May 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm #16592theignoredgenderMember
Do you recommend reading the Iliad and Odyssey or listening to an audio version of them?
Since these poems were originally meant to be listened to I figured an audio book would give me a more “authentic experience” so to speak. (plus I can listen to them while I go for my walks) Would you agree?
If so, do you know of a good audio book? A reader who really puts emotion into the storytelling as opposed to a monotone robot voice.May 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm #16593
Both approaches have their advantages. Reading allows more opportunity for pausing and reflecting, but listening to an audio version with a skilled narrator is very valuable.
I have listened to several ancient Greek works narrated by Charlton Griffin; I think his voice is fantastic. Here’s his unabridged reading of the Iliad: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PU0UOA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001PU0UOA&linkCode=as2&tag=thewesttrad-20
If you’d prefer an abridged Iliad read by Shakespearean actor Derek Jacobi, try this performance of the Fagles translation, which is quite good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004H1Y0RW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004H1Y0RW&linkCode=as2&tag=thewesttrad-20
You can find comparable renderings of the Odyssey as well. These links have samples so you can hear a few minutes of the narration.
I hope this helps!August 22, 2014 at 2:51 am #16594russbaker88Member
If you’re going to read them, which I highly recommend, I would suggest the Richard Lattimore translations. He is one of the few translators I’ve read who is able to capture the original meaning of the Greek accurately, and in such a way that it flows quite nicely.August 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm #16595
Lattimore’s translation is very good. I’ve also enjoyed Stanley Lombardo’s and Robert Fagles’s translations.October 13, 2014 at 1:08 am #16596cenglish211Member
Stanley Lombardo’s narration of the Iliad is really good. I’m almost finished with it, and have found it much easier to listen to than some other versions.December 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm #16597
I must say, I haven’t been enjoying the Iliad, one bit. I am reading the Barnes & Noble version translated by Samuel Butler. It seems like a lot of senseless violence for 115 pages straight. I understand we’re dealing with much more brutal times but I am wondering what I would hope to get out of this book aside from understanding when other authors use this book as a comparison? I do enjoy classical literature but I am just not enjoying this one.December 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm #16598
Thank you professor Jewell… After going through your lecture on Homeric poems and Ancient Greek religion, I’ve decided to keep on trucking through the Iliad.December 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm #16599
Your reaction to the Iliad sounds like my wife’s on her first reading of it. In her case, she was reading the poem like she would a modern novel and mainly just concerned with the plot. In my opinion, that’s not the way to go about it.January 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm #16600
What bugs me about this book is my personal feelings, as a parent, regarding the children of ancient Greece having to memorize these lines. I expect to grant leniency on many things, when dealing with works throughout history, affording more as I go further back. Especially with literature on war, I expect it to be disgusting and bring out every horrible aspect of mankind. What troubles me is thinking of children memorizing some of the very grotesque depictions of death, particularly the empaling of people in detailed fashion. This is my first reading of epic poetry so you might be right that I’m not reading it in the proper sense. However, I sense a lot of psychological damage was unfortunately bestowed on many generations of greek children. I will say this much, I feel I learn more about myself from reading/seeing things that I do not like as opposed to things I do. For that reason, I feel I must finish this book just for the sake of self-exploration.
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