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The New Life (La Vita Nuova) [Kindle Edition]

Dante Alighieri
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far—far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English–speaking world, are made accessible through a completely fresh editorial approach and new translations. Through these short classic works, which feature forewords by leading contemporary authors, the modern reader will be introduced to the greatest writers of Europe and America. An elegantly designed series of genuine rediscoveries.

About the Author

DANTE ALIGHIERI (1265–1321) was born into a noble family in Florence. He fought as a cavalryman, served in a variety of civic and diplomatic positions, and in 1300 attained a preeminent place in the administration of his native city. Florence was at the time caught in a bitter struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines—as well as between contending factions within those political parties —and in 1301, having been sent on an embassy to the Pope in Rome, Dante learned that his enemies had come to power. He was never to see Florence again, and was later banished from the city and sentenced to death. After years of a wandering and uncertain life, Dante finally settled in Ravenna in 1318. Celebrated as a poet from his youth, when he was among those whose writings in Italian were applauded for their "sweet new style," Dante was also an influential literary and political theorist. His most famous works are The New Life (circa 1293); De vulgari eloquentia (circa 1304–7), a defense of the use of the vernacular in literature; and his epic vision of the afterlife, The Divine Comedy, which he began in 1307 and finished shortly before his death.

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828–82), the son of an exiled Italian scholar and revolutionary, studied painting at the Royal Academy of Arts and was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Though he is best known as a painter, Rossetti was also a poet, and his poems, along with his translations of Dante and François Villon, made a lasting impression on such writers as Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, and Ezra Pound.

Product Details

  • File Size: 219 KB
  • Print Length: 68 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,361 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What has never been written of any other woman March 24, 2003
Genuine romance and passion is missing from most books, either fiction or nonfiction, and I don't think I've ever come across both in such quantity as there is in "La Vita Nuova" (translation: The New Life), the unsung masterpiece of poet Dante Alighieri (who wrote the classic Divina Comedia).
It is a series of poems 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.
I have never in my life read a book overflowing with such incredible love and passion as "La Vita Nuova"; it's probably the most romantic book I have ever seen. It's only a little over a hundred pages long, but it's a truly unique love story. Dante and Beatrice were never romantically involved. In fact, both of them married other people.
But Dante's love for Beatrice shows itself to be more than infatuation or crush, because it never wanes -- in fact, it grows even stronger, including Love manifested as a nobleman in one of Dante's dreams. There is no element of physicality to the passion in "La Vita Nuova"; Dante talks about how beautiful Beatrice is, but that's only a sidenote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good read December 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The New Life is published here in the beautiful translation by the English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an inspired poetic re-creation comparable to Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and a classic in its own right.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mythic love March 1, 2005
The 'Vita Nuova' is more than anything else a prelude to 'The Divine Comedy'. The Beatrice Dante falls in love with and longs for is on the one hand a figure unattainable, the love- goddess of courtly love. On the other hand she is to become the very essence of the spiritual and to guide Dante later through the Paradiso of the Comedy. The real figure and her life who he falls in love with truly is transformed in myth and mind to a kind of image and essence of Divine Beauty.
As with Petrarch and his Laura the love Dante writes of ' La Vita Nuova' does not somehow strike me and move me in the deepest way, and seems somehow too literary and artificial. Lines of love of Rilke and Kafka sound more authentic to me, but perhaps this is because I am a poor reader and no medievalist.
In any case this is a small classic which is prelude to a far greater one. And the real Beatrice is a small figure beside the mythic one Dante will transform into a literary immortal.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Indications of Greatness June 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A beautiful memoir of the infatuation, pining, and mourning over Beatrice--the later heroine of the Divine Comedy who would assign Virgil as a guide to a lost wayfarer. Dante's meticulous attention to the composition of several sonnets sends soft modicum of his later masterpiece.
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