MEDEA new

Medea

Vintage, 2008
Free Press, New York, 2008


‘The purpose of translation is to set a play free. This is just what Robin Robertson does. In his lucid, free-running verse, Medea’s power is released into the world, fresh and appalling, in words that seem spoken for the first time.’
Anne Enright

‘One of the main virtues of this fine translation is Robertson’s ear for the verbal brutality committed by the estranged Medea and Jason on one another during their confrontations. Another is Robertson’s sensitivity to the seascapes and imagery of Euripides that dominate the play… Closer examination reveals how much thought has gone into its making… These subtleties support Robertson’s claim, in the introduction, that his main concern was “to provide an English version that is as true to the Greek as it is to the way that English is spoken now”… It certainly deserves to be staged. It would provide a more attractive basis for a performance text of the original play than anything else currently on offer.’
Edith Hall, Times Literary Supplement

‘With his new translation of Medea, Robin Robertson uses his extraordinary gifts as a poet to match the depth and complexity of the play with an absolute clarity of expression. This is, for me, the essential Medea in English.’
Kevin Powers‎

‘Reading Robin Robertson’s new translation, I am amazed… poetry abandons its usual mellifluousness for pithy simplicity… The combustion of language and sound is enough to release the beauty of the text.’
Fiona Shaw, The Times

‘An extraordinary testament… Robertson’s own poetic temperament, which derives considerable strength from his ability to render finely controlled violence, is well matched to this story… Robertson’s version succeeds particularly at moments of stark dramatic tension: he knows how to bring the tension out, in language that all of us can recognise as potentially our own… There have been a number of recent renditions of Greek classics by fine poets from Britain and Ireland, including Tony Harrison’s and Ted Hughes’ very different versions of Aeschylus’ Oresteia; Seamus Heaney’s versions of Sophocles’ Antigone and Philoctetes; Paul Muldoon’s version of Aristophanes’ The Birds… Robertson’s work is worthy of this distinguished company.’
Sarah Kafatou, Harvard Review

‘Robertson is master of the dark and wounded, the torn complexities of human relations, and Medea offers a perfect match for his sensibilities. This is an urgent, contemporary and eloquent translation.’
A.L. Kennedy