Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

Synopsis

Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the sense of poetry evident in the originals. Under the editorship of Peter Burian and Alan Shaprio, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on difficult passages, ample stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical names and geographical references encountered in the dialogue. Sophocles' Oedipus the King paves the way as the first in the series to appear in paperback. In this highly-acclaimed translation of the greatest of all Greek tragedies, Stephen Berg--the well-known poet--and Diskin Clay--the distinguished classicist--combine their talents to offer the contemporary reader a dazzling version of Sophocles' timeless work. Emphasizing the intensity of the spoken language, they capture the unrelenting power of Sophoclean drama. No other English translation conveys the same terrifying emotional level, especially in the choral odes, the forceful descriptions of Jokasta's death, the blinding of Oedipus, and the final scene of desolation. Berg and Clay's translation--now available for the first time in paperback--both adheres strictly to the original meaning of the play and breathes new life into its language.

Excerpt

The Greek Tragedy in New Translations is based on the conviction that poets like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides can only be properly rendered by translators who are themselves poets. Scholars may, it is true, produce useful and perceptive versions. But our most urgent present need is for a re-creation of these plays--as though they had been written, freshly and greatly, by masters fully at home in the English of our own times. Unless the translator is a poet, his original is likely to reach us in crippled form: deprived of the power and pertinence it must have if it is to speak to us of what is permanent in the Greek. But poetry is not enough; the translator must obviously know what he is doing, or he is bound to do it badly. Clearly, few contemporary poets possess enough Greek to undertake the complex and formidable task of transplanting a Greek play without also "colonializing" it or stripping it of its deep cultural difference, its remoteness from us. And that means depriving the play of that crucial otherness of Greek experience--a quality no less valuable to us than its closeness. Collaboration between scholar and poet is therefore the essential operating principle of the series. In fortunate cases scholar and poet co-exist; elsewhere we have teamed able poets and scholars in an effort to supply, through affinity and intimate collaboration, the necessary combination of skills.

An effort has been made to provide the general reader or student with first-rate critical introductions, clear expositions of translators' principles, commentary on difficult passages, ample stage directions, and glossaries of mythical and geographical terms encountered in the . . .

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