Friday, November 25, 2011

Stephen Mitchell in the Rector's Forum this Sunday, 11/27

How does the universe work?

That question pulses at the heart of the world’s great literature. We at All Saints are drawn to those who think deeply and/or write lyrically about how the universe works. Jesus, Job, the Psalmist, Homer, Gilgamesh, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the poet Rilke and others have been translated, usually from the original language, by our friend, Stephen Mitchell, who will join us in the Rector's Forum this Sunday, November 27, at 10:15 a.m.

He has now translated The Iliad in a way that his editor told me brought tears to her eyes. Stephen has a gift for taking ancient texts and bringing them to life with an accessible and contemporary grace.

"When I interviewed Stephen in Oprah Winfrey’s radio studio for the Oprah’s Soul Series," said Ed Bacon "his centered calmness, his love of wisdom, his brilliant mind, and his soul shaped by years of Buddhist meditation all worked together to change my life. I want each of you to experience this friend of mine."

A sixth-grade memory of a drawing of the Greek goddess Athena inspired Stephen Mitchell to tackle Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. He had tried to read other translations but was unable to get past the first part. The image of Athena floating in the air wearing a fluid garment, helmet on head, spear in hand, captured his imagination and made him want to create an English version of The Iliad with the music he felt in that drawing. For several years he immersed himself in the Greek, to find a way into the epic that would make the story come alive for him. Criticized by some for using English slang in places and not producing an exact translation, he has been praised by others who feel he captures the essence of the epic, brings it alive, and makes it enjoyable to read. Copies of six of his books will be available.

Please join us and tell your friends and family. If you cannot be with us in person on Sunday, watch the live video stream of the Forum here at 10:15 a.m. Pacific.

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