Robert Fagles

Last updated
Robert Fagles
Robert Fagles.jpg
BornSeptember 11, 1933
DiedMarch 26, 2008(2008-03-26) (aged 74)
Education Amherst College (B.A.)
Yale University (M.A., PhD)
Occupation American Professor at Princeton University; Poet

Robert Fagles ( /ˈfɡəlz/ ; [1] September 11, 1933 March 26, 2008) [2] [3] was an American professor, poet, and academic, best known for his many translations of ancient Greek and Roman classics, especially his acclaimed translations of the epic poems of Homer. He taught English and comparative literature for many years at Princeton University.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Professor academic title at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.

Translation communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text

Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction between translating and interpreting ; under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

Contents

Life

Fagles was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Fagles, a lawyer, and Vera Voynow Fagles, an architect. He attended Amherst College, graduating in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The following year, he received his master's degree from Yale University. On June 17, 1956, he married Marilyn (Lynne) Duchovnay, a teacher, and they had two children. In 1959, Fagles received his Ph.D in English from Yale and for the next year taught English there.

Pennsylvania U.S. state in the United States

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Amherst College liberal arts college in Massachusetts

Amherst College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1821 as an attempt to relocate Williams College by its then-president Zephaniah Swift Moore, Amherst is the third oldest institution of higher education in Massachusetts. The institution was named after the town, which in turn had been named after Jeffery, Lord Amherst, Commander-in-Chief of British forces of North America during the French and Indian War. Originally established as a men's college, Amherst became coeducational in 1975.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

From 1960 to 1962, Fagles was an English instructor at Princeton University. In 1962 he was promoted to assistant professor, and in 1965 became an associate professor of English and comparative literature. Later that year he became director of the comparative literature program. In 1970, he became a full professor, and from 1975 was the department chair. He retired from teaching as the Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature in 2002, and remained a professor emeritus at Princeton.

Assistant professor is an academic rank used in universities or colleges in the United States, Canada, and some other countries.

Associate professor is an academic title with two principal meanings.

Between 1961 and 1996, Fagles translated many ancient Greek works. His first translation was of the poetry of Bacchylides, publishing a complete set in 1961. In the 1970s, Fagles began translating much Greek drama, beginning with Aeschylus's The Oresteia . He went on to publish translations of Sophocles's three Theban plays (1982), Homer's Iliad (1990) and Odyssey (1996), and Virgil's Aeneid (2006). In these last four, Bernard Knox authored the introduction and notes. Fagles' translations generally emphasize contemporary English phrasing and idiom but are faithful to the original as much as possible. [4]

Bacchylides Ancient Greek writer

Bacchylides was a Greek lyric poet. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets which included his uncle Simonides. The elegance and polished style of his lyrics have been noted in Bacchylidean scholarship since at least Longinus. Some scholars, however, have characterized these qualities as superficial charm. He has often been compared unfavourably with his contemporary, Pindar, as "a kind of Boccherini to Pindar's Haydn". However, the differences in their styles do not allow for easy comparison, and translator Robert Fagles has written that "to blame Bacchylides for not being Pindar is as childish a judgement as to condemn ... Marvell for missing the grandeur of Milton". His career coincided with the ascendency of dramatic styles of poetry, as embodied in the works of Aeschylus or Sophocles, and he is in fact considered one of the last poets of major significance within the more ancient tradition of purely lyric poetry. The most notable features of his lyrics are their clarity in expression and simplicity of thought, making them an ideal introduction to the study of Greek lyric poetry in general and to Pindar's verse in particular.

Aeschylus ancient Athenian tragic playwright

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often described as the father of tragedy. Academics' knowledge of the genre begins with his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theatre and allowed conflict among them; characters previously had interacted only with the chorus.

Sophocles ancient Athenian tragic playwright

Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than or contemporary with those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in 30 competitions, won 24, and was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won 13 competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won four competitions.

