George Chapman's translations of Homer are among the most famous in the English language. Keats immortalized the work of the Renaissance dramatist and poet in the sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer." Swinburne praised the translations for their "romantic and sometimes barbaric grandeur," their "freshness, strength, and inextinguishable fire." The great critic George Saintsbury (1845-1933) wrote: "For more than two centuries they were the resort of all who, unable to read Greek, wished to know what Greek was. Chapman is far nearer Homer than any modern translator in any modern language." This volume presents the original text of Chapman's translation of the Odyssey (1614-15), making only a small number of modifications to punctuation and wording where they might confuse the modern reader. The editor, Allardyce Nicoll, provides an introduction, textual notes, a glossary, and a commentary. Garry Wills's preface to the Odyssey explores how Chapman's less strained meter lets him achieve more delicate poetic effects as compared to the Iliad. Wills also examines Chapman's "fine touch" in translating "the warm and human sense of comedy" in the Odyssey.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold.
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Immortalized by John Keats in his poem On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, two nearly 400-year-old masterpieces of canonical translation Chapman's versions of The Iliad (re-published in 1998) aNov 27 2000 | Read Full Review of Chapman's Homer: The Odyssey
Immortalized by John Keats in his poem ""On First Looking into Chapman's Homer,"" two nearly 400-year-old masterpieces of canonical translation Chapman's versions of The Iliad (re-published in 1998) and The Odyssey (coming this month) are now both available in U.S. editions for the first time sin...| Read Full Review of Chapman's Homer: The Odyssey
(Thomas Phaer had made similar boasts about his speed as a translator of Virgil in the 1550s.) These features make Chapman’s Homer a work to live with: the translator tells you which books he has on his desk and where he thinks they are wrong.Jun 27 2002 | Read Full Review of Chapman's Homer: The Odyssey