Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

E-mail me

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Otto reports that Robert Fagles is about to come out with a new translation of the Aeneid. This gets me thinking about translators.

Two reservations: First, it goes without saying that translation, as such, honks. (Exceptions made for a few classic translations by independently great poets, such as Dryden's Aeneid and Plutarch.) Second, don't get me started about Dante translators -- that's another post.

Sticking just to Homer and Virgil, what would you say are the relative merits of Robert Fitzgerald (Homer & Virgil), Richmond Lattimore (Homer only), Allen Mandelbaum (Virgil only), and Fagles (Homers, and now Virgil too)?

It seems to me Fitzgerald is the most atmospheric and the most fun, but Lattimore is more literal without much sacrifice in "readability". Mandelbaum, I'm beginning to think, is always good but never the best (this would apply to his Dante too).

As for Fagles, I've heard his Iliad read (in an abridged recording) by Derek Jacobi. It sounds good, and I admire the way he gets the word "Rage" into position as the first word, accurately reflecting the original in this.

Your views?