Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri’s poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the infinite torment of Hell, up the arduous slopes of Purgatory, and on to the glorious realm of Paradise—the sphere of universal harmony and eternal salvation.
Now, for the first time, John Ciardi’s brilliant and authoritative translations of Dante’s three soaring canticles—The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso—have been gathered together in a single volume. Crystallizing the power and beauty inherent in the great poet’s immortal conception of the aspiring soul, The Divine Comedy is a dazzling work of sublime truth and mystical intensity.
The first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy is many things: a moving human drama, a supreme expression of the Middle Ages, a glorification of the ways of God, and a magnificent protest against the ways in which men have thwarted the divine plan. One of the few literary works that has enjoyed a fame both immediate and enduring, The Inferno remains powerful after seven centuries. It confronts the most universal values—good and evil, free will and predestination—while remaining intensely personal and ferociously political, for it was born out of the anguish of a man who saw human life blighted by the injustice and corruption of his times.
Translated by John Ciardi
With an Introduction by Archibald T. MacAllister
and an Afterword by Edward M. Cifelli
Upon their approach to Paradise, which as a pagan, no matter how worthy, the Latin poet cannot enter, Virgil relinquishes his role as guide to Beatrice. Dante's chaste beloved then accompanies him along the ascent, as they encounter the blessed and the holy, and Dante arrives at a vision of the heavenly paradise.
The Divine Comedydescribes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.
'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism... likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue
'The most moving lines literature has achieved' - Jorge Luis Borges
'This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation - a deeply-informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read' - Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Individual editions of Robin Kirkpatrick's translation - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso - are also available in Penguin Classics, and include Dante's Italian printed alongside the English text.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.
Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Describing Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide, Inferno depicts a cruel underworld in which desperate figures are condemned to eternal damnation for committing one or more of seven deadly sins. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, Dante encounters many doomed souls before he is finally ready to meet the ultimate evil in the heart of Hell: Satan himself.
This new edition of Inferno includes explanatory notes and an illustration of Dante's plan of hell. Robin Kirkpatrick's masterful translation is also available in a bilingual Penguin edition, with the original Italian on facing pages, and in a complete edition of The Divine Comedy with an introduction and other editorial materials.
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. He studied at the university of Bologna, married at the age of twenty and had four children. His first major work was La Vita Nuova (1292), a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life who had died two years earlier. In 1302, Dante's political activism resulted in his being exiled from Florence. After years of wandering, he settled in Ravenna and in about 1307 began writing The Divine Comedy. Dante died in 1321.
Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin and Cambridge, where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.
'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism...likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue
In the second book of Dante’s epic poem The Divine Comedy, Dante has left hell and begins the ascent of the mount of purgatory. Just as hell had its circles, purgatory, situated at the threshold of heaven, has its terraces, each representing one of the seven mortal sins. With Virgil again as his guide, Dante climbs the mountain; the poet shows us, on its slopes, those whose lives were variously governed by pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust. As he witnesses the penance required on each successive terrace, Dante often feels the smart of his own sins. His reward will be a walk through the garden of Eden, perhaps the most remarkable invention in the history of literature.
"An attractive new alternative as both a translation and a pedagogical tool. The volume includes an excellent introduction by Dante scholar Steven Botterill, clear and informative notes by lifelong Dantist Anthony Oldcorn, a concise bibliographical note that indicates some important sources on Dante in print and online, and a diagram of Hell; "Index of the Damned" lists characters who appear in the canticle. The translator's preface explains Lombardo's choices as he faced the always-challenging task of rendering Dante's poetry into English. Among the most interesting choices are the occasional use of rhyme--especially in key passages and at the end of each canto, where interlocking rhymes that mimic Dante's terza rima are consistently employed--and an emphasis on creating a version that works well as an oral presentation, following the long tradition of private, public, and theatrical readings of the poem. The volume includes the original Italian text, thus facilitating classroom references and comparisons." --Rebecca West, University of Chicago, in Choice
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Dante's life and works
* Concise introductions to the poetry
* Excellent formatting of the poems
* Both verse and prose translations of THE DIVINE COMEDY, with glossed footnotes – ideal for students
* Also includes Gustave Doré’s celebrated illustrations of THE DIVINE COMEDY – over a hundred stunning images
* Easily locate the cantos you want to read with detailed contents tables
* Includes Dante’s complete works in Italian – ideal for students exploring the original texts
* Features a bonus biography - discover Dante's literary life
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
The Poetry Collections
THE NEW LIFE
THE DIVINE COMEDY (VERSE)
THE DIVINE COMEDY (PROSE)
The Italian Texts
LIST OF WORKS
DANTE: HIS TIMES AND HIS WORK BY ARTHUR JOHN BUTLER
In addition to its appeal as a sublime meditation on the anguish and ecstasy of love, this volume also serves as a treatise on the art and technique of poetry. Dante's commentaries explicate each poem, further refining his concept of romantic love as the initial step in the spiritual development that culminates in the capacity for divine love. His unconventional approach — drawing upon personal experience, addressing readers directly, and writing in Italian rather than Latin — marked a turning point in European poetry, when writers departed from highly stylized forms in favor of a simpler style. This complete and unabridged edition features the distinguished translation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
In this masterpiece of his youth, Dante assembles a selection of his love poems within a prose framework that situates them chronologically and autobiographically. The result is a history of his love for Beatrice, the muse he encountered in childhood who continued to influence him long after her marriage and early death. Upon completing this work in 1294, the future author of The Divine Comedy pledged to write of Beatrice "what has never before been written of any woman."
