The 2019–20 John B. and Mary K. McDiarmid Lecture.
The talk will discuss what might be at stake in the re-translation of ultra-canonical Graeco-Roman classical texts such as the Homeric poems. Emily Wilson will explain her own poetic and interpretative goals in her Odyssey translation (2017) and her current in-progress Iliad translation, and consider how the reinterpretation and retranslation of ancient texts can work as an intervention in contemporary culture.
Emily Wilson is a Professor in the Department of Classical Studies and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include Mocked with Death: Tragic Overliving from Sophocles to Milton (Johns Hopkins 2005), The Death of Socrates: Hero, Villain, Chatterbox, Saint (Harvard 2007), and The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca (Oxford 2014). She is the Classics editor of the revised Norton Anthology of World Literature. Her verse translations include Six Tragedies of Seneca (Oxford 2010), four translations of plays by Euripides in The Greek Plays (Modern Library 2016), the Odyssey (Norton 2017), and Oedipus Tyrannos (Norton forthcoming). She is working on a new translation of the Iliad.