I'm a bit giddy just typing this. Emily Wilson—a professor of Classical Studies and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania—has become the first woman to translate Homer's The Odyssey into English, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. This article in The New York Times is well worth a read, if you (like me) are interested in all things Penelope, Odysseus, and grey-eyed Athena. Just take a look at the opening lines of Wilson's translation:
Tell me about a complicated man.If that doesn't take your breath way, I don't know what will. I love Dr. Wilson's words at the end of the article, "I want to be super responsible about my relationship to the Greek text. I want to be saying, after multiple different revisions: This is the best I can get toward the truth."
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered in the storms at sea, and how
he worked to save his life and bring his men
back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,
they ate the Sun God's cattle, and the god
kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.
Find the beginning.
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