The OdysseyBook - 2000
George Chapman's translations of Homer are among the most famous in the English language. Keats immortalized the work of the Renaissance dramatist and poet in the sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer." Swinburne praised the translations for their "romantic and sometimes barbaric grandeur," their "freshness, strength, and inextinguishable fire." The great critic George Saintsbury (1845-1933) wrote: "For more than two centuries they were the resort of all who, unable to read Greek, wished to know what Greek was. Chapman is far nearer Homer than any modern translator in any modern language." This volume presents the original text of Chapman's translation of the Odyssey (1614-15), making only a small number of modifications to punctuation and wording where they might confuse the modern reader. The editor, Allardyce Nicoll, provides an introduction, textual notes, a glossary, and a commentary. Garry Wills's preface to the Odyssey explores how Chapman's less strained meter lets him achieve more delicate poetic effects as compared to the Iliad . Wills also examines Chapman's "fine touch" in translating "the warm and human sense of comedy" in the Odyssey .
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold.
From Library Staff
The Trojan War is over. Odysseus, the cunning King of Ithaca, sets out to return home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. It proves a long journey, fraught with dangers, from Polyphemus the Cyclops, and the seductive Sirens, to the love of Calypso on her all-too-comfortable isle. When he... Read More »