The Sebald Lecture 2019
The 2019 W.G. Sebald Lecture was given by Emily Wilson on Wednesday 17 April 2019 at the British Library Knowledge Centre, London
Photo © Kyle Cassidy
“Translating the Odyssey Again: Why and How”
Why translate the Odyssey into English yet again, when there have already been almost seventy translations into our language? Emily Wilson discussed her working process and goals with this project, from questions of verse form and metre, pacing, style, word choice to narrative perspective, focalization and point of view. She discussed her vision of this complex, magical, moving and absorbing text about identity, hospitality and the meanings of home.
Emily Wilson is Professor of Classical Studies and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. She grew up in Oxford, UK, and has a BA in Classics (Lit. Hum) from Balliol College Oxford and an M. Phil. in English literature from Corpus Christi College Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Classics and Comparative Literature from Yale. Her books include a study of tragedy and “overliving”, a book on the death of Socrates and its various cultural receptions, and a literary biography of Seneca. Her verse translations include Six Tragedies of Seneca, four tragedies of Euripides, and a forthcoming translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos, as well as The Odyssey; she is working on a new translation of the Iliad.