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The Odyssey - Introduction and Notes

Translated by Edward McCrorie
Johns Hopkins University Press
November 2005

Homer's Odyssey, at once an exciting epic of strife and subterfuge and a deeply felt tale of love and devotion, stands at the very beginning of the Western literary tradition. From ancient Greece to the present day its influence on later literature has been unsurpassed, and for centuries translators have approached the meter, tone, and pace of Homer's poetry with a variety of strategies. Chapman and Pope paid keen attention to color, drama, and vivacity of style, rendering the Greek verse loosely and inventively. In the twentieth century, translators such as Lattimore kept rigorously close to the sense of each word in the original; others, including Fitzgerald and Fagles, have departed further from the language of the original, employing their own inventive modern style.