PDA

View Full Version : "Historically, men translated the Odyssey. Here’s what happened when a woman took the



MikeWhalen
11-26-2017, 07:46 PM
an interesting read I thought
... I read the original in school, but I have no clue which translation it was
...I do remember that even high school English taught by a not particularly good teacher could not crush the fun inherent in one of the oldest of adventure yarns
... acknowledging the status and problems of slaves in the story was not on the agenda then :)


https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/20/16651634/odyssey-emily-wilson-translation-first-woman-english

Mike

ps-the quote I used for the title was too long and cut off the last word, "job"

rms2
11-26-2017, 09:50 PM
Well, if anyone can "crush the fun inherent in one of the oldest of adventure yarns", it would be a feminist.

:(

19990

Agamemnon
11-26-2017, 11:12 PM
I'll take Emily seriously when she'll be able to accurately translate my signature.

kostoffj
11-27-2017, 02:43 AM
Par for the vox.com course, lol.

Pascal C
11-27-2017, 08:50 AM
It's not right to make fun of the mentally ill, no matter how much they are humoured

mainer
09-06-2018, 07:40 AM
This is a great article. A highly necessary effort. Thanks for the share. I'm loving "The Arts" section of this forum already.

This is especially laudable because Wilson aims to invite readers to engage more actively with the text, through the use of plain language. This is something no translator has dared to do. Most translations seem tedious to read--valuable, but tedious.

Lirio100
09-06-2018, 03:08 PM
I'm all for plain language, as long as it "translates" fairly to modern speech. I loved the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf. But...

This is probably heresy--but even as a woman I am getting really, really tired of feminism; I'll give her points for not using the term "herstory." The Odyssey is a peek into ancient history and the culture thereof. I really don't think anyone reading it is unaware that slavery was endemic in the ancient world or that the role of women was constrained, or even that the far past is often brutal. Nor do I see how a story from thousands of years in the past, composed by a people and a culture that is also thousands years in the past endorses "this very hierarchical kind of society as if that’s what heroism is" creates an obligation on her part to rub readers' noses in how she sees the saga. Gah.

mainer
09-10-2018, 09:01 AM
I think you are absolutely right. I think feminism is a necessary social movement. It has led to so many welcome changes, but it is also misinterpreted and misappropriated. But what social movement/impulse isn't? We misunderstand communism, capitalism, environmentalism, etc. So, it doesn't surprise me that there are those who push feminism too far.

But I also think the translation in question doesn't merely aim to call readers' attention to how it was back then. I think it's an attempt to show that we are not yet far from that social order. We certainly are far--because we recognize misogyny and slavery as grave problems, but they still persist.

So the "plain language" serves to evoke in the reader the contours of the contemporary social order--what will all its inequities and injustices. That's my humble interpretation of this :)

I hope this made sense :)

Lirio100
09-10-2018, 03:15 PM
I think you are absolutely right. I think feminism is a necessary social movement. It has led to so many welcome changes, but it is also misinterpreted and misappropriated. But what social movement/impulse isn't? We misunderstand communism, capitalism, environmentalism, etc. So, it doesn't surprise me that there are those who push feminism too far.

But I also think the translation in question doesn't merely aim to call readers' attention to how it was back then. I think it's an attempt to show that we are not yet far from that social order. We certainly are far--because we recognize misogyny and slavery as grave problems, but they still persist.

So the "plain language" serves to evoke in the reader the contours of the contemporary social order--what will all its inequities and injustices. That's my humble interpretation of this :)

I hope this made sense :)

I admit what came across to me as a somewhat self-congratulatory, a little smug, tone in the article irritated me. I am also in my mid-60's and getting a little cranky :P I earned my science degrees in the 70's, was a volunteer EMT/firefighter in the 80's, I am well aware of how things can be--and of how much progress has been made.

My problem with her stated purpose, admittedly as I see it, is that in large part the audience that will be reading her translation is one already aware that these problems existed and still exist in various parts of the world. The Odyssey is a story of millennial old people/culture and has value for its own sake. I have no problem with new translations, as I said, I enjoyed Haney's Beowulf very much, I just am becoming uneasy with the growing trend of turning these ancient stories into morality lessons for people living far removed from the origin of these stories.

mainer
09-11-2018, 12:05 PM
I admit what came across to me as a somewhat self-congratulatory, a little smug, tone in the article irritated me. I am also in my mid-60's and getting a little cranky :P I earned my science degrees in the 70's, was a volunteer EMT/firefighter in the 80's, I am well aware of how things can be--and of how much progress has been made.

My problem with her stated purpose, admittedly as I see it, is that in large part the audience that will be reading her translation is one already aware that these problems existed and still exist in various parts of the world. The Odyssey is a story of millennial old people/culture and has value for its own sake. I have no problem with new translations, as I said, I enjoyed Haney's Beowulf very much, I just am becoming uneasy with the growing trend of turning these ancient stories into morality lessons for people living far removed from the origin of these stories.

Wow! A firefighter? That's amazing! I'm sure that must have made you privy to a lot of gender politics. And thanks for clarifying your stance. I believe I understand you better now :)

Ric
09-19-2018, 01:59 PM
I can't read Greek, like Agamemnon. I come from a very modest social class of farmers and workers in France, and it is certainly NOT Feminism that allowed me, and many other youths from there, to reach higher grounds. I am not looking for excuses to justify my lack of culture, but still, engaging into Classical Studies for students like me would have been an oddity and something more down to Earth was expected, like scientific or a technical cursus.

Anyways, even if I can't read Greek, I understand that the non-materialist vision of the world that is implicit in Greek Mythology, describes Man as a smaller part of a bigger Cosmos. Now, this is meaningless for Materialist Reductionist people, but It turns out that a Cosmic event is taking place these days right now, that is, the Transit of Neptune in Zodiacal Pisces. This can be a powerful combination for those concerned, and a rare occurrence since Neptune revolution is 165 years. This one will take place until 2026. I am not going to elaborate on whatever that means, except that Neptune, or Poseidon, is not exactly a pro-Feminist. To celebrate the event I created a small video, but in truth it is a hidden spell. I am looking for a prayer to Poseidon, or Neptune, in Greek perhaps, to release the Kraken, allegorically. Some FREE music reminiscent of the Odyssey would be nice to support the graphic and I already found a free sound track that is OK by default, but there is probably something better, any idea or suggestion is also welcome for that.
NO ancient prayers to release the Kraken is appropriate. We have to create one since the prayer has to be simultaneous with the Neptune transit that is taking place now, not the one that took place 2500 yeas ago . If you understand what I mean and are willing to help, just release your imagination and create that prayer. In Greek or English...I am not sure, but I will include it in the video with due credit.

For inspiration and visualization about what I mean, I put the video in my drop box for private visioning. There is a least 1 min of dark screen with only the sound track at the end, to put the spell. There is nothing inappropriate in the video (in US standards) and it's totally innocuous in appearance. Private email me for the link.