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Thread: Hot girls?

  1. #1

    Hot girls?

    Dear all

    I'm currently embarking on Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Illiad for OUP.

    At lines 229-30, he says,

    'bronze fills all your huts,
    bronze and the hottest girls..'

    Can anyone enlighten me on whether he is taking liberties with the translation, or whether Homer really had a sideline writing copy
    for 'FHM'?

    Cheers

    Nick

  2. #2
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Makes a change from Women skilled in weaving and all the household arts!
    ay up

  3. #3
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    I'd like to look up the original Greek on that.....what book of the Iliad are these lines found in? I guess I could look that up myself....one sec.....found it but I couldn't find the corresponding passage.

    I will trust Pren's knowledge here.

    The fact is that Fitzgerald took many liberties with his translation - which is held in high regard as the great modern translation. He tries to create the spirit of the work instead of the reproduction of the original language - admirable I guess, but I'm not a fan. So what would have been most appealing to the Greeks (women skilled in household arts) does not hold the same appeal to the post-sexual Revolution Americans: the hottest women on the other hand.....
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  4. #4
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    It's Book II where Thersites is arguing against Agamemnon and trying to convince everyone to return to Greece. Pope and Butler's translations suggest to me that the original must of had some sense of "attractive women" in there.

    Pope's version:

    The golden spoil, and thine the lovely dames.
    With all the wealth our wars and blood bestow,
    Thy tents are crowded and thy chests o'erflow.
    Thus at full ease in heaps of riches roll'd,

    Samuel Butler:

    Agamemnon," he cried, "what ails you now, and what more do you

    want? Your tents are filled with bronze and with fair women, for

    whenever we take a town we give you the pick of them.
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 04-18-2013 at 09:58 AM.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  5. #5
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    The original reads, "πολλαὶ δὲ γυναῖκες," which literally translates to "many [of] women," so I don't think those adjectives, such as fair or hot, are found in the original. The original is probably better suited for a syllabic rhyme as spoken by Homeric bards, whereas the translators were more interested in keeping it more readable in written English form.
    Last edited by Michael Han; 11-18-2013 at 12:27 PM.

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