SCORING A HOMER

ROBERT FAGLES' NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ODYSSEY RESTORES THE ORIGINAL JOYS OF THE PERFORMING BARD

Within days a New York publisher will ship 27,000 copies of its latest release to bookstores across the country. Along with this merchandise will arrive advertising posters--de rigueur in these hard-marketing times--bearing a reproduction of the book's dust- jacket cover and 10,000 audiotapes of an unabridged reading of the words inside. Nothing particularly unusual about all this, except that the contents of the book in question have been around, in one form or another, for about 2,700 years.

How to explain the promotional muscle being flexed behind yet another translation of Homer's Odyssey, this one provided by Princeton professor Robert Fagles...

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