Meeting Homer for the First Time: Stanley Lombardo

03-11-2012

On March 8, Dr. Stanley Lombardo, a professor of Classics at the University of Kansas, offered the VWC community reflections on his experiences translating the Iliad and Odyssey. In his presentations, Lombardo likened the difficulties and rewards besetting the translator to the Zen practice of solving insoluble riddles or "koans." Approaching Homer with this aim, Lombardo noted he became aware of a characteristic light suffusing the world of Homer's poetry—"a sense of seeing things as if for the first time." Lombardo illustrated this with readings from his translation, recapturing an echo of how Homer's original audiences must have once experienced the tale of Troy—as a living song accompanied by music recited by a skilled craftsman with drama and feeling.