Posts Tagged ‘Iliad’

Why did I tear myself away from you before it was time?

September 29, 2017


So now I’m worrying about the remark in Barbara Graziosi’s edition of Iliad 6 that Mandel’shtam describes the encounter between Hector and Andromache from Andromache’s point of view in the following line:

‘Why did I tear myself away from you before it was time?’ (the translation is by Nina Kossman).

We can perhaps believe that Andromache did the tearing:

ἄλοχος δὲ φίλη οἶκον δὲ βεβήκει
ἐντροπαλιζομένη, θαλερὸν κατὰ δάκρυ χέουσα. [Il 6.495-6]

though she was of course just doing what Hector told her to:

ἀλλ᾽ εἰς οἶκον ἰοῦσα τὰ σ᾽ αὐτῆς ἔργα κόμιζε
ἱστόν τ᾽ ἠλακάτην τε, καὶ ἀμφιπόλοισι κέλευε
ἔργον ἐποίχεσθαι: πόλεμος δ᾽ ἄνδρεσσι μελήσει
πᾶσι, μάλιστα δ᾽ ἐμοί, τοὶ Ἰλίῳ ἐγγεγάασιν.  [Il. 6 490-4]

so who was really doing the tearing is not so clear to us.

But in the Russian original the speaker has to be a man: Зачем преждевременно я от тебя оторвался! and the same holds true in Italian translation:  Perché mi sono separato da te prima che fosse tempo?

It could just be a misprint [Andromache ~ Hector], or more interestingly it’s what Andromache thought Hector should have thought, which would be atypical either for Mandel’shtam or for lyric poetry in general.

Rather than a misprint, the mistake is surely the idea that the poem is about Troy rather than about Mandel’shtam’s own experience. Mikhail Gasparov investigates this point rather systematically and concludes that the speaker cannot be any Greek or Trojan, not even Paris in relation to Oenone.

So perhaps it was a misprint, but the intended meaning was wrong as well…


Iliad Day, Hellenic Centre 21 July

July 1, 2012

Homer reciting some stuff

We see that there will be a day-long session of Iliad reading/recitation/singing at the Hellenic Centre in Marylebone on Saturday 21 July from 10 am to 8 pm.  What are probably the official details can be found here, with a slightly different account here.  You can register to take part here; the default languages it offers you are English and Modern Greek, but you can write in your own choice.  It looks as though they have snaffled Book 24 already, so you’ll need to work out where the other good bits might be in the ten 1-hour slots.

If you don’t want to read, I think you can also register to spectate by emailing them.  But it looks as though there are still plenty of opportunities for people who want to read, recite or sing.

Representatives of cultural societies and communities based in London, ambassadors, artists, journalists, athletes and students, are expected to join hundreds of citizens who will read or sing their passages, each in their own way and language, one after the other, during 10 hours.

The reading will be coordinated with on-stage projections of archaic and classical images, along with the English version of the epic, a mosaic of segments from Pope’s and Fitzgerald’s translations and Christopher Logue’s Iliad. The Homeric rhapsodies will be accompanied by interludes and melodies from the musical ensemble Daemonia Nymphe, on reconstructed ancient Greek instruments by Nicholas Brass.

At the conclusion of the celebrational Reading, the Hellenic Centre and the Readers of Homer will offer a simple yet delicious feast of Homeric edibles and potables for the participants’ sustenance and delight.

On a related subject, see here for  Greek plays I know about in London.

Hellenic Centre