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La Vita Nuova Hardcover – October 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; First English Edition edition (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674050932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674050938
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Graceful, readable, and just--David Slavitt's translation is a delicate and surprising achievement. This is another triumph for Slavitt, and a treat for the rest of us. (Henry Taylor)

Some translators have been too academic, draining the vigor and wonder from this work but Slavitt's version stays true to the spirit...Considering all the books today about finding one's center in our crazy, image-driven culture, then, La Vita Nuova--especially in Slavitt's version--couldn't be more relevant. (Nick Owchar Los Angeles Times 2010-09-12)

The Vita Nuova, Dante's first major work of certain attribution, is an original and sophisticated creation, too often cast aside as little more than a youthful prologue to the Divine Comedy...This handsome English edition of the Vita Nuova is translated by David R. Slavitt and prefaced by an engaging essay by Seth Lerer...Freed from the customary shackles of academic apparatus, the poetic quality of its lyrics freshly reinstated, the Vita Nuova's signature hybrid texture is here elegantly conveyed. (Tristan Kay Times Literary Supplement 2010-10-29)

About the Author

David R. Slavitt is a poet and the translator of more than ninety works of fiction, poetry, and drama.

Seth Lerer is Dean of Arts and Humanities and Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California at San Diego.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has read Dante's legendary "Divine Comedy" will know of his passion for a woman named Beatrice, who was his tour guide through heaven.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg, as "La Vita Nuova (The New Life)" shows in detail. This exquisite little book describes Dante's passion for Beatrice, and the emotional rollercoaster he went through as a result. This is Dante's unsung, more intimate masterpiece.

"La Vita Nuova" is a series of poems and anecdotes centering around the life-changing love of Dante for a young woman named Beatrice. The two first met when they were young children, of about eight. Dante instantly fell in love with her, but didn't really interact with her for several years.

Over the years, Dante's almost supernatural love only increased in intensity, and he poured out his feelings (grief, adoration, fear) into several poems and sonnets. During an illness, he has a vision about mortality, himself, and his beloved Beatrice ("One day, inevitably, even your most gracious Beatrice must die"). Beatrice died at the age of twenty-four, and Dante committed himself to the memory of his muse.

It would be a hard task to find another book overflowing with such incredible love and passion as "La Vita Nuova"; it's probably the most romantic book I have ever seen. Dante's feelings might seem creepy or stalkerish by modern standards, because Dante and Beatrice were never romantically involved. In fact, both of them married other people. But at the time, courtly love was considered the best, purest kind there is, and Dante's emotions are a perfect example of this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark P on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
was a nice book about his love and fills in the blanks on why she was so important to him...and later referenced in The Comedy
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