Thursday, August 26, 2010

No, You Don't "Need" Chapman's Homer

Where do kids get these ideas anyway? I know he wants a copy of Chapman's translation of the Iliad (yeah, the link is to the Odyssey, but that was what I could find-just look at the style to get an idea of what we're talking about) he can clutch in his hands, inhale the musty pages-but he's five years old. If I start caving to his whims now, I'll be running a bloody antiquarian library by the time he's eight. No one wants to read an Elizabethan translation-well, Keats did, but fuck him.

I have the Fitzgerald translation my mother bought me in the 70's. That's nice and musty, printed on fancy paper and all that. I also have a lovely Penguin paperback edition of Fagles translation from the 90's. Really, we're not lacking translations of the Iliad around here. Honestly. He really doesn't want it-I think he just heard us talking about it, and it stuck in his mind. It was so much easier when his desires could be satisfied with Thomas the Tank Engine toys.

I'm waiting for him to start pouting about how if I loved him, I'd buy it for him in a nicely bound edition...or how if I really loved him, I'd teach him Greek so he could manage his own translation.

Anyone have a copy they'd like to swap for some home baked goods, or whatever?

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