For his version of the Aeneid, Dryden formed a style vigorous yet refined and drew on the deep understanding of political unrest he had acquired during the Civil Wars of 1642-51 and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
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(198mm x 129mm x 27mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
After giving us perhaps the finest modern versions of Homer (rivaled only by Lattimore), Fitzgerald has now translated a spirited, eloquent, fresh Aeneid - though some will still prefer Allan Mandelbaum's. Fitzgerald has had his eye on Virgil for many years - he edited Dryden's Aeneid, with notes and an expert Introduction, in 1964 - but his own poetic voice is decidedly un-Virgilian: brisk, bold, hearty, a sociable baritone. His irregular pentameters, with continual enjambment, come in great fluid rushes (less "faithful" but more readable than Mandelbaum's slower-paced lines), often making a spring tide of a quiet Virgilian stream. Virgil's discreet rhetorical emphasis sometimes becomes startlingly colloquial: e.g., "Fortune has made a derelict/ Of Sinon, but the bitch/Won't make an empty liar of him, too." And even when Fitzgerald tries to echo the original, he can't help sounding more direct and homespun. Lively rather than exquisite, vigorous and risky, with only a few outright anachronistic clinkers: the most accessible Aeneid (since Dryden, anyway) for a Latin-less modern audience, especially helpful in sustaining readers through the often-wearisome battle scenes in the later books. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Frederick M. Keener
FREDERICK M. KEENER is Professor of English at Hofstra University. His publications include English Dialogues of the Dead, An Essay on Pope and The Chain of Becoming.