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 ?

 

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Long nights and longer books

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Well a few weeks ago the clocks went back here in the UK and the darker evenings of winter started a time to spend more time in the house reading and this winter has seen the chance to read two huge books in translation .The first is the German  book prize winning The Tower by Uwe Tellkamp a family saga set in East Germany just in the years before it fell apart ,a timely time to translate the book as it marks 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell (is it really this seems like yesterday to me ) .The second book is one that had been on my radar for a good while Giacomo Leopardi book Zibaldone is well one of those books that can’t really be pigeonholed so easily it is the first full translation of the 4500 odd pages Leopardi wrote in his notebooks over a number of years .The books is collection of thoughts, ideas ,quotes and aphorisms what would have at one time been called a commonplace book (a book that people collect quotes and their reactions etc ) .Now this book has taken seven years two editors seven main translators and a whole collection of experts to bring to English .I think it will take me to new year to work through the 2500 pages of it alongside a few other books .It’s worth the effort to put on the blog what is considered a masterpiece of Italian literature so look out for a number of posts in the new year about Zibaldone and a post about the tower later this month

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What books are you reading this winter ,

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