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The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Volume 1 Paperback – February 28, 2010


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The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Volume 1 + Purgatorio: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Vol. 2 + The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Volume 3: Paradiso
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (February 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 114618932X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1146189323
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Review


'This new edition of Inferno is distinctly user-friendly....Serious students-in or out of the classroom-who...examine the original poem alongside a readable and reliable prose translation will find this edition excellently suited to their needs.'

-The Christian Science Monitor


'A useful volume for students and first-time visitors to Dante's cosmos.'-

Publishers Weekly


'In this new translation, Durling tries to be as concrete as possible, producing a version that is more fluent and accurate than the versions of Mandelbaum and Musa.... Highly recommended.'

-Library Journal


'Like the Inferno edition that preceded it, the Durling-Martinez Purgatorio, with its beautiful translation and superb apparatus of notes, is simply the best edition of Dante's second canticle in English. No other version offers anything close to what we find gathered here in one volume.'

-Robert Harrison, Professor of Italian, Stanford University


"As Durling and Martinez complete their monumental three-volume presentation of Dante's masterpiece, we can sense their triumph and elation, despite their characteristic modesty. This, after all, is the volume with which they can demonstrate the fullness and consistency of Dante's great project, its final approach to what they describe in one footnote as 'a pitch of intensity unique in all literature.' The scholarship, as always, is graceful, comprehensive, and acute, and it surrounds a translation that is so carefully considered and fully realized as to be, at times, quite breathtaking." --David Young, translator of The Poetry of Petrarch


"Durling and Martinez deliver Paradiso in elegant English prose faithful to Dante's Italian. The general introduction and succinct notes to each canto enable an informed reading of a frequently daunting text, while the longer 'Additional Notes,' bibliography, and indices will more than satisfy the most exigent critic. Marvelous, in the richest medieval sense of the term." --Michael Wyatt, author of The Italian Encounter with Tudor England


"At the end of his poem Dante claims that his 'high imagining failed of power,' but Durling and Martinez have suffered no such fate in completing their translation of the Divine Comedy. Their Paradiso is a crowning achievement, a work of lucid prose and of impeccable accuracy. Readers will find themselves rewarded by the succinct, richly informative notes at the end of each canto and the extended essay-notes at the back of the volume. A splendid accomplishment." --Richard Lansing, editor of The Dante Encyclopedia


--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author


Robert M. Durling is Professor Emeritus of English and Italian Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ronald L. Martinez is Professor of Italian at Brown University. Their works together include Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio and Time and the Crystal: Studies in Dante's "Rime petrose."
Robert Turner has been a professional illustrator for thirty years.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

I bought this book several months ago under the assumption I would have time to finish it.
Onigami
This edition of the Inferno is by far the best English translation available for the serious student of Dante.
B. C. Giles
The glossary at the end is also extremely helpful for helping the reader understand historical references.
Andrew Ng

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Diluziko on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this edition of Dante's most famous book of the Divine Comedy to be excellent in all respects. The translation seemed excedingly accurate -- as an Italian prof. I was working almost exclusively from the original -- in a modern, clean style. Here the attempt is not to replicate the hendecasyllabic verse or the "third rhyming" ("terza rima").
More successful still are the notes that follow each canto, replete with explications of historical and theological references or simply of difficult lines. Not to be discounted too is the introduction which admits to not being exhaustive but is powerfully pithy and a nice springboard from which to attack the text.
Dr. Joseph A. DiLuzio
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was my constant companion through humanities studies. The notes are clear and concise without being abstract, and having the Italian to English page by page gave the flavor of the original verses while rendering the translation nearly as graceful. For anyone wanting to take a trip to hell and back with Dante, this version provides plenty of contemporary signposts along the way.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Giles on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This edition of the Inferno is by far the best English translation available for the serious student of Dante. No absurd attempt to emulate the poetic style is made here, it's strictly prose. Moreover, it's clear, easy to read prose. Remember, it was written in the vernacular, and therefore should be read in the simplest vernacular available to the English speaking reader.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Simmons on May 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The basic problem here is that Durling's original was designed for facing pages of English and Italian. Durling's book, however, was dumped to the Kindle without the slightest regard for the fact that the Kindle's "page" size has nothing to do with the page size of the original -- in fact, of course, the Kindle doesn't even have a fixed "page" size. So, what do you get in the Kindle version? You get 30 lines of English followed by 30 lines of Italian, then 30 more lines of English, and so on. How this will break on your Kindle screens is completely arbitrary. For the Kindle, the text needed to be re-organized and it just wasn't. A quality version of Inferno on Kindle would be most welcome, but this isn't it.

Save your money. This is the worst, most incompetent Kindle transfer I've seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By englishprof on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Durling and Martinez's translation is by far the most literal and most comprehensive of Dante's Divine Comedy. For those encountering the text for the first time, or those who are intimately acquainted with the text will find this translation to be the best as well. The Introduction, Footnotes to each Canto, and the Additional Notes (mini-essays) are also a fantastic addition to the work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ng on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased Durling's translation of Dante's Inferno for my Humanities class, so we certainly picked apart at the intricacies of the language. My professor is an Italian specialist by trade and learned under the authors at one point, so I suppose that may have been part of his reasoning behind recommending this translation... No qualms here though; it's a well-translated text with a handy page-by-page comparison, original Italian on the left, translated English on the right. The translation is very clear and easy to understand, but manages to retain the depth and personality of each of the characters. The glossary at the end is also extremely helpful for helping the reader understand historical references. This translation comes highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve on September 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best traslations of the Inferno that i have been able to find. It is easy to understand and certainly not convoluted as many other versions are. In addition this version offers the italian text which is a nice addition. Finally, the notes and commentary povided in this book are amazing and perfect for use in the classroom or just6 for general enjoyment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noah on February 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't comment on the "beauty" or "correctness" of the translation, as I do not have the proper knowledge of Italian, but I will comment on other aspects of this translation that I found particularly helpful.

My background: I read this edition as a part of Stanford's SLE (Structured Liberal Education) program, which is a comprehensive (or as comprehensive as you can get in one year) survey of western philosophy and literature.

This edition has copious notes after every Canto which flesh out the multifaceted complexity of the Inferno. After a single reading of a Canto not only do they help make sense of difficult passages (which of course, abound) but also reveal interprative difficulties which might be easily missed without the proper historical or literary background. These notes (many with references to further reading) cover a range of interpretations and expose the reader to common political, religious, and rhetorical readings.

This text also is printed so the English translation is opposite the original Italian on every page - particularly helpful for a close reading (even if the reader has little or no background in Italian).

I am continuing to read the rest of the Comedia in this translation because I found the Inferno so compelling.

Much like Dante the pilgrim cannot travel through hell alone and needs the assistance of Virgil, this translation guides the reader through the byzantine world of the literary Inferno - hopefully like Dante, to some (if limited) understanding.
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