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Translating the Odyssey

Emily R. Wilson, University of Pennsylvania
Monday, February 4, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
144 Louis A. Simpson International Building
Monday, February 4, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

In this talk I will discuss my goals in creating a new English verse translation of this already much-translated and hyper-canonical poem.  I will explain why I felt the English-speaking world needed another translation of the Odyssey.  I’ll contextualize my translation practices within theoretical discussions of foreignizing vs. domesticizing and translatorly (in)visibility, and within the field of translations from classical texts more broadly; I’ll suggest some ways that this field has specific problems that are not entirely paralleled in other areas of literary translation.  I will also discuss the positive and negative implications of the ways that media coverage of my translation focused almost exclusively on my gender.  

Emily Wilson is a Professor of Classical Studies and Chair of the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her work includes monographs on classical tragedy, epic and philosophy and its reception, and a number of verse translations, of Seneca, Euripides, Sophocles and Homer.

Sponsored by
Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication