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The Inferno (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 6, 2009
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“It is Mr. Ciardi’s great merit to be one of the first American translators to have…reproduced [The Inferno] successfully in English. A text with the clarity and sobriety of a first-rate prose translation which at the same time suggests in powerful and unmistakable ways the run and rhythm of the great original…A spectacular achievement.”—Archibald MacLeish
“Fresh and sharp…I think [Ciardi’s] version of Dante will be in many respects the best we have seen.”—John Crowe Ransom
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Often a modern English translation cuts out nuances that are in the original. The Longfellow/Neff translation suffers some from this. It is not an oversimplification, but by comparison it leaves out some of the imagery that is found in the other versions. And that brings us back to Ciardi's translation. It's vivid, understandable, and in a poetry style similar to Dante's. At only $3.92 I'd call it a best buy. I started on this journey trying to score with something free, but ended up paying a little bit to get more. It's definitely worth it.
Here are some examples from one percent of the book, Canto IX in the Inferno: "...cannot be surmouated..", "...he generalizesthe questions...", "makes" for "snakes", "I drew dose to the Poet...", "...change him to stonel...", "allegoryl", "...cover the even plainsuchsuch fields..." for "...cover the even plain -- such fields...". It's distracting, and sometimes, as in the last example, it is hard to determine the original meaning.