Dante's immortal vision of Hell shines "as it never did before in English verse" (Edward Mendelson) in Clive James's new translation of Inferno. The most captivating part of perhaps the greatest epic poem ever written, Dante's Inferno still holds the power to thrill and inspire. The medieval equivalent of a thriller, Inferno follows Dante and his faithful guide, Virgil, as they traverse the complex geography of Hell, confronting its many threats, macabre punishments, and historical figures, before reaching the deep chamber where Satan himself resides. Now, in this new translation, Clive James communicates not just the transcendent poetry of Dante's language but also the excitement and terror of his journey through the underworld. Instead of Dante's original terza rima, a form which in English tends to show the strain of composition, James employs fluently linked quatrains, thereby conveying the seamless flow of Dante's poetry and the headlong momentum of the action. As James writes in his introduction, Dante’s great poem "can still astonish us, whether we believe in the supernatural or not. At the very least it will make us believe in poetry."
This enthralling new translation of Dante’s Inferno “immediately joins ranks with the very best” (Richard Lansing).
One of the world’s transcendent literary masterpieces, the Inferno tells the timeless story of Dante’s journey through the nine circles of hell, guided by the poet Virgil, when in midlife he strays from his path in a dark wood. In this vivid verse translation into contemporary English, Peter Thornton makes the classic work fresh again for a new generation of readers. Recognizing that the Inferno was, for Dante and his peers, not simply an allegory but the most realistic work of fiction to date, he points out that hell was a lot like Italy of Dante's time. Thornton's translation captures the individuals represented, landscapes, and psychological immediacy of the dialogues as well as Dante's poetic effects.
The product of decades of passionate dedication and research, his translation has been hailed by the leading Dante scholars on both sides of the Atlantic as exceptional in its accuracy, spontaneity, and vividness. Those qualities and its detailed notes explaining Dante's world and references make it both accessible for individual readers and perfect for class adoption.
"Here at last that much suffering reader will find Dante's greatness manifest, and not his greatness only, but his grace, his simplicity, and his affection."—William Dean Howells, The Nation "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.
You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.