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“Dante’s conversations with his mentor Virgil and the doomed shades are by turns assertive and abashed, irritated and pitying and inquisitive, and Anthony Esolen’s new translation renders them so sensitively that they seem to take place in the same room with us. It follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. This Inferno gives us Dante’s vivid drama and his verbal inventiveness. It is living writing.” —James Richardson, Princeton University
“Professor Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Inferno is the best one I have seen, for two reasons. His decision to use unrhymed blank verse allows him to come nearly as close to the meaning of the original as any prose reading could do, and allows him also to avoid the harrowing sacrifices that the demand for rhyme imposes on any translator. And his endnotes and other additions provoke answers to almost any question that could arise about the work.” —A. Kent Hieatt, professor emeritus, University of Western Ontario
“Esolen’s brilliant translation captures the power and the spirit of a poem that does not easily give up its secrets. The notes and appendices provide exactly the kind of help that most readers will need.” —Robert Royal, president, Faith and Reason Institute
From the Hardcover edition.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.See all Editorial Reviews
I lament that I am not a poetry reader and I have always felt bad that I have never read Dante or Ovid and other classics. Read morePublished 5 days ago by whj
I loved the entire Divine Comedy and Anthony Esolen's translation is a great one to read.
I asked for recommendations before deciding on my translation, and was so glad I did. Read more
Am teaching Dante and I chose this translation. Students seem to prefer it. They have excellent taste.Published 10 days ago by Bathsheba Everdene
This is an excellent version of the Inferno. I love the introduction and endnotes--my students found them very helpful. Highly recommended.Published 22 days ago by Jenny
One of those books you need to read at least once. And this translation appears to be the most read.Published 28 days ago by J. A. Grafton
Comparing Ciardi and Mandelbaum. Great classic by Dante AlighieriPublished 1 month ago by Andrew Cheever