Culture & Criticism Since 2003
Fitzgerald’s translations are notable for their ability to capture the lyricism of the moment as Homer had heard it when he conceived of The Iliad and The Odyssey: two stories that remain at the forefront of world literature. In turn, these upcoming audio books from Macmillan (featuring the voice of veteran screen and stage actor Dan Stevens) breathe new life into every layer of verse. At once, the listener is thrust into battle alongside Odysseus: suddenly, we can feel feel his pain and pleasure; suddenly, we can taste that sensual tongue of fear writhe against both sides of his heart. More than anything, these recordings are poetry taken to the ultimate edge; more than anything, these recordings mark the power of words and the way that literature transcends the precipice, taking readers to previously unknown places. Back when Homer created these works, books were meant to be read aloud and the voice was meant to be used as the vehicle to elevate a story to heavenly heights. Accordingly, Stevens returns us to the oral traditions of our roots, his genius rendering these old standards vital and proud and new again.