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Emily Wilson's 'Odyssey' Scrapes The Barnacles Off Homer's Hull

Wilson — the first woman to translate The Odyssey — has created a fresh, authoritative and slyly humorous version of Homer's epic that scours away archaisms while preserving nuance and complexity.
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In the 17th century, the poet John Dryden satirized the deep anxiety around letting women learn the Classics:

But of all Plagues, the greatest is untold;

The Book-Learn'd Wife in Greek and Latin bold.

The Critick-Dame, who at her Table sits:

Homer and Virgil quotes, and weighs their Wits;

Alas! We Critick-Dames abound. But we were a long time coming. Because the classics were so closely associated with elite institutions, they came to symbolize a certain kind of cultural and political power, a power men were

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