I find myself in the embarrassing situation that the most recent post on here is just me being butthurt about having to read a lousy translation.  So now I’m going to mention Richard Hunter’s translation of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

It’s a prose translation of an ancient poem, which isn’t a bad thing.  I do think it’s inherently an easier thing to do, especially if you’re one of those people for whom poetry has to have some kind of structure to it.  It’s not an especially frustrating book.  I’m not amazed at the translator’s skill with English, but I’m not shocked at his incompetence either.  It’s a passable, grammatical translation that doesn’t really stand out.  Now for the part that hurts me bum

My copy of the book–I don’t know why, and I don’t know how.  But it smells like a toilet.  Just think about that.  Not only  did someone drop it into the toilet after the worst crap in their lives, but they then sold it back to the school bookstore.  And the bookstore accepted it back.  Okay, I didn’t catch it either.  You can’t really notice the smell until you open the pages and try to read it, but it’s definitely there and I can’t imagine a bookstore accepting a book back that they hadn’t at least flipped through to check it for damage.  And this book is the most offensively damaged book I’ve had to deal with.  I think sometimes that I must be hateful to the immortals.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, though.  I live in suburbia where there aren’t really a whole lot of goats around, and building an altar and burning sweet hekatombs to those on Olympus isn’t really any option anyway.  I guess I’m doomed to remain cursed forever.

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3 Responses to

  1. Aw, man, that’s terrible. It probably doesn’t help your overall perceptions of that book. But…if it’s any consolation (it probably isn’t), I got a laugh out of it.

    …and people wonder why I’m skeptical about used books. :/

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