Iliad-Stephen Mitchell

Iliad

Stephen Mitchell

Free Press/Simon and Schuster, Aug 14 2012, $15.99

ISBN: 9781439163382

 

This taut well written translation is based on the controversial work by esteemed classics scholar Dr. Martin L. West who claimed passages were added after Homer’s original epic poem was first written; Stephen Mitchell omits those alleged additions.  The excellent introduction by Mr. Mitchell to his version of the Iliad enhances the understanding of this still resonating narrative poem that glorifies war to make an anti-war case.  The essence of the schism amidst the Achaeans (with Godly intervention) and its aftermath as the war with Troy continues with seemingly no end in sight is captured in this rendition of the classic.  I have mixed feelings about this edition as I enjoyed reading the Iliad again, but feel some guilt for enjoying Mr. Mitchel’s fine translation; back during the latter years of the Vietnam War, I read Richmond Lattimore’s version while attending Lehman College.  Still this is a great way for newcomers to read a classic ancient Greek epic poem still relevant and for those who have read previous interpretations to compare.

 

Harriet Klausner

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