The Odyssey of Homer; Translated by T.E. Shaw, Lawrence of Arabia. Wood Engravings by Barry Moser; Preface by Jeremy M. Wilson. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1981.
Call Number: (SPL) PA 4025 .A5 L3 1981
Gift of Loryn Romadka, from the collection of Austin F. Lutter.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library
This is a limited edition of 2000 copies signed by the artist and printer. The translation is by T.E. Lawrence - his only significant English translation from Greek. Typographer Bruce Rogers was given the opportunity to design a limited edition of a classic text. He chose The Odyssey and wanted Lawrence to provide a new translation. He offered an unusually large sum to Lawrence because Lawrence was sensitive about the use of his name, agreed that the text would be published anonymously or under a pseudonym. Lawrence was honored and fascinated by the chance to work with Rogers, because of his admiration for Rogers' book design.
Printmaker, illustrator, book designer and fine press publisher, Barry Moser created the wood engravings and planned the typographic format for this edition. While researching his illustrations for this edition, Moser also illustrated The Aenid and The Inferno. Moser writes of his engravings:
Influences from Dante and Virgil pushed me away from the narrow initial impulses and stretched my imagination toward a broader, more catholic emphasis. . . I chose to see Homer's characters close-up. Not their actions or their figures, but their faces - the faces of Everyman. They are the same faces we see in newspapers, on the street, in the mirror - contemporary man, anonymous man, ordinary man in his quest for self, in his quest for home.
All readers are illustrators. We all see ourselves in the mirror of the writer's art. We are all omnipresent in mirrors - both real and literary. The narrative of Odysseus' ordeals is read through me, reflected in me, as it is in you. We are mirrors of his ordeals. His eyes are our eyes. His pain is our pain. Through Homer's art, I am Odysseus - through Homer's art, you, reader, are Odysseus.