Instructors and students of Italian, as well as anyone interested in the masterworks of world literature, will appreciate this dual-language edition. It features a new English translation, in addition to an informative introduction and helpful notes.
On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents allegorically the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas.
The poem is written in the first person, and tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition.
Arguably the greatest single poem ever written, The Divine Comedy presents Dante Alighieri's all-encompassing vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife. In the Purgatorio, Dante struggles up the terraces of Mount Purgatory, still guided by Virgil, in continuation of his difficult ascent to purity.
"The clean force of the original comes through with astonishing success," said poet and translator Dudley Fitts in praise of John Ciardi's rendition of the Purgatorio. "Dante cannot speak in English, perhaps; but Ciardi has given us the next best thing--a credible, passionate persona of the poet, stripped of the customary guards of rhetoric and false decoration, strong and noble in utterance."
BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP
The first volume of The Divine Comedy--Dante begins his downward journey through the seven circles of Hell.
EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:
• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information
• A chronology of the author's life and work
• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations
• Detailed explanatory notes
• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.
SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON
On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents, allegorically, the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse".
The work was originally simply titled Comedìa and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divina to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari.
"As a crown to his literary life, Longfellow combines his exquisite scholarship and his poetic skill and experience in the translation of one of the great poems of the world."—Harper's Monthly
Enter the unforgettable world of The Inferno and travel with a pair of poets through nightmare landscapes of eternal damnation to the very core of Hell. The first of the three major canticles in La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy), this fourteenth-century allegorical poem begins Dante's imaginary journey from Hell to Purgatory to Paradise. His encounters with historical and mythological creatures--each symbolic of a particular vice or crime--blend vivid and shocking imagery with graceful lyricism in one of the monumental works of world literature.
This acclaimed translation was rendered by the beloved nineteenth-century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A skilled linguist who taught modern languages at Harvard, Longfellow was among the first to make Dante’s visionary poem accessible to American readers.
‘There is no greater sorrow then to recall our times of joy in wretchedness.’
Considered one of the greatest medieval poems written in the common vernacular of the time, Dante’s Inferno begins on Good Friday in the year 1300. As he wanders through a dark forest, Dante loses his way and stumbles across the ghost of the poet Virgil. Virgil promises to lead him back to the top of the mountain, but to do so, they must pass through Hell, encountering all manner of shocking horrors, sins and evil torments along the way, evoking questions about God’s justice, human behaviour and Christianity.
The poems themselves tell the story of his love for Beatrice, from their first meeting at a May Day party in her father's house, through Dante's sufferings and his attempts to conceal the true object of his devotion by the use of 'screen-loves', to his overwhelming grief ather death, ending with the transformative vision of her in heaven. These are some of the richest love poems in literature and the movement from self-pitying lament to praise for the beloved's beauty and virtue, illustrate the elevating power of love.
In this, the concluding volume of The Divine Comedy, Dante ascends from the devastation of the Inferno and the trials of Purgatory. Led by his beloved Beatrice, he enters Paradise, to profess his faith, hope, and love before the Heavenly court. Completed shortly before his death, Paradise is the volume that perhaps best expresses Dante’s spiritual philosophy about resurrection, redemption, and the nature of divinity. It also affords modern-day readers a clear window into late medieval perceptions about faith. A bilingual text, classic illustrations by Gustave Doré, an appendix that reproduces Dante’s key sources, and other features make this the definitive edition of Dante’s ultimate masterwork.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
“They yearn for what they fear for.”- Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy: The Inferno
In the first part of Divine Comedy, Dante, guided by the poet Virgil, plunges to the very depths of Hell and embarks on his arduous journey towards God. By fusing humor and satire with intellect, an immortal Christian allegory of humankind’s search for self-knowledge and spiritual enlightenment was created.
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