In 1978, Fagles published I, Vincent: Poems from the Pictures of Van Gogh . He was the co-editor of Homer: A Collection of Critical Essays (1962) and Pope's Iliad and Odyssey (1967).

Alexander Pope English poet

Alexander Pope is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry—including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism—as well as for his translation of Homer. After Shakespeare, Pope is the second-most quoted writer in the English language, as per The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, some of his verses having even become popular idioms in common parlance. He is considered a master of the heroic couplet.

Fagles died at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, on March 26, 2008, from prostate cancer.

Princeton, New Jersey Borough in New Jersey, United States

Princeton is a municipality with a borough form of government in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, that was established in its current form on January 1, 2013, through the consolidation of the Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township. As of the 2010 United States Census, the municipality's population was 28,572, reflecting the former township's population of 16,265, along with the 12,307 in the former borough.

New Jersey U.S. state in the United States

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Prostate cancer male reproductive cancer

Prostate cancer is the development of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, some grow relatively quickly. The cancer cells may spread from the prostate to other areas of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. It may initially cause no symptoms. In later stages, it can lead to difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or pain in the pelvis, back, or when urinating. A disease known as benign prostatic hyperplasia may produce similar symptoms. Other late symptoms may include feeling tired due to low levels of red blood cells.

Awards

Fagles was nominated for the National Book Award in Translation and won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1991 for his translation of the Iliad. In 1996, he received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his translation of the Odyssey. In 1997 he received the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for lifetime achievement in translation. Fagles later undertook a new English translation of the Aeneid , which was published in November 2006.

In addition to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Fagles was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

He received a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities. [5]

On June 8, 2011, a resource center devoted to the study of the Classics was dedicated to Dr. Fagles at Princeton High School. At the dedication, students and teachers paid tribute to Dr. Fagles. [6]

Translations

See also

Related Research Articles

Agamemnon figure from Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was a king of Mycenae, the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope of Mycenae, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra or Laodike (Λαοδίκη), Orestes and Chrysothemis. Legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area. When Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was taken to Troy by Paris, Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan War.

Erinyes Female chthonic deities of vengeance

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Erinyes, also known as the Furies, were female chthonic deities of vengeance, sometimes referred to as "infernal goddesses". A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "the Erinyes, that under earth take vengeance on men, whosoever hath sworn a false oath." Walter Burkert suggests they are "an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in the oath." They correspond to the Dirae in Roman mythology. The Roman writer Maurus Servius Honoratus wrote that they are called "Eumenides" in hell, "Furiae" on earth, and "Dirae" in heaven.

Agenor was in Greek mythology and history a Phoenician king of Tyre. Herodotus estimates that Agenor lived sometime before the year 2000 BC.

Electra figure from Greek mythology

Electra is one of the most popular mythological characters in tragedies. She is the main character in two Greek tragedies, Electra by Sophocles and Electra by Euripides. She is also the central figure in plays by Aeschylus, Alfieri, Voltaire, Hofmannsthal, and Eugene O'Neill. Her characteristic can be stated as a vengeful soul in the libation bearers, because she plans out an attack with her brother to kill the evil Clytemnestra.

Aerope daughter of Catreus, the king of Crete

In Greek mythology, Aërope was a daughter of Catreus, the king of Crete, and sister to Clymene, Apemosyne and Althaemenes. She was the wife of Atreus, and by most accounts the mother of Agamemnon and Menelaus.

Robert Fitzgerald American poet, critic and translator

Robert Stuart Fitzgerald was an American poet, critic and translator whose renderings of the Greek classics "became standard works for a generation of scholars and students". He was best known as a translator of ancient Greek and Latin. He also composed several books of his own poetry.

Allen Mandelbaum was an American professor of literature and the humanities, poet, and translator from Classical Greek, Latin and Italian. His translations of classic works gained him numerous awards in Italy and the United States.

