The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/4/1
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The epic tale of Odysseus’s journey home – one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature
If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.
E. V. Rieu’s translation has long been beloved and celebrated by scholars and readers alike, and for this Penguin Classics edition, classicist D. C. H. Rieu has revised the work of his father. This edition also includes an introduction by Peter V. Jones.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
“[Robert Fitzgerald’s translation is] a masterpiece . . . An Odyssey worthy of the original.” –The Nation
“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review
“[In] Robert Fitzgerald’s translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world.”
–from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney
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The first translation I read of the Iliad was by E.V. Rieu - The Iliad (Penguin Classics). That translation is famous both for its quality and as being the foundation of the Penguin Classics program. I certainly respect if for that, but the modern reader will find it to be somewhat aged. It doesn't flow so smoothly. Compared to this translation by Fagles it doesn't have the rhythm or pace. On the other hand it is more accurate to the Greek on which it is based.
Fagles translation is well paced and clear. At times it may still be difficult for those with English as a second language, but far less difficult than Rieu's translation. There are other translations to be sure, such as Pope's or Lattimore's. Each with their own style and balance of readability and accuracy, but in my opinion none of them bring the Iliad to life the way that Fagles does.
Of course my recommendation is somewhat conditional. For the first time reader, in my opinion, there is no better introduction. On the other hand a student of classics or anybody wishing to look at the Iliad in greater depth may well be better served by going straight to the loeb editions - Iliad, Volume I: Iliad: Volume I. Books 1-12 (Loeb Classical Library, No. 170) and Iliad, Volume II: Books 13-24 (Loeb Classical Library). These translations focus on accuracy and the translation is printed side by side with the Greek. A truly dedicated fan will find those volumes immensely helpful in the study of both the Iliad and the ancient Greek language.
Whichever translation you end up reading I'm sure you will enjoy the epic more than once. Themes will emerge after repeated readings such as Hector who starts off wearing a 'shining helmet' changes to the dark helmet of Achilles after killing Patroclus. A symbol of his change in destiny after that moment, for it seems whoever wears that helmet is doomed. Or Athena who promises Achilles great wealth and treasure in book 1 - in saying that did she know that it was a lie, or did she believe it only to be thwarted by fate? Read the Iliad and read it closely - it really is a timeless classic.
個人的には、Achilles（通常、英語表記はこっち）が Achilleus になっているのが、ちょっと違和感がありましたが。
cattle and fat sheep are things to be had for the lifting
and tripods can be won, and the tawny high heads of horses,
but a man's life cannot come back again, it cannot be lifted
nor captured by force, once it has crossed the teeth's barrier.