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The Aeneidby Virgil and Robert Fagles
Synopses & Reviews
The much-anticipated new translation of Virgil's epic poem, from the award-winning translator of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey
The publication of a new translation by Robert Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles is poised to reintroduce Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and complete the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.
The Aeneid is a sweeping epic of arms and heroism and a searching portrait of a man caught between love, duty, and the force of his own destiny. Here, Fagles brings to life the timeless journey of Aeneas — Achilles' erstwhile foe — as he flees the ashes of Troy to found the Roman people and change forever the course of the Western world.
Fagles's translation of The Aeneid retains all of the gravitas and humanity of the original as well as its powerful blend of poetry and myth. Beautifully produced and featuring an illuminating introduction from noted scholar Bernard Knox, as well as an extensive notes section and glossary, this new translation will delight both classicists and general readers, providing a vibrant, contemporary voice to the literary achievement of the ancient world.
"Princeton scholar Fagles follows up his celebrated Iliad and Odyssey with a new, fast-moving, readable rendition of the national epic of ancient Rome. Virgil's long-renowned narrative follows the Trojan warrior Aeneas as he carries his family from his besieged, fallen home, stops in Carthage for a doomed love affair, visits the underworld and founds in Italy, through difficult combat, the settlements that will become, first the Roman republic, and then the empire Virgil knew. Recent translators (such as Allen Mandelbaum) put Virgil's meters into English blank verse. Fagles chooses to forgo meter entirely, which lets him stay literal when he wishes, and grow eloquent when he wants: 'Aeneas flies ahead, spurring his dark ranks on and storming/ over the open fields like a cloudburst wiping out the sun.' A substantial preface from the eminent classicist Bernard Knox discusses Virgil's place in history, while Fagles himself appends a postscript and notes. Scholars still debate whether Virgil supported or critiqued the empire's expansion; Aeneas' story might prompt new reflection now, when Americans are already thinking about international conflict and the unexpected costs of war." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Homer's deserved primacy makes us often forget that Virgil is in many ways his equal. Fagles's triumphant new achievement makes us remember it." Kirkus Reviews
"Fagles's new version of Virgil's epic delicately melds the stately rhythms of the original to a contemporary cadence." New Yorker
"A memorable achievement...Mr. Fagles has been remarkably successful in finding a style that is of our time and yet timeless." New York Times Book Review
"Anyone who has not read Virgil's poem since college (and felt guiltily that they should) will want to get this splendid version." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Fagles excels at capturing the movement and violence of Virgil, with an almost cinematic style, electric with cutting, zooms and an intensity of focus on heroic action." San Diego Union-Tribune
Fagles' translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Now, the much-anticipated new translation of Virgil's epic poem from the award-winning translator reintroduces The Aeneid to a whole new generation.
From the award-winning translator of The Iliad and The Odyssey comes a brilliant new translation of Virgil's great epic
With his translations of Homer's classic poems, Robert Fagles gave new life to seminal works of the Western canon and became one of the preeminent translators of our time. His latest achievement completes the magnificent triptych of Western epics. A sweeping story of arms and heroism, The Aeneid follows the adventures of Aeneas, who flees the ashes of Troy to embark upon a tortuous course that brings him to Italy and fulfills his destiny as founder of the Roman people. Retaining all of the gravitas and humanity of the original, this powerful blend of poetry and myth remains as relevant today as when it was first written.
About the Author
Robert Fagles is Arthur W. Marks Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He is the recipient of the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation.
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