The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation)

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The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation)

by Homer
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Atria Books | October 11, 2011 | Hardcover

The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation) is rated 4.0909 out of 5 by 11.
TOLSTOY CALLED THE ILIAD A miracle; Goethe said that it always thrust him into a state of astonishment. Homer’s story is thrilling, and his Greek is perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever sung or written. But until now, even the best English translations haven’t been able to re-create the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and pulsing rhythm of the original.

In Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad, the epic story resounds again across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.

Mitchell’s Iliad is the first translation based on the work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were added after the Iliad was first written down, to the detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In addition, Mitchell’s illuminating introduction opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation.

Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell’s scholarship and the power of his language, the Iliad’s ancient story comes to moving, vivid new life.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.7 in

Published: October 11, 2011

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439163375

ISBN - 13: 9781439163375

Found in: Poetry

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! I have to start by saying that I absolutely LOVE The Iliad. I have a passion for Greek mythology and studied Classics in university and Homer is definitely one of my favorites. I recently took on a challenge to read Homer's Iliad. I realized that it must be nearly 20 years since I read it in university, so decided it would be fun to read it again, this time without the pressure of essays and exams. I don't feel that a traditional book review is something I could write about this epic novel, so I will write about some of my favourite things and impressions. First off, I had to pick a translation - there are so many to choose from! After looking through about 15 boxes of books that I have in storage to find my old Lattimore translation, I decided to go to our local used bookstore and buy the Robert Fagles translation. I was skeptical at first because I had loved the Lattimore translation, but I quickly found that the Fagles translation was amazing too - it is a poetry translation, but is also very readable and has a great feel to it. I would highly recommend this one to anyone wanting to read The Iliad, especially if they are looking for a modern poetry translation. It won the Academy of American Poets 1991 Landon Translation Award and I can see why. And then there is the story itself, it takes place over a few days near the end of the Trojan War, and is about Achilles' rage at Agamemnon for his slight to his honour. The first lines tell it all: Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and birds, and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end. Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed, Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles. I found The Iliad interesting and exiting to read, though it did take a lot of concentration. This is a story that was originally intended to be recited aloud, so reading it uses a different part of the brain (I think - or, at least for me). There are certainly different devises used than in modern writing, such as repetitive epithets. For the most part, I found if I took my time and was not distracted (too much), I could read through it fairly easily. But, the exception to this is Book 2, the catalog of ships. Here Homer lists all of the ships and heroes who have come to Troy from around Greece. This is very long and tedious to read, but if you can make it through that, the rest of the books should seem easy! The other thing that was a bit hard with The Iliad is the lists of people fighting and how they died. This is a story that takes place in a war and there are lots of battle scenes with grizzly deaths. One of the really fun aspects of the book is the gods meddling in human affairs. Some of this was quite funny and a welcome relief to the battle scenes. Then there is the human element of The Iliad, the stories that make the book what it is, such as Andromache worried about her husband coming home from battle, the friendship of Achilles and Patroclus, Menalaus fighting to get his wife, Helen, back from Paris, Achilles' rage at Agamemnon for being slighted, and Priam doing whatever it takes to get his dead son's body back for burial. It is always amazing to me that Priam, after watching his son's body get defiled for days by Achilles, the man who killed him in battle, can go to him as a suppliant, and even feast with him. It is absolutely heart wrenching. This is only one of the incredibly touching and human scenes in The Iliad.
Date published: 2011-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great war epic This is a great book for anybody who is interested in greek history/mythology. As a fan of greco-roman themes I have watched many movies about the Trojan war, so it was interesting to finally read what is the basis for those films. It was interesting to see how dramatically different the movies are from the source material. The book ends before the sacking of Troy but to get answers from Homer read "The Odyssey" as it gives a few answers to what happened to some of the characters. This is one of my favourite books!!
Date published: 2008-01-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Trojans Gone Wild! hated this book. For one, I'm not overly interested in war stories or movies or whatnot. It isn't my cup of tea. For another, the language was difficult to follow. I found it funny that the real people attributed so much to the gods and goddesses... "Oh I lost that race because Aphrodite made me slip in the ox blood..." "Apollo saved me from your spear!" yada yada yada I don't know what the title means, not being familiar with Latin I wonder if it's a different form of Ilios or something? I wish it was called "All About Achilles" or even "How the Trojan War was Won" or even "Trojans gone wild!" I could have done without the descriptions of all the different ways that people were killed. It's a war, and people die, I get it, however I don't need to read how their eyes fell out when they were it with a rock (anatomically impossible, their being attached to optical nerves. They would just dangle) I was disappointed, because I thought there would be more of those traditional stories you hear about, like how Achilles was dipped in the Styx, or how awesome Helen was to make so many people fight over her or something. Nope, just straight up battles and funeral games and stuff.
Date published: 2006-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing book Although a hard read, I found The Iliad to be an amazing book that really fueled me. I could actually invision the gods and the warriors at battle. I was taken right in. And it provs to be a much better version of the Trojan War than the movie Troy which destroys Homer's original tale! Read this rather than watch that!
Date published: 2006-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was great. Was hard but easy at the same time. Homer is a amzing writer and would suggest this book to anyone wanting to read something new!
Date published: 2005-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing this book is very very good. By page 20 I was hooked. This verson of the Iliad isn't that hard espically if you are someone who reads a lot. I would recomen this book to anyone how already likes poetry, getting into poetry or has never read poetry in there lifes.
Date published: 2005-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read I picked this book up to read for school. I expected it to be a boring but it was a fantastic book filled with similes and imagery. It's was like going to the movies since the book goes in depth about the taste, the sounds, and the action. It felt as if the reader was at the Trojan war.
Date published: 2005-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent over all the translation is excellent, except on the translation uses latin name for the character, instead of greek name
Date published: 2004-12-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Iliad Because this book is not in modern english, it took me hour just to read the first 100 pages. I could not stay awake for the life of me.
Date published: 2004-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Universal Required Reading Homer's first epic poem displays the range of human emotions and vices from bravery to jealousy and envy in a wonderfully narrated tale. This ancient work should be required reading for all of humanity.
Date published: 2003-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Hail, HOMER There is nothing that compares to the artistic delivery of such a respected author. Homer paints the story with such passion and power that includes the reader as either a Trojan Warrior or a Greek Soldier! Excellent!
Date published: 2000-01-28

– More About This Product –

The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation)

by Homer
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.7 in

Published: October 11, 2011

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439163375

ISBN - 13: 9781439163375

About the Book

From the consummate translator, renowned for translating Rilke and "Tao Te Ching," a vivid new translation of Western civilization's foundational epic.

From the Publisher

TOLSTOY CALLED THE ILIAD A miracle; Goethe said that it always thrust him into a state of astonishment. Homer’s story is thrilling, and his Greek is perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever sung or written. But until now, even the best English translations haven’t been able to re-create the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and pulsing rhythm of the original.

In Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad, the epic story resounds again across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.

Mitchell’s Iliad is the first translation based on the work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were added after the Iliad was first written down, to the detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In addition, Mitchell’s illuminating introduction opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation.

Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell’s scholarship and the power of his language, the Iliad’s ancient story comes to moving, vivid new life.

About the Author

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable. The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

Editorial Reviews

”A strange, almost forgotten feeling overtook me as I first dipped into this new translation. I felt compelled to recite aloud! The poetry rocks and has a macho cast to it, like rap music. It’s overtly virile stuff, propelled from the time when music, language, information, and politics were not yet distinguished.” —Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget