The Odyssey (Fagles translation)

The Odyssey (Fagles translation)

Audio CD(Unabridged, 11 CDs)

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Overview

The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of every man's journey through life. In the myths and legends that are retold here, the energy and poetry of Homer's original is captured in a bold, contemporary idiom, giving us an edition of The Odyssey that is a joy to listen to, worth savoring treasuring for its sheer lyrical mastery. This audiobook is sure to delight both the classicist and the general reader, and to captivate a new generation of Homer's students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143058243
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/13/2005
Series: Penguin Audio Classics Series
Edition description: Unabridged, 11 CDs
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 5.75(h) x 2.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.

Read an Excerpt

I

Athene Visits Telemachus

Tell me, Muse, the story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy citadel of Troy. He saw the cities of many people and he learnt their ways. He suffered great anguish on the high seas in his struggles to preserve his life and bring his comrades home. But he failed to save those comrades, in spite of all his efforts. It was their own transgression that brought them to their doom, for in their folly they devoured the oxen of Hyperion the Sun-god and he saw to it that they would never return. Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will.

All the survivors of the war had reached their homes by now and so put the perils of battle and the sea behind them. Odysseus alone was prevented from returning to the home and wife he yearned for by that powerful goddess, the Nymph Calypso, who longed for him to marry her, and kept him in her vaulted cave. Not even when the rolling seasons brought in the year which the gods had chosen for his homecoming to Ithaca was he clear of his troubles and safe among his friends. Yet all the gods pitied him, except Poseidon, who pursued the heroic Odysseus with relentless malice till the day when he reached his own country.

Poseidon, however, was now gone on a visit to the distant Ethiopians, in the most remote part of the world, half of whom live where the Sun goes down, and half where he rises. He had gone to accept a sacrifice of bulls and rams, and there he sat and enjoyed the pleasures of the feast. Meanwhile the rest of the gods had assembled in the palace of Olympian Zeus, and the Father of men and gods opened a discussion among them. He had been thinking of the handsome Aegisthus, whom Agamemnon’s far-famed son Orestes killed; and it was with Aegisthus in his mind that Zeus now addressed the immortals:

‘What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles, when it is their own transgressions which bring them suffering that was not their destiny. Consider Aegisthus: it was not his destiny to steal Agamemnon’s wife and murder her husband when he came home. He knew the result would be utter disaster, since we ourselves had sent Hermes, the keen-eyed Giant-slayer, to warn him neither to kill the man nor to court his wife. For Orestes, as Hermes told him, was bound to avenge Agamemnon as soon as he grew up and thought with longing of his home. Yet with all his friendly counsel Hermes failed to dissuade him. And now Aegisthus has paid the final price for all his sins.’

Table of Contents

Translator's Prefaceix
Introductionxix
1Trouble at Home3
2A Gathering and a Parting16
3In the Great Hall of Nestor28
4With Menelaos and Helen43
5A Raft on the High Seas67
6Laundry Friends81
7The Warmest Welcome91
8Songs, Challenges, Dances, and Gifts101
9A Battle, the Lotos, and a Savage's Cave118
10Mad Winds, Laistrugonians, and an Enchantress135
11The Land of the Dead152
12Evil Song, a Deadly Strait, and Forbidden Herds171
13A Strange Arrival Home184
14The House of the Swineherd197
15Son and Father Converging213
16Father and Son Reunited229
17Unknown in His Own House243
18Fights in the Great Hall261
19Memory and Dream in the Palace274
20Dawn of the Death-Day292
21The Stringing of the Bow304
22Revenge in the Great Hall317
23Husband and Wife at Last332
24Last Tensions and Peace343
Notes359
Names in the Odyssey409
Bibliography417

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Wonderfully readable... Just the right blend of roughness and sophistication. (Ted Hughes)Robert Fagles is the best living translator of ancient Greek drama, lyric poetry, and epic into modern English. (Garry Wills, The New Yorker)Mr. Fagles has been remarkably successful in finding a style that is of our time and yet timeless. (Richard Jenkyns, The New York Times Book Review)

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