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Sulpicia

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  • The Aeneid

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Virgil
    • Narrated By Simon Callow
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (106)

    The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.

    Rob says: "Fagles is best"
    "A hellenist's review of the audio Aeneid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I should provide a quick note on my bias before I begin my review: I am a graduate student in classics However, I am a hellenist (i.e. I study Greek rather than Roman stuff). I also really don't like Virgil.

    I have to confess that although I study classics, I have never been able to get all the way through the Aeneid before this (I've just read the sections I needed to get the gist for class). I've really tried to get into it-- I previously read portions of the Fagles, Fitzgerald, and Mandelbaum translations-- but I just couldn't get hooked. The audiobook did the trick-- I listened to the whole thing over the course of a week.

    Simon Callow can be a little over dramatic and female voices are pretty grating, but he read at a reasonable pace and he kept my interest in the story. I actually even enjoyed some of it.

    Fagles' translation of the Latin (I've read books II and VIII in Latin, so I have some minimal basis for judgement) has the virtue of being fairly literal, while still providing an accessible modern English text. In general, Fagles' translations seem to be more enjoyable aloud than on paper (I have also recently listened to Fagles' Odyssey and I found it to be the same way).

    As I've mentioned, the Aeneid is not really my cup of tea. Yet, listening to it gave the story a different and more enjoyable pace. I highly suggest the audio version for anyone who needs to read Virgil's epic either for class or exams (or, honestly, for anyone who just wants a passing acquaintance with the influential texts of classical literature).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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