THE GREATEST ADVENTURE OF ALL TIME—NOW WITH A NEW AFTERWORD. Homer’s Odyssey has been called “the first novel,” “the first expression of the mind in literary form,” and “the best story ever written.” Whether fans of suspense, fantasy or human drama, readers of all ages thrill to Homer’s vibrant picture of Odysseus on his decade-long journey, as he meets the lotus-eaters, cunningly flees Cyclops, angers his gods, resists the sexy Sirens, narrowly escapes Scylla and Charybdis, averts his eyes from Medusa, docks in exotic cities—all the while struggling to make it home to his wife and son.
Adventure on the high seas, legendary romance, tests of endurance, betrayal, heroism—the saga has all these and more, imagined by the most famous bard of all time. But, as Aristotle pointed out, “his greatness was that he himself was nowhere to be found in his story. His characters were everywhere.” Blind and possibly illiterate, Homer has still “in loftiness of thought surpass’d”* any storyteller since 900 B.C.E.
About The Odyssey
One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, the Homeric saga of the shipwrecks, wanderings, and homecoming of the master tactician Odysseus encompasses a virtual inventory of the themes and attitudes that have shaped Western culture. The tale of Odysseus’s encounters with such obstacles as Calypso, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, and the lotus-eaters, and his dramatic return to Ithaca and his patient wife, Penelope, forms a prototype for all subsequent Western epics.
Robert Fitzgerald’s much-acclaimed translation, fully possessing as it does the body and spirit of the original, has helped to assure the continuing vitality of Europe’s most influential work of poetry. This edition includes twenty-five new line drawings by Barnaby Fitzgerald.
“[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