Classics in translation anyone want join in ?

Well this is a sort of feeler post to see if any one would be interested in reading a few classics in translation , I’m 300 pages into Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone and already have a  list of writers mentioned by him with in these first few hundred pages plato , Virgil, Montesquieu Plutarch to name a few , I read a bit of Homer years ago and maybe three or four other books but that is about it and reading leopardi has made me want to fill this gap and learn more about these writers that so inspired him in thoughts about history and language .So maybe a small club reading three or four of these books a year  maybe starting in the middle of next year .I’ve not look fully into availability translations etc yet . I’m hoping a number of these writers  will be easily available as Oxford classics or Penguin classics .Maybe by the end of Zibaldone I’ll do a reading list of books I want to try if any one want to come along for the ride .

Have you a favourite classic in translation ?


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hastanton
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 16:41:36

    I’m definitely interested ….need to read more classics . Too much modern fiction atm ….


  2. Annabel (gaskella)
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 17:54:17

    Alma Classics have a growing list of great books in translation, along with OUP, Penguin classics etc. Great idea Stu. 🙂


  3. sarahcatherine487
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 17:54:23

    Homer has to be my absolute favourite, the Odyssey in particular. Also Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a very interesting and thought-provoking read. I would highly recommend if you’ve not looked at it before!


  4. Lisa Hill
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 21:17:47

    I’m in, for sure. I am, as you know, in the middle of my Zola project, reading my way through the entire Rougon-Macquart series of 20 novels, but I have other classics in translation (from ancient to the C19th) on my TBR (including The Leopard), so I’d enjoy making a dent in that pile. BTW if you are going to read the Odyssey or the Iliad, the only translation IMO is the Robert Fagles one. I read both of these at university in the Penguin edition, but the Fagles one is a different experience altogether and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


  5. amanda
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 21:38:45

    I’m possibly interested, depending on timing. I keep saying I’m going to read Virgil–I really enjoyed Dante’s Divine Comedy when I read that and since Dante was such a big Virgil fan, it seems I really should make good on that…


  6. Bellezza
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 21:58:22

    I’m definitely interested. I love reading along with you (the IFFP was a highlight of 2014 for me), and if I can find the books you want to read I’ll read them too.


  7. Bellezza
    Nov 29, 2014 @ 22:00:00

    p.s. While they may not be what you’d choose, I’m halfway through Proust’s Remembrance of Things past, a seven volume set, and they are wonderful.


  8. Messy_tony
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 01:38:54

    I’m in and quite timely Stu, I purchased a few older “classics” from a second hand shop that was closing down, seven from the “top 100” Pierene published in their recent magazine. Turgenev, Voltaire, Satre to name a couple…


  9. Martha G
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 02:01:13

    I’m interested in this. And I’m wondering why have I never read Plutarch.


  10. Vishy
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 08:24:34

    Great idea, Stu! I would definitely like to join. I have different versions of Homer’s epics and I have always wanted to read Virgil’s ‘The Aeneid’. Also. Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’. Are you looking specifically only at Greek and Roman classics (the traditional definition of classics)?


  11. MarinaSofia
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 08:46:44

    Just how far back are you taking the classics? I love the Odyssey and Dante’s Divine Comedy and I’d love to reread Boccaccio at some point. But the classic I’m planning to read next (in a new translation) is The Tale of Genji – hopefully to fit in with January in Japan too… although I may take a bit longer…


  12. Jonathan
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 10:13:16

    This is a good idea Stu. For me it would be especially useful for anything before, say 16th Century, as I sometimes feel as if I miss quite a bit reading on my own. I’ve been meaning to read ‘The Aeneid’ for years, but haven’t.


  13. Maryom
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 10:40:00

    Anyone up for War and Peace? Someone ran an on-line read-a-long a couple of years ago but I never found time to join in.


  14. BookerTalk
    Dec 01, 2014 @ 02:15:00

    Count me in. I need a bit of a push to read some from my TBR pile especially The Leopard which I got half way through ready for a book club discussion and then never made the meeting so didn’t finish the book. My favourite translated classic so far is Medea by Sophocles.


  15. Michael @ Literary Exploration
    Dec 01, 2014 @ 23:43:12

    I’m very interested, enjoy reading the classics, especially the Russians but always looking to read more in translation. I’ve considered trying Zibaldone but it is so big.


  16. Scott W.
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 21:46:39

    Great. I have a long list I want to read. Ariosto’s Orlando furioso turned out to be, by a wide margin, my favorite work read in 2014, and if it gets added to the list I will relish reading it again.


  17. evastalker
    Dec 06, 2014 @ 03:53:01

    I’m definitely interested. I’m doing a reading project just now until the end of March but would be free after then and would hope to join in at least twice. I’d be up for trying anything you list I suspect! From my own shelves I’m interested in picking up Al-Shidyaq’s ‘Leg Over Leg’, an Arabic work from 1865 that I bought after reading about it in The Complete Review last year.


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November 2014


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