Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus (Paperback)

Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus By Joe Sachs (Translator), Plato Cover Image

Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus (Paperback)

By Joe Sachs (Translator), Plato


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"Joe Sachs is a national treasure. His brilliant translations from the Greek, spanning works from Homer to Aristotle, have long enriched scholars and students alike. He crowns those achievements with this exquisite rendering of two of Plato's most beautiful dialogues, with an introduction that evidences his deft ability to drill down to 'the thing itself.'"
--Thomas Sheehan, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Stanford University

The Phaedrus and Symposium are Plato's two dialogues
about Eros--that is, desirous longing. In these new translations by
former St. John's College tutor Joe Sachs, the reader imaginatively becomes a
member, if a silent one, of the conversations Socrates has with his companions.

While both dialogues are about love, they differ in intriguing
and important ways. The conversation of the Phaedrus takes place in the
countryside and that of the Symposium in Athens. In the Phaedrus only
Socrates and Phaedrus are present; in the Symposium many participate in
the drinking party. But in both, Socrates presents singularly abiding images:
The winged horses and chariot in the Phaedrus; the ladder of love in the
Symposium. These compelling images attract and move the reader to ask
questions of the dialogues, which in their unique ways seem to reply.

The interplay of the two texts may spark an unfolding in the reader's thinking
about love, but for the dialectical motion that must
occur between the speeches and between the lines of Plato's texts, the reader
must do the work, provoked, invited, and assisted by what they contain. The context for our thinking includes in
one case the subject of tragedy and comedy, in the other the nature of rhetoric
and writing, but it is philosophy, and not poetry or politics, that persistently
claims the center of attention. The dialogues themselves seem as different as
night from day, as urbane wit from rustic charm--but do they point to opposing
or converging attitudes toward erotic love?
Joe Sachs taught for thirty years inthe Great Books program at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He hastranslated Homer's Iliad (Paul Dry Books, 2018) and Odyssey (PaulDry Books, 2014); Aristotle's Physics, Metaphysics, On the Soul and OnMemory and Recollection, Nicomachean Ethics, Rhetoric, Politics, andPoetics; and Plato's Theaetetus, Republic, Gorgias, and Socratesand the Sophists. He lives in Annapolis.
Product Details ISBN: 9781589881778
ISBN-10: 158988177X
Publisher: Paul Dry Books
Publication Date: June 27th, 2023
Pages: 194
Language: English