- File Size: 1036 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Publisher: Signet (June 1, 2001)
- Publication Date: June 1, 2001
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002CIY8OC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$5.95|
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The Inferno Kindle Edition
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“Fresh and sharp…I think [Ciardi’s] version of Dante will be in many respects the best we have seen.”—John Crowe Ransom
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Acting as both author and narrator, Dante shares with us his vision of the afterlife, as he descends its depths and witnesses the varying degrees of torment that await the incontinent, the violent and the fraudulent. His sinners and the lairs they inhabit are thought-provoking and rich with a symbolism and imagery unrivaled by any other poet until that time. There are unforgettable stories of love, vengeance, betrayal, abuse-of-power, guilt and just about everything one can imagine in an underworld which teems with characters from mythology, history and the Bible. From the tempestuous love affair of Paolo and Francesca in the second circle to the chilling prophecy of Farinata in the sixth to the horrifying story of Count Ugliono in the ninth, the Underworld is vast and complex, and the punishment each sinner endures serves as both physical and mental penance for the wrongs they committed on earth; as they sinned, so do they now suffer and are forever reminded of what brought them there.
Dante begins his journey on Good Friday 1300, when he is at the cross-roads of his life and just emerged from a dark wood "where the straight way was lost." He encounters three beasts: a she-wolf, a lion and a leopard, each representing the different types of sins of the Inferno. His guide is the poet Virgil, who represents reason in its purest form and who has been prompted to help Dante see the wages of sin by his departed Beatrice, who represents love and Christian charity in its purest form. Virgil himself occupies a circle of Hell, a circle occupied only by the most enlightened pagans the world has ever seen. Nevertheless, his seniority over the other wraiths of hell, as well his calmness in the face of all adversity, helps keeps Dante's fear in check, as they make their way through the gut-wrenching circles of hell. Virgil is there to bring order to the chaos, to remind Dante that these sinners have earned their judgment and to yell at any brazen demons, centaurs, giants or otherwise who block their path, ordained by the Divine. Dante is there to learn so that he may be spared the awful fate of the souls he meets.
There is a Clifton Fadiman quote that "when you re-read a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in yourself than there was before." For this reason, I urge anyone who was compelled to read this timeless poem in school to revisit it as an adult. See how much more you appreciate Dante's terza rima, his epic similes, his imagery and his insight into the depths of human fallibility, now that you don't have to study for a quiz on it. And this particular translation, so carefully rendered by John Ciardi, reads so nicely, and his commentary is so exhaustive that you could not get lost if you wanted to. On the other hand, the ambitious reader who likes to unravel the symbolism on his/her own should be warned that this edition contains many spoilers if too much of the commentary is read.
In any case, Dante's work is a triumph of the Medieval world, a classic that will be read and re-read until the end of time!
Top international reviews
Before each canto there is a summary of the events and at the end of each canto there are notes about certain words, themes, people, choices and history to better assist people in understanding the brilliance of the divine comedy.
This is definitly the best copy of The Inferno that I have found so far.
Once again one has to break out Sigil to get a proper quality edition. The translation however is the only decent one in English. The choice of two rimes and not terza rima, which is impossible to do in English without compromises, is obviously right.