When reviewing a much-translated canonical text such as Homer's Iliad, it has become something of a topos to question the need for yet another translation of it. In the twenty-first century alone, Homer's Iliad has benefited from at least six published English translations already: Rodney Merrill (2007), Herbert Jordan (2008), Anthony Verity (2011), Stephen Mitchell (2011), Edward McCrorie (2012) and James Muirden (2012). Richard Whitaker adds his translation to the list with a slight variation on the standard Anglo-American English translations already available, presenting his readers instead with a ‘Southern African English’ version. With such a variety of Standard English prose and poetic translations already on offer, is there really a need for yet another Iliad? Will the novelty of its subtitle, as a ‘Southern African English’ Iliad, justify its publication, and what will prevent it from being judged merely as a postcolonial curiosity?
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