The People’s Tongue with Emily Wilson
Monday, December 04, 2023 | 6:30 p.m.
Two translators walk into a bar… and they sing!
Emily Wilson’s celebrated English-language translation of Homer’s The Odyssey (2018) recreates the music of the original epic, matching the number of lines of the iambic pentameter verse. Ilan Stavans’ translations of Pablo Neruda’s Odes (2006) are celebrated for reinventing the 20th-century Chilean poet’s rhythms. How do translators make a classic book sing again?
Emily Wilson is a professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also translated Seneca and Euripides.
Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary. He has also translated Miguel de Cervantes, Jorge Luis Borges, and Juan Rulfo. Stavans is the editor of The People’s Tongue: Americans and the English Language. This program is part of a series of the same name exploring ideas presented in this anthology.