mwh wrote: It's essentially an elaborate old-style composition exercise, very well and amusingly done, but when all's said and done, what's the point?
That is my problem with this translation. What's the point? There is a great need for more intermediate texts to help learners get to grips with Ancient Greek but anyone who has so completely mastered Ancient Greek to read this book will be better off reading Lucian which will be well within their abilities.
Markos, your words above shamed me into trying to be grateful for this translation and I have been trying - really I have.
For several days I have been stuck on a sentence near the top of page 2. Against my better judgement I thought I would check Wilson's notes even though I had already discovered that these notes have little to do with helping learners. It did in fact help but not for the sentence that I had got stuck on but on the one before.
My problem with the preceding sentence is that it seemed to refer to thick fog and then seemed to add that it was something folks in Britain had become accustomed to(κατὰ τὸ εἰωθός). As this seemed odd I checked the English original. All that I found was a reference to gray skies and nothing that could correspond with κατὰ τὸ εἰωθός. How had I so misread the Greek? Well his notes make clear that he did indeed intend to describe the Dursley's house as being surrounded by thick fog and that such fog was something that we are accustomed to. He then takes a swipe a those who perpetrate such a myth. So he distorts J K Rowling and then takes a swipe at the distortion he himself has added. It is possible that he slipped up when translating - my suspicion is however that he thinks he is being terribly witty.
This not a criticism of his Greek which I am sure is perfect. It seems to me that Wilson is a frustrated Lucian-wanabe who thinks he can improve on J K Rowling. Rowling wouldn't have the sales she has if she needed improving.
I am grateful to J K Rowling in pushing her publishers to publish her book in Ancient Greek . Few authors have the clout to get their publishers to carry out such a request. I would like to believe that if we all go out and buy this book publishers will start producing more accessible texts in Ancient Greek. My fear is this was a once in a generation opportunity that Wilson has blown.
Markos I admire your generosity of spirit in being grateful to Andrew Wilson and I wish I could be grateful too but I just can't manage it.