March 29, 2008

IT'S NOT AS IF WE HAD GREAT TRANSLATORS TO SPARE:

Robert Fagles, translator of classics, dies (Charles McGrath, March 29, 2008, NY Times)

Robert Fagles, the renowned translator of Latin and Greek whose versions of Homer and Virgil were unlikely best-sellers and became fixtures on classroom reading lists, died Wednesday at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was an emeritus professor at Princeton University. He was 74.

The cause was prostate cancer, said his wife, Lynne, to whom he had been married for 51 years.

Fagles translated Aeschylus and Sophocles, among other authors, but he is most famous for his versions of "The Iliad," published in 1990; "The Odyssey," in 1996; and "The Aeneid," which came out in 2006. All were published by Viking.

He is one of very few translators to have taken on all three of the great classical epics - something that not even Alexander Pope attempted - and all three have sold millions of copies, both in print and in audio versions narrated by Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen and Simon Callow.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 29, 2008 2:21 PM
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