The Art of Translation
In 2018, Literature Humanities replaced the longstanding Richmond Lattimore translation of The Odyssey on its syllabus with a new translation by Emily Wilson — the first-ever, in English, by a woman. Professor Wilson will discuss the specific challenges facing re-translators of ancient, ultra-canonical, Graeco-Roman texts. How are these challenges different or similar to those of other literary translators? Why translate the Odyssey and Iliad into English yet again, when there have already been almost seventy translations into our language?
Professor Wilson will discuss her working process and goals as a translator (of Seneca, Sophocles, Euripides and Homer), from questions of verse form and meter, pacing, style, word choice to narrative perspective, focalization and point of view. She will discuss her vision of the Odyssey in particular, considering what this complex, magical, moving and absorbing text about identity, hospitality, cultural difference, war and the meanings of home might tell us about the task of the translator.
Join Columbia College students and fellow alumni for this special opportunity, part of the Centennial of the Core Curriculum.
MIller Theater, Columbia University