I had formed already purchased the two-volume hardcover edition. (It is a pity that this edition is not also in a hardcover form great deal of thought is slightly revised. ) I have no more than a smattering of modern greek; but I possess eleven different the english language translations of at least the Canon. Comparing Teacher Mendelsohn's translation of " The God Abandons Anthony" (my favourite) with those and the original greek, I find his exemplary. N. B. Professor Mendelsohn's surname IS spelt with only one " s" ---consult your own image of the cover., Mendelsohn provides a thorough and thoughtful discussion of Cavafy's poetry: the historical background for Cavafy, his Hellenistic interests, his use of demotic and classical Ancient greek, his preferred subjects Typically the analysis of Cavafy's style, his attention to meter and rhyme is especially helpful and of particular interest is the history of the " unpublished poems, " poems translated into English here for the first time., This new translation has extensive notes. It's very helpful. If you love Cavafy, you will love this new translation. If you are unfamiliar with Cavafy, this is a great introduction., Mendelsohn has completely retranslated all of Cavafy into English. Because he claims in the Introduction, [Cavafy's poems is] " seriously, hauntingly rhythmical, sensuously assonant when not actually rhyming. It seemed to me worthwhile to try to replicate these elements anytime it was possible to do so. " Since I know no Greek, my earlier experience of Cavafy has recently been the Dalven translation, and while the latter effectively captures the sense of Cavafy's poems, the Mendelsohn translations are remarkable for their blend sense and sound. To choose one small example from hundreds of pages, the poem " Second Odyssey" begins: A second Odyssey and a great one, too, or greater than the first, perhaps. But alas, or without a Homer, without Hexameters. Mendelsohn's lucid launch and detailed notes are essential for the modern American reader with no special background in Hellenic and Hellenistic culture and the Greek diaspora. I actually now appreciate much of Cavafy far more deeply than I did before. Altogether the book is an amazing amalgam of scholarship and art. Between the freshness of the poems and the wonderful observation it's hard to find a poem that doesn't " work, " and many more now appear extraordinary., I must say that I am partial to the Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard translations. Simply put, they are more accessible, poetic and evocative. I admit that Mendelsohn has done a yeoman's operate looking freshly at the poems and offering these translations and he must be recommended. However, they are mainly clunky, oblong and troublesome, however " accurate" they could academically be. The launch makes a very clear case for the method but in practice I actually find it unconvincing. Almost all that said, I am still glad I purchased the book. The greater Cavafy the better!
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