twentieth century cup of tea. As Horace said: ""Sometimes good Homer himself even nods; but in so long a work it is allowable if there should be a drowsy interval or so."" And did not modernist Joyce metamorphose the whole thing in Ulysses? A major item.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row