Epic Cycle

The Epic Cycle was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems, composed in dactylic hexameter and related to the story of the Trojan War, including the Cypria, the Aethiopis, the so-called Little Iliad, the Iliupersis, the Nostoi, and the Telegony. Scholars sometimes include the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, among the poems of the Epic Cycle, but the term is more often used to specify the non-Homeric poems as distinct from the Homeric ones.

Clytius, also spelled Klythios, Klytios, Clytios, and Klytius, is the name of multiple people in Greek mythology:

Stanley F. "Stan" Lombardo is an American Classicist, and former professor of Classics at the University of Kansas.

Oliver Taplin, FBA is a retired British academic and classicist. He was a fellow of Magdalen College and Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford. He holds a DPhil from Oxford University.

Frederick M. Ahl is a professor of classics and comparative literature at Cornell University. He is known for his work in Greek and Roman epic and drama, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, as well as for translations of tragedy and Latin epic.

Arthur Way English scholar

Arthur Sanders Way, was a classical scholar, translator and headmaster of Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia.

Barry Bruce Powell is an American classical scholar. He is the Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of the widely used textbook Classical Myth and many other books. Trained at Berkeley and Harvard, he is a specialist in Homer and in the history of writing. He has also taught Egyptian philology for many years and courses in Egyptian civilization.

Rush Rehm is Professor of Drama and Classics at Stanford University, California, in the United States. He also works professionally as an actor and director. He has published many works on classical theatre. Rehm is the artistic director of Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT), a professional theater company that presents a dramatic festival based on a major playwright each summer. SRT's 2016 summer festival, Theater Takes a Stand, celebrates the struggle for workers' rights. A political activist, Rehm has been involved in Central American and Cuban solidarity, supporting East Timorese resistance to the Indonesian invasion and occupation, the ongoing struggle for Palestinian rights, and the fight against US militarism. In 2014, he was awarded Stanford's Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education.

Peter Meineck is Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University. He is also the founder and humanities program director of Aquila Theatre and has held appointments at Princeton University and USC.

Marianne McDonald Philanthropist and Scholar of Latin and Irish texts

Marianne McDonald is a scholar and philanthropist. Marianne is involved in the interpretation, sharing, compilation and preservation of Greek and Irish texts, plays and writings. Recognized as a historian on the classics, she has received numerous awards and accolades because of her works and philanthropy. As a playwright, she has authored numerous modern works, based on ancient Greek dramas in modern times. As a teacher and mentor, she is highly sought after for her knowledge of and application of the classic themes and premises of life in modern times. In 2013, she was awarded the Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Classics, Department of Theatre, Classics Program, University of California, San Diego. As one of the first women inducted into the Royal Irish Academy in 1994, Marianne was recognized for her expertise and academic excellence in Irish language history, interpretation and the preservation of ancient Irish texts. As a philanthropist, Marianne partnered with Sharp to enhance access to drug and alcohol treatment programs by making a $3 million pledge — the largest gift to benefit behavioral health services in Sharp’s history. Her donation led to the creation of the McDonald Center at Sharp HealthCare. Additionally, to recognize her generosity, Sharp Vista Pacifica Hospital was renamed Sharp McDonald Center.

Bernard MacGregor Walker Knox was an English classicist, author, and critic who became an American citizen. He was the first director of the Center for Hellenic Studies. In 1992 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Knox for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities.

Shlomo Dykman was a Polish-Israeli translator and classical scholar.

Ian C. Johnston is a retired university-college instructor and a professor emeritus at Vancouver Island University.

References

  1. Ian McKellen Reads Book I of Homer's Odyssey on YouTube
  2. Obituary from Princeton University
  3. Robert Fagles, Translator of the Classics, Dies at 74. The New York Times. 2008. March 29.
  4. Archived July 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Robert Fagles: Awards & Honors: 2006 NAtional Humanities medalist". National Endowment for the Humanities. 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine