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."
Journey into Dante's nine circles of hell in the epic poem, Inferno. The Divine Comedy, written in the early fourteenth century by Dante Alighieri, continues to be essential reading for lovers of literature. Dante's The Inferno is the first part of his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. In this epic poem, Dante is led by the poet Virgil into the nine circles of Hell--limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery--culminating in a meeting with Satan himself. Along the way, he meets a number of interesting figures. This edition uses the classic translation by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). Complete and unabridged, this elegantly designed, clothbound edition features an elastic closure and a new introduction by John Lotherington.
"This new Inferno is very quickly going to become a favorite. The translation itself is unusually dynamic and returns to the poem a register of daily speech that increases clarity and energy. It never loses sight of the fact that the Inferno tells an intensely involving story. . . . This volume also offers real help to the novice reader. The synopsis printed at the beginning of each canto; the detailed commentary on each canto, at the end of the book; and, most importantly, a really excellent Introduction--all these give the reader constant and multileveled guides to the journey." --F. Regina Psaki, The Giustina Family Professor of Italian Language and Literature, University of Oregon
"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
"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.
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.
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