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best/poetic translations of Virgil (& other latin verse)

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best/poetic translations of Virgil (& other latin verse)

Postby vivitur » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:35 am

Any suggestions please about translations of Virgil? I realize it's a difficult task, balancing being faithful to the original while also creating good poetry.

I have C D Lewis' trans of Aeneid and have just begun looking at a few sections; pleasantly surprised by how well it manages the balancing act described above.
What preferences/comments do you have about the Lewis? I suppose what distinguishes this attempt is that Lewis was himself a practicing and prolific poet in English.
What about trans of Georgics & Eclogues? Lewis also did this, but I don't have a copy as yet. I'm surprised by the number of new versions that have been published in the last few decades. I guess we should be grateful Virigil still elicits so much interest.

Catullus, Ovid, Horace, Martial and Juvenal present very different challenges for translators. I'd also like to hear of people's experience with Eng versions of these works

Many thanks,

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Re: best/poetic translations of Virgil (& other latin verse)

Postby brookter » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:19 am

I've just finished the Cecil Day Lewis version and really enjoyed it. I also have the abridged version on CD with Paul Schofield - again very good in my opinion. I haven't got the translation of Eclogues or Georgics, I'm afraid.

Pending the day when my Latin will be good enough to read the original fluently, I've also bought the Kindle version of Alan Mandelbaum's translation. I did some internet research and this version received many plaudits, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares. FWIW, he translates the first four lines as:

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate
had made him fugitive; he was the first
to journey from coasts of Troy as far
as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

On a tangent, have you read Ursula le Guin's take on one of the characters from the Aenied, Lavinia? Again, very good...

Sorry I can't answer your questions otherwise...
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