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Vita Nova Paperback – April 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Frisardi's superb translation of the Vita nova succeeds wonderfully in arraying a renowned medieval love story in modern attire. . . . A splendid achievement." --Richard H. Lansing, Brandeis University, editor of Dante Studies and The Dante Encyclopedia

"Andrew Frisardi's splendid new edition of Vita nova combines his compelling translation of Dante's original work with a rich and fascinating scholarly commentary, . . . a contemporary version that captures both its beauty and complexity. --Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts and author of Can Poetry Matter?

"I recommend . . . this elegant new verse translation of Dante's Vita nova from Andrew Frisardi . . . not only for the verve and accuracy of the translation but also for the excellent and thorough introduction and notes."--Teodolinda Barolini, Columbia University, author of Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture

"If you who love poetry are looking for a guide into how the greatest of our poets began, this book is for you." --Paul Mariani, Boston College, author of Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life and Deaths and Transfigurations: Poems

"Andrew Frisardi's Vita nova is a monument of gracious, respectful translation and loving scholarship. . . . The richly informative introduction and notes grant entry to this rarefied world of metaphysical eros." --Rosanna Warren,  Boston University, author of Ghost in a Red Hat: Poems and Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry

About the Author

Dante Alighieri is widely considered to be one of the world's greatest poets. He was born in 1265 in Florence. He was well known in his youth as one of the leading lyric poets of Tuscany, a central figure of an avant-garde literary movement in Florence. In 1295 he entered Florentine politics and in the summer of 1300 he became one of the six governing Priors of Florence, the highest political office in city government. In 1302, the political situation forced Dante and his party into exile. He continued to write, producing two unfinished works--the first treatise of literary criticism and the first treatise of philosophy in a European vernacular language--before starting his work on The Divine Comedy. At some point late in life he took asylum in Ravenna where he completed The Divine Comedy and died, much honoured, in 1321. 

Andrew Frisardi is the author of Death of a Dissembler (poems, 2014), The Young Dante and the One Love (essays, 2013), and The Quest for Knowledge in Dante's Convivio (essays, 2015); the translator of various volumes from Italian, including an annotated edition of Dante's Vita Nova (2012); and the editor of Daily Bread: Art and Work in the Reign of Quantity (2015), a collection of essays by Brian Keeble. His awards include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, a Hawthornden Literary Fellowship, and the Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. Originally from Boston, he lives in central Italy. 


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press (April 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810127210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810127210
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donnel D. Jones Jr. on January 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andrew Frisardi's stellar translation and thorough analysis and annotation of one's of Western civilization's most important books, Dante Alighieri's "La Vita Nova," are an indispensable guide to novice and expert alike. It is an exhaustively researched, annotated, and comprehensive translation that will make you fall in love with Dante all over again--or for the first time. You will want to purchase this outstanding book.

Frisardi's La Vita Nova is such a prodigious effort that it is impossible to encapsulate all that it does for the reader. First, Frisardi gives an extensive and scholarly introduction to the work, its importance in Dante's oeuvre, its place in Italian letters before and after, its relationship to the Medieval past and the vanguard position it holds in what will become modern literature, its role in the preparation and gestation of Dante's future magnum opus, the Commedia or The Divine Comedy, and the many themes that inform the work's combination of prose and poetry (or prosimetrum) that comprises La Vita Nova. The introduction is followed by the translation itself, the Italian original, the exhaustive annotations, and a bibliography.

Frisardi's introduction alone is worth reading and re-reading to get a good grip on one of the Western canon's foundational works.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is indescribably good. Even for those who are not inclined towards academic, scholarly work, people who simply love good poetry, this will draw you into a world you didn't imagine existed. You can dip your feet, or I should say heart, in the water, or read the fantastic introduction which itself makes fascinating reading as well as gives the reader insights into the world and language of Dante, a medieval poet who wrote "modern" literature. It is all about love and the struggles it creates, and how a young man turned these into a spiritual journey. And it is written with both poetry and prose, a unique style the author's notes and introduction enhances. There are copious notes for those who want to go deeper. The poetry translations are gorgeous, a fine rendering of a great poet's work. But even more, for me it was the insights into how the Vita Nova was written as a whole and the meaning imbued even in its structure, that made this one of my favorite books.
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