Homer and the Iliad

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I could not help but not entirely read the ancient Greek version of the passage from Homer's Iliad.  I tried to identify some of the letters (or symbols) that looked similar.  

When I read the Lattimore version of the poem, I did feel like it was a story from beginning to end just as it is described to be.  I noticed myself stopping after each line to slowly take in the understanding of what was happening in the passage.  It was very descriptive but I could easily understand what the story was about when I had finished.  

When I read the Fagles version of the poem, I noticed that I was reading it fast.  I do not know if that was from the way the words were arranged the shorter lines, but I could tell this version was meant to be read at a faster pace.  Or maybe I read it fast because I had just read the other version of the story so I knew what was basically happening.  Whatever the case, I think if I had read this version first, I would not be able to explain what it was about.  It seemed more choppy and I definitely felt like it ended abruptly.

I think all translations should stick to their originals as possible.  I am most interested in learning what was exactly said rather then a more choppy version that leads to me being a little more confused. 

3 Comments

Jessie Krehlik said:

I actually understood the second translation a lot better than the first. The Lattimore version just seemed wordier than Fagles. I know that it's like that because it's such a literal translation, but at the same time, a translation can still get the point across without being that literal. The Fagles version was easier and faster for me to read, I think, because of it's poetic nature.

Megan Seigh said:

I agree that the Fagles version definitely had more of a poetic feel to it. I was able to read that one faster but at the same time I enjoyed that the Lattimore version was more like a story then a short poem.

Jessie Krehlik said:

I never really thought of the Lattimore version as more of a story than a poem. Good point. I think I just gravitated towards the second translation because it was easier for me to understand. Looking back, the first one is definitely more descriptive, so I can understand why you were attracted to it.

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