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Translations of Homer tend to fall on a spectrum, ranging from those of Lattimore or Murray and Dimock (Loeb Classics), which aim to be faithful to the subtleties of the Greek, to those of Fagles and Fitzgerald, which aim to be good English poetry as well. This new version of the Odyssey falls in the middle. McCrorie (English, Providence Coll.) is a poet and translator whose accomplishments include a version of Virgil's Aeneid. For his Odyssey, he developed a modified dactyl that allows him to achieve the swiftness and rhythmic variety of Homer. Bringing a sensitive ear to Homer's diction and verbal formulas, he transliterates names rather than using their Latin equivalents in order to remain close to the sound of the Greek. If this translation does not stand out from the others available, it is nevertheless a worthy addition. Recommended for all academic libraries.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
A poet and English professor, McCrorie (Providence College) has produced a lively and engaging version of Homer's Odyssey that brilliantly blends pleasurable readability with fidelity to the original. He preserves the force of Homer's distinctive formulaic repetitions, the hallmark of an originally oral and musical mode of presentation, while avoiding the jackhammer impact on a reading audience of verbatim replication. Among his more inspired renditions: "glow-eyed Goddess Athene," "Dawn with rose-fingered daylight," "stunningly crowned Aphrodite." McCrorie even succeeds in echoing the rhythm of Homer's line endings at the same place in his English verses. Martin (classics, Stanford) contributes a useful introduction and 50 pages of endnotes. A minor blemish is the profusion of taglines: for instance, "Drunk on Wine," "The Name of No-One," "Grisly Burps," "The Blinding," on one page in the Kuklops episode. McCrorie has simplified the choice of an English Odyssey even in a field of very skillful competitors (Lattimore, Fitzgerald, Mandelbaum, Fagles, Lombardo), providing the best available verse translation of the Odyssey for Greekless readers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections; all levels. J. P. Holoka Eastern Michigan University