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Paperback Inferno : A New Translation Book

ISBN: 1555976549

ISBN13: 9781555976545

Inferno : A New Translation

(Book #1 in the La Divina Commedia Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

An innovative and fascinating new version of Dante Alighieri's Inferno as it has never been rendered Stopped mid-motion in the middle Of what we call a life, I looked up and saw no sky- Only a dense cage of leaf, tree, and twig. I was lost. --from Canto I Award-winning poet Mary Jo Bang has translated the Inferno into English at a moment when popular culture is so prevalent that it has even taken Dante, author of the fourteenth century epic poem,...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Very good condition but 1/2 of the cantos have writing all over them. I wish this had been specified

Very good condition and fair price. My only complaint is that 15 of the cantos have marginalia all over the place and that should have been disclosed in advance.

Most enjoyable translation of Dante that I have read.

I have read several previous translations of the Inferno since high school, all of which have ranged unintelligible to passable. Most of the translations I have read previously were so literal in translation that it was like reading Shakespearean English, this translation, while not perfect was so readable that I was amazed. The Palma translations attempts to maintain the original prose, but what sets him apart is his willingness to abandon the rhyming structure at certain points in order to maintain the flow of the story. Palma is the first translator that does justice to the Divine Comedy, if you are looking for a readable, enjoyable translation of Dante look no further.

Terrific translation of a classic

When I finally decided to try to plug some of the holes that my 'classical education' had somehow left unfilled, "The Inferno" was high on my list. Since I don't know any Italian, choosing a decent translation was one of the first questions to be addressed. I spent an hour in Cody's comparing various options (there are a gazillion translations out there) - this was one of two that I ended up buying. Surprisingly (to me at any rate), roughly half of the available translations chose the low road of not even bothering to preserve Dante's famous terza rima metric scheme, with the excuse that only a 'literal translation' can convey the meaning adequately. Fie on your laziness, say I - it obviously can be done, even if you are too lamebrained to try. So I rejected the 'literal translations' out of hand, for the same reason that I would not choose a translation of 'Eugene onegin' that didn't at least try to preserve Pushkin's meter, when it is obviously such an intrinsic aspect of the work. I can't vouch for the fidelity of Carson's translation, but I liked it a lot. He does well by the terza rima, while managing to achieve an overall natural flow of the language. At times it is highly colloquial, which might disturb the purists: "Ratbreath, when he heard this, rolled his eyes, and hissed 'Don't listen, it's a dirty trick, so he can jump. He must think we're not wise.' And he, whose AKA was Señor Slick, replied: 'It's dirt indeed, to get my comrades in the s**t; in fact, it's rather sick.' Now Harley Quinn, unlike the other blades, was eager for some sport. " Canto XXII, lines 107-114. As for the work itself, I think everyone knows the story. I haven't read "Purgatorio" or "Paradiso" yet - it seems highly likely to me that the "Inferno" is the most fun of the three, if only because it's entertaining to see how he uses it as a vehicle for getting even with his enemies. But, if you've been putting it off for years because you're intimidated by its status as a "classic", don't be put off any longer. It's actually a lot of fun, and easy to read. Comparing translations is an auxiliary source of entertainment, for those (like myself) who enjoy that kind of thing

The best version of Inferno for the money

As I would never attempt to actually review Dante's Inferno, I am only going to review this version in comparison to others. Of all of the different translations, the translation by Longfellow (which this is) seems to be more accessible then the tedious Mandelbaum version. That's not to say that it in any way dumbed down, it is simply more readable then the other translations that I have sat down in front of. The illustrations by Gustave Dore are the standard and should never be replaced by anything else. This book has large illustrations of all of his original work seamlessly wrapped around a very readable font. The preface, footnotes, and endnotes are plentiful and easily flipped to when needed. The Inferno is a standard for any home good library, and this is an excellent hardcover copy to have for the price.

Audacious journey

This is a review of the Nicholas Kilmer 1985 translation, illustrated by Benjamin Martinez.There have been over 700 years of commentary on this classic, so I won't add anything original here. On the web search for "Dartmouth Dante Project" and you will find many. The reading is helped by added commentary, for example understanding the role of Beatrice or Francesca as heroine. The Dorothy Sayers translation offers more background information. The audaciousness of the poet to enter this realm of Biblical themes is remarkable, as his ability to garner sympathy for some of the sinners, such as Ugolino. Its fun to think where Dante would have placed some of today's public figures. Kilmer's translation is clear and straightforward, fairly modern sounding. For example contrast Kilmers(from Cantos XXiv):Quicker than I cross t, dot i, he kindled, burned, and falling down, was completely changed to ashes versus Sayers:Never did writer with a single dashOf the pen write "o" or "i" so swift as heTook fire, and burned, and crumbled way to ash.After I read the poem, I studied the dark illustrations by Benjamin Martinez and they present another view of the journey.

Ciardi's the Best

There's no doubt about it...Ciardi's is the best translation of the haunting and powerful poem about the medieval view of God's divine plan. Ciardi dumps archaisms and goes for the throat of Dante's poetry and meaning. You'll never touch another translation after you read this!
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