432 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.5 in
February 9, 2016
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1451674171
ISBN - 13: 9781451674170
From the Publisher
“Sing to me, Muse . . .”
It has been said that a myth is a story about the way things never were but always are. The Odyssey is the original hero’s journey, an epic voyage into the unknown, and has inspired other creative work for millennia—from ancient poetry to contemporary fiction and films. With its consummately modern hero, full of guile and wit, always prepared to reinvent himself in order to realize his heart’s desire—to return to home and family after ten years of war—the Odyssey now speaks to us again across 2,600 years.
In words of great poetic power, Stephen Mitchell’s translation brings Odysseus and his adventures vividly to life as never before. Full of imagination and light, beauty and humor, this Odyssey carries you along in a fast stream of action and imagery. One-eyed maneating giants; irresistibly seductive sirens; shipwrecks and narrow escapes; princesses and monsters; ghosts sipping blood at the Underworld’s portal, desperate for a chance to speak to the living; and the final destruction of all Odysseus’s enemies in the banquet hall—these stories are still spellbinding today. So, too, are the intimate moments of storytelling by the fire, of homecoming and reunion, fidelity and love—all of greater value to Odysseus, and to us, than the promise of immortality.
Just as Mitchell “re-energised the Iliad for a new generation” (The Sunday Telegraph), his Odyssey is the noblest, clearest, and most captivating rendition of one of the defining masterpieces of Western literature. Mitchell’s muscular language keeps the diction close to spoken English, yet its rhythms re-create the oceanic surge of the ancient Greek.
The first translation to benefit from modern advances in textual scholarship, Mitchell’s Odyssey also includes an illuminating introductory essay that opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation and textual notes that will benefit all readers. Beautiful, musical, accurate, and alive, this new Odyssey is a story for our time as well as for the ages.
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.
"Re-reading the epic poem The Odyssey with this new translation by Stephen Mitchell is a reminder not only of its significance as an early literary masterpiece of the West but also its beauty as a work of art... It resonates with modern readers as much as it did to our ancestors... Eminently readable, flowing narrative… captures the beauty of the language while rendering the poem accessible to all readers... Mitchell deserves great credit for providing a new translation that will appeal to modern readers and see the Homeric tales thrive amongst the next generation... Mitchell’s translations should be the first port of call to anyone who’s never yet read the Homeric poems but has always meant to."