Here’s a quick review of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey translation, which I finished reading today (Christmas Day) after a Loot (the Joe Orton play) reread as an alternative to a Carry On film:
A hugely engaging translation of Homer’s Odyssey that works both as a readable version for those who’ve never picked it up, and an interesting take for those who have. As someone who has only read some of the big names in Greek and Roman literature in translation (thanks to one undergrad module and an enjoyment of Anne Carson), I found the introduction a good way in to the text, and Wilson’s book summaries and light notes highlighted interesting bits of wordplay and Greek mythology. In particular, her focus on assumptions made by previous translations, one example being gendered insults, makes this an engaging act of translation that will hopefully pave the way for more translations of famous classical texts that open up some of this debate for a wide audience and question what has been usually translated before.
I read the new paperback edition, which still has the beautiful cover of the hardback plus uncut edges for decorative style, making both a good gift or treat as it’s a book you’ll want to keep.