The family of Seamus Heaney has announced the publication of “Aeneid: Book VI”, a translation of the verse about Aeneas’s journey to the underworld.
The book will be published in 2016 by Faber & Faber. Seamus began the translation after the death of his father Patrick in 1986 and continued to work on revisions until a month before his untimely death in August 2013. It seems fitting therefore that his last work will be published posthumously given that he often described Aeneas’s venture into the underworld as “a constant presence” throughout his own life.
Seamus’ daughter Catherine-Anne said that “this translation is the result of work and revisions carried out over many years – from the 1980s to the month before his death – and the decision to publish it was one our family took after long and careful consideration”.
She added, “Given its theme of Aeneas’s search for his father in the afterlife, it would be hard to think of a more poignant way for us to mark the end of our father’s own poetic journey”.
The new book is scheduled for March 2016 in the UK and will be published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.