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October 13, 2005



Robert Fagles

Robert Fagles, best known for his many translations of ancient Greek classics, particularly the epic poems of Homer, will give a reading at Bryn Mawr on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Thomas Great Hall.

Free and open to the public, Fagles' reading is part of the College's yearlong Creative Writing Program Reading Series, which features award-winning poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights. For further information, contact the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210.

Robert Fagles' scholarly career spans more than four decades beginning with his first teaching position at Yale University in 1959. Just two years later, his first translation the work of Greek lyric poet Bacchylides was published in a complete set. In 1962 he co-edited Homer: A Collection of Critical Essays and in 1967, Pope's "Iliad" and "Odyssey."

In the 1970s, Fagles began translating Greek drama, starting with Aeschylus' Oresteia, about the curse on the House of Atreus. Later he translated Sophocles' Three Theban Plays, which follow the tragic downfall of the mythical king Oedipus of Thebes and his descendants. 

Fagles completed his translation of Homer's The Iliad in 1990 to near-universal acclaim. His version of the Greek classic was presented the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets and was nominated for the highly prestigious National Book Award in Translation, making him, according to reviewer Oliver Taplin, "a son or nephew of (fabled translators) Lattimore and Fitzgerald." Six years later his best-selling translation of The Odyssey received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The founding chair of Princeton's Department of Comparative Literature and the university's Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature, Fagles is a recipient of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for lifetime achievement in translation. 

Currently, he is working on a translation of Virgil's Aeneid.


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