Reading: The Iliad

I finished reading W. H. D. Rouse’s translation of The Iliad on 7 Aug 2007. It’s the only translation I’ve read at all recently, though I did read the Iliad once before as a child.

I think it’s safe to say that no one will ever be moved to poetry upon first looking into Rouse’s Homer. Translating poetry generally involves a trade-off between the quality of the poetry and the fidelity of the translation, but Rouse gives us the worst of both worlds with this aggressively — one is tempted to say perversely — prosaic paraphrase, sacrificing both poetry and fidelity from the very first sentence. (“Sing, goddess, the rage of Achilles” becomes “An angry man: there is my story.”) He is determined to give us an Iliad in ordinary language, and if Homer didn’t always write in ordinary language, so much the worse for Homer. I intend to find and read another translation soon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Translation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s