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How a translation of “The Iliad” into modern language strengthens its relevance

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Jeffrey Brown:

And now, at 51, she has lived a long life. It’s Wilson, at 8 years old, reenacting a scene from “The Odyssey”.

In 2017, his translation of this epic, the story of the hero’s return after the Trojan War, was widely praised. Remarkably, it was the first time a woman spoke English. And two years later, Wilson won a MacArthur Genius Award for – I quote – “bringing classic literature to new audiences in works that convey the relevance of ancient texts for our times.”

She has now translated Homer’s Iliad, set in the midst of the war itself, the Greeks fighting the Trojans and among themselves, the great warrior Achilles fighting his enemies and, it seems, sometimes, him -even.

In the introduction, you call it “the most captivating and heartbreaking work of literature I know.”

In what way? For what?

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