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The Inferno (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 6, 2009
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Original Language: Italian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
- A. Kent Hieatt, Professor Emeritus, Yale University
"Esolen’s brilliant translation captures the power and the spirit of a poem that does not easily give up its secrets. The notes and appendixes provide exactly the kind of help that most readers will need."
- Robert Royal, President, Faith and Reason Institute, author of Dante Alighieri: Divine Comedy, Divine Spirituality
“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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This edition includes a plot summary before each canto, and footnotes telling you which dead Florentine did what after each canto. For the first-time reader, these are truly helpful -- indeed, essential.
Unlike most translators who completely abandon the idea of making Dante rhyme in English, Ciardi preserves a partial rhyme scheme. The first and third lines of each tercet rhyme, while the middle rhyme is dropped. While Ciardi's translation is reasonably faithful to the original, he had to take minor liberties with the text to make it rhyme. The excellent Musa and Hollander translations are more literal and straightforward, and the Hollander version comes in a handy bilingual edition if you want to try your hand at reading Dante's incredible Italian. Still, the best poetic translation of the Inferno in English remains Ciardi's.
(Note: this review is for the book "The Inferno" translated by John Ciardi and published by Signet Classics in 2001.)
This is book one containing part one (or "canticle" one) of poet Dante Alighieri's (1265 to 1321) three part "The Divine Comedy." This book describes Hell and the eternal suffering of the damned. This poem is comprised of 34 episodes (or "cantos").
Dante at the beginning of the poem explains why he has begun this journey:
"Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood."
Thus because Dante's life journey has led him "astray from the straight road" (that is, from the straight and narrow), he now finds himself "in a dark wood" (that is, in Hell). Thus the journey through the nooks and crannies of Hell begins. Dante takes this incredible journey with his master and guide, Virgel. Along the way the reader along with the travelers encounters such things as mythical creatures and people, legends, people of Dante's time, biblical people and references, and human victims.
Hell, according to Dante, has 4 complex parts:
(1) The Gate of Hell
(2) The first 7 stone ledges or "circles"
(3) The eighth circle which consists of ditches
(4) The nineth circle with Satan at its center
At the end of this long trek through Hell, Dante says, "My Guide and I crossed over and began / to mount that little known and lightless road / to ascend into the shining world again."
From here, they acsend "The Mount of Purgatory" (which is the subject of Book 2 containing Part 2 called "The Purgatorio").
There is a historical introduction by Archibald MacAllister of Princeton.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dante's world is widely known and now a well-recognized part of our heritage. This purchase was for the education of yet another generation of young readers, whose own world... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Texas Mom
The 2009 Lombardo translation of the Inferno is in readable modern English. It contains, among much else, a 32-page introduction, 96 pages of very informative notes, a full... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Israel Drazin
Excellent translation, and the parallel text is a joy to read. I also greatly appreciate the additional sources in the Appendix, which added to my appreciation of Dante's work.Published 1 month ago by JustRob
this is a interesting book , very well written , on death and waiting at the gates of Hell . to see what tear you are going to go to , not good for the dying or one close to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennifer L. Forbes
I am glad to have received this book I'm very excited about the class I will be taking that required this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Shavon Barnett