Details: The Bhagavad Gita, trans. Juan Mascaró (Penguin, 1962). Original date c. 500 B.C.
Category: Religion: Hinduism; Philosophy: Ancient India
Setting: Ancient India
Key Words: Philosophy, Religion, Poetry
In Brief: Reviewing a work that is a sacred text for a lot of people is a complicated endeavour. Here, I am discussing it entirely as a piece of literature, and as that alone it didn’t really work for me. In this particular translation, I didn’t find a lot of beauty in the language, and the content was repetitive. I am not a philosophy person, and The Bhagavad Gita didn’t change that fact.
I have a confession to make: I have a Masters in Ancient History but this is the first time I’ve read The Iliad in its entirety. And now for another confession: I really didn’t like it as much as I feel I should have.
I enjoy The Odyssey. Odysseus rocks and I’ve always had a major soft spot for Telemachus. So it’s not that I have anything against Greek epic… just THIS Greek epic. I don’t know how much of it was the translation and how much was the work itself, but I just wasn’t interested most of the time.
Ultimately, I think this just confirms something that I (and all those who know me) have known for years: Rome > Greece in my little corner of the Classics.