King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
Edited by David R. Slavitt and Palmer Bovie. Translations by Jascha Kessler, George Garrett, and Kelly Cherry
"Directness, vivid imagery, and rhetorical music prevail."—San Francisco Chronicle
"A boon for classicists and general readers alike. For the reader who comes to tragedy for the first time, these translations are eminently 'accessible,' and consummately American in tone and feeling. For the classicist, these versions constitute an ambitious reinterpretation of traditional masterpieces; after 2,500 years, the poetry of Euripides and Aeschylus has found a new voice—in fact, ten of them."—Boston Book Review
The Penn Greek Drama Series presents original literary translations of the entire corpus of classical Greek drama: tragedies, comedies, and satyr plays. It is the only contemporary series of all the surviving work of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander.
This volume presents fresh versions of Sophocles's Theban plays, which include the most famous of the ancient Greek tragedies, King Oedipus. Sophocles reveals the history of Oedipus from the fulfillment of the oracle that foretold he would kill his father, outwit the Sphinx, marry his mother, and have a family, through his banishment and tortured death as a blind man and the attempted redemption of the family by his daughter, Antigone.
Translations are by Jascha Kessler (King Oedipus), George Garrett (Oedipus at Colonus), and Kelly Cherry (Antigone).
About the Translators:
Kelly Cherry is the author of more than a dozen books, including five volumes of poetry (most recently Death and Transfiguration) five novels (most recently My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers), a collection of essays (Writing the World), and an autobiographical narrative (The Exiled Heart). Over 400 of her poems have appeared in such journals as The Atlantic, The American Scholar, and Georgia Review, and some have been translated into Latvian, Chinese, and Czech. Kelly Cherry is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Romnes fellowship, and a fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. She has been a Bread Loaf fellow a Yaddow fellow and, in 1990, was the first James G. Hanes Poetry Prize of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, given in recognition of a distinguished body of work. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, since 1977—since 1993 as the Evjue-Bascom Professor in the Humanities.
George Garrett is the author of more than twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism, and is the editor or coeditor of seventeen others. Among his recent books are Days of Our Lives Lie in Fragments: New and Old Poems, 1957-1997, The King of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You, The Sorrows of Fat City, Whistling in the Dark, and The Old Army Game. He as served as editor or coeditor of several literary magazines and is currently fiction editor for The Texas Review. George Garrett has been a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts sabbatical fellowship and a Ford Foundation grant, and the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded a Literary Lion citation from the New York Public Library and is Cultural Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He received the T.S. Eliot Award in 1989 and, more recently, the PEN/Faulkner Bernard Malamud Award for Short Fiction. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Bennington College, Princeton University, and elsewhere. George Garrett is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia and Chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Jascha Kessler has published five fiction collections, including Siren Songs and Classical Illusions, three poetry volumes, including In Memory of the Future, and has written several plays and The Cave, a libretto for a full-length opera scored by Ned Rorem. He was the first American writer to be honored with the Hungarian PEN Club's Memorial Medal for his collaborative translation projects in fiction and verse and has won the Translation Center's George Soros Foundation Prize for Catullan Games, a volume of poems from the Hungarian of Sandor Rakos. He received a Major Hopwood Award for Poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Senior Fulbright Awards, a California Arts Council fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship. His literary essays have appeared widely. Since 1961 he has been Professor of English and Modern Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.
About the Series Editors:
David R. Slavitt, a prolific writer, has published more than 60 books, including a dozen volumes of poetry, half that many of translation, and two dozen novels. He is coeditor of the series Complete Roman Drama in Translation and of the Penn Greek Drama Series. He is also a journalist who worked for seven years at Newsweek and continues to do freelance reporting and book and movie reviewing. Slavitt lives in Philadelphia.
Palmer Bovie is Professor Emeritus of Classics, Rutgers University, and a noted translator. His translation of Virgil's Georgics, IV was recently included in the Penguin volume Virgil in English (1996). Together with David Slavitt, he edited the series Complete Roman Drama in Translation. Bovie divides his time between East Millstone, New Jersey, and Jamaica, Vermont.