Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles
August 14, 2015 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Daylong live reading of Homer's Iliad with more than 60 artists, presented by The British Museum and Almeida Theatre.

They plan to publish a podcast series after the live event. Here's the Greek text (and some old translations). They are using the Fagles translation; some recent discussions of various translations may be interesting.

Previously: Deaths in the Iliad and English Translations of Homer
posted by earth by april (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War is fantastic, even if the intro is a bit overwrought. On YouTube.
posted by Chuckles at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2015

Would love to attend that. Would love to be a part of it! Thanks for posting, will be tuning in tomorrow.
posted by emmet at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2015

they are using the Fagles translation
An excellent decision!

Thanks for this post.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:53 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love this kind of thing if only for how it connects us to the past. Over two thousand years ago, people gathered together at festivals and in halls to hear a rhapsode perform these same works, and now we can do the same, with performances streamed to us from thousands of miles away, in our own language.
posted by yasaman at 12:21 PM on August 14, 2015

This is great but the guy reading right now is way overdoing it.
posted by Eyebeams at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2015

I thought that to as I was flinching from the sudden volume in my earbuds, but this is the part where Achilles reacts to learning about Patroclus' death, which seems like the ideal time to overemote and go over the top.

Incidentally, the theater's Twitter for this is also pretty fun.
posted by yasaman at 12:44 PM on August 14, 2015

Robert Fagles spoke at my college graduation. He is the best, and his is the only one that begins, as the Greek does, with Rage!
posted by hydropsyche at 1:02 PM on August 14, 2015

The various Previously's led me to this which is now my favorite comment on MeFi ever.

Also, they should do this for the Odyssey. Just re-read that (Fitzgerald) for like the 20th time.
posted by Eyebeams at 1:08 PM on August 14, 2015

I wonder if the Pope translation is a good one? I do not know much about the Iliad but I saw an Pope excerpt once, and it was the most natural and beautiful reading I'd seen yet of the text.

This is excellent. Thank you. Herzog the filmmaker said once he or his grandfather met a 16-yr-old girl who could recite the Iliad by heart, I believe. Maybe not the whole thing.

Herzog spoke at the New York Public Library this summer on ancient Greek literature and history. Worth a listen.

WERNER HERZOG: Yeah, and I could rattle down more, but I’ll just give you the sound of the Iliad, the beginning:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκε
So, off the raft, sing me goddess, of the Peleus son Achilles,..The one that brought doom.”

WERNER HERZOG: And married a sixteen-year-old Greek girl, who had to learn, before he married her, who had to learn the entire Iliad by heart (laughter) and when she proclaimed it to him, he married her. (laughter) [Actually he meant German archaelogist Heinrich Schliemann.]


I am now reading the Choephori by Aeschylus after just finishing Agamemnon. It's remarkably elegant.

Here's a bit about Troy from Agamemnon:

And anger - roused, relentless, sure -
Taught Troy that words have double edge,
That men and gods use bond and pledge
for love past limit, doom past cure:
Love seals the hearts of bride and groom;
And seal of love is seal of doom.

...and soon
Must Troy the old learn a new tune;
On Paris, once her praise and pride,
She calls reproach, that his proud wooing
Has won his own and her undoing:
Her sons beset on every side,
Her life-blood mercilessly spilt -
Her is the loss, and his the guilt.

posted by niphates at 2:20 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tobias Menzies telling of the death of Hector just now was amazing
posted by Sing Fool Sing at 3:11 PM on August 14, 2015

And so the Trojans buried Hector breaker of horses.
posted by gwint at 5:00 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I could only see bits of this at work, so I hope they archive the reading and make it available for streaming at will. Almeida Theatre, which co-sponsored this with the British Museum, is doing a Bakkhai with Ben Whishaw from an Anne Carson translation this summer (and a Medea this fall) that I sorely wish I could see.

London MeFites, go see it! Send psychic impressions back.
posted by the sobsister at 7:41 PM on August 14, 2015

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