To read or speak the Iliad, that is the question

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After reading the last two versions of the Iliad, written by Home, in Writing Material (because the first literally was all ancient Greek to me), I could definitely see why translators might choose to differ on their versions of the text. Lattimore's translation retains that "ancient/old" writing and style that immediately tells my mind that this text is of import and weight, if only because of it's age. This sense makes me take my time going through the text, searching for any details I might miss if I simply read over the words like a bulldozer going over fresh dirt.

However, Fagles translation instantly told my brain that this epic would be immensely enjoyed if read aloud. In my head these words ran in a sing-song pattern, but such patterns would help in listeners retaining information, as well as capturing their attention. I also feel that there is more literal information and detail to be gleaned from Lattimore's translation. In Fagles translation readers/listeners must rely more heavily on their imaginations to fill in the details of the story. There are pros and cons to both translations, I suppose it simply boils down to whether you will read it silently, or read it to someone else out loud. Then again, I'm not the only one with entry on this comparison, check out my course-mates' opinions.

1 Comments

Erica Gearhart said:

Megan and I talked about this a little in our blogs, in terms of which one appealed to each of us more. I liked the Fagles and Megan prefered the Lattimore version. I like how you describe the characteristics of each version and highlight that each has its own purpose (to be read aloud or silently, as well as others). I wish we could read the Greek version, or get feedback about how people feel when they read it.

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on January 27, 2010 9:03 PM.

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