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Old 04-15-2012, 07:13 PM
Gail White's Avatar
Gail White Gail White is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Breaux Bridge, LA, USA
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Default Question on Seneca

Can any of our classicists tell me who has done a good modern translation of Seneca's tragedies? My college library had plenty of copies -- if I wanted Latin or Elizabethan English. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:53 PM
David Mason David Mason is offline
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Location: Colorado
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My friend Dana Gioia did a masterful version of Hercules Furens. It was published I think in a U of PA Press series, and was the crown jewel of that series. Dana's superb intro on Seneca was published, if memory serves, in two parts in New Criterion. Or was it Dark Horse. Memory isn't serving as well as it used to. But I followed that work through drafts, and I admire it tremendously. Mr Wilbur said it was the best translation from classical Latin he had ever seen. Dana is a born translator. If you can't find it, my beloved wife has my copy in Oregon and we can try to get it to you somehow.

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Old 04-16-2012, 06:29 AM
Christopher ONeill Christopher ONeill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Ted Hughes did a version of Seneca's Oedipus; though it is something between a translation and an adaptation.

I used to have an e-friend to argue with about translations of Seneca. He kept telling me that the Dana Gioia was better than the Hughes - though we both liked both versions.

I may be slightly jaundiced against the Gioia version, simply through having lost so many arguments about it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:38 AM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Breaux Bridge, LA, USA
Posts: 3,192

Thank you, Dave and Ted! I appreciate your help. (Dana's name was somewhere on the periphery of my mind, but I couldn't link it to anything). I expect I can find these on Alibris. There's also a full-length Medea on line - not really up to date but better than nothing.

The Sphere always comes through.
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