WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS By Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn writes essays that provoke me to read more books. For example, when Mendelsohn reviews a new translation of The Iliad, he causally mentions that Alexander Pope’s translation of The Iliad (which took Pope seven years to produce) is one of the best translations EVER. So, of course, I had to try to dig up a copy of Alexander Pope’s translation of The Iliad. Luckily, I found a free ebook version on AMAZON. Mendelsohn is also the celebrated translator of C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Mendelsohn likes to sprinkle lines from Cavafy into his essays which then motivates me to want to read Cavafy. Topics Mendelsohn tackles range from Avatar to Susan Sontag. Each essay makes you think. GRADE: A
Table of Contents
FOREWORD………………..ix
The Wizard (James Cameron’s Avatar)………………..3
Truth Force at the Met (Philip Glass’s Satyagraha)………………..19
Why She Fell (Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man)………………..37
The Dream Director (Aleksandr Sokurov’s The Sun)………………..51
The Mad Men Account (Mad Men)………………..65
Unsinkable (Why We Can’t Let Go of the Titanic)………………..81
Battle Lines (Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad)………………..103
In Search of Sappho (Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter)………………..121
Arms and the Man (The Landmark Herodotus)………………..139
The Strange Music of Horace (J. D. McClatchy’s Horace, The Odes)………………..159
Oscar Wilde, Classics Scholar………………..179
Epic Endeavors (Three Novels on the Classics)………………..195
After Waterloo (Stendhal’s Charterhouse of Parma)………………..213
Heroine Addict (The Novels of Theodor Fontane)………………..223
Rebel Rebel (The Poems of Arthur Rimhaud)………………..241
The Spanish Tragedy (Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Sepharad)………………..259
In Gay and Crumbling England (Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child)………………..275
Transgression (Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones)………………..291
But Enough About Me (The Memoir Craze)………………..311
His Design for Living (Noël Coward’s Letters)………………..333
On the Town (Leo Lerman’s Diaries)………………..349
Zoned Out (Jonathan Franzen’s The Discomfort Zone)………………..365
Boys Will Be Boys (Edmund White’s City Boy)………………..381
The Collector (Susan Sontag’s Reborn)………………..399

10 thoughts on “WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS By Daniel Mendelsohn

  1. Patti Abbott

    George. You have my utmost admiration for being a true intellectual. Very few people share your breadth of interest and knowledge.

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      I just like to read good books, Patti. WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS earned a rave review in the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. Well deserved!

      Reply
    1. george Post author

      Ha! Jeff, the Republicans have a civil war going on in their party. They better heal the rift between now and the 2014 elections or they’ll lose the House of Representatives, too!

      Reply
  2. Drongo

    George, thanks for the link. I’ve always found the Pope translation to be a bit daunting, but I really should muster-up some intellectual energy and give it a try. In any case, I just ordered the Mendelsohn book, it does seem interesting. Consider the economy stimulated!

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      AMAZON has the Alexander Pope translation in KINDLE format for FREE, Drongo. I’m still trying to track down the 1997 Penguin edition that Mendelsohn and Garry Wills both loved.

      Reply
  3. RkR

    No, no George. I ordered the Wodehouse book yesterday, you won’t tempt me – okay, you already did that, but I won’t bite – with this one. It DOES look interesting. I wonder what translation of the Iliad I read way back when (high school?)?

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      I’m going to guess you read the Lattimore translation in High School, Rick. It was the standard translation for decades. Patti refers to me as “George the Tempter.”

      Reply

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