Award-Winning Poet To Give Beall-Russell Lecture Oct. 11

Oct. 6, 2004

by Julie Campbell Carlson

Award-winning poet and translator Robert Fagles, the emeritus Arthur W. Marks Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, will deliver the 2004 Beall-Russell Lecture in the Humanities at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, in Jones Theater in Baylor University's Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. His lecture, "An Afternoon's Odyssey with Robert Fagles," is free and open to the public.

The lecture title refers to Fagles' popular translation of Homer's Odyssey, which won the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 10 "Best Books of 1996." Fagles' companion translation of Homer's Iliad also has won several awards, including the 1991 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by The Academy of American Poets.

The Iliad and the Odyssey are epics attributed to the blind poet Homer and were believed to have been written more than 2,700 years ago. The Iliad is a story of the Trojan War, while the Odyssey describes the 20-year journey of Odysseus, one of the Greek heroes of that war, as he tries to return home.

Fagles, who is now working on a new translation of Virgil's Aeneid, has been praised for the freshness and readability of his Homeric translations.

In an interview with Elizabeth Farnworth on PBS's Newshour, he said, "I think in the case of the Odyssey it's a poem that can hit us, strike chords with us at virtually every age, the kind of wild and wooly yarn from childhood... It's everything to all people. It's something like the autobiography of the race and most everyone's favorite poem."

The Beall-Russell Lectures were established in 1982 by the late Virginia Beall Ball in honor of her mother, Mrs. John A. Beall, and Lily Russell, former dean of women at Baylor. Past Beall-Russell lecturers have included journalist Bill Moyers and Nobel Prize winner for literature Czeslaw Milosz.

For more information, call 710-1399 or visit

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