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Vita Nuova (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'the Vita Nuova calls for a bold translator ... Mark Musa, who has published a well-known translation of the Divine Comedy, is much better qualified than most for the task.' Times LIterary Supplement

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540655
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
La Vita Nuova (c. 1293; The New Life) is the first of two collections of verse that Dante made in his lifetime, the other being the Convivio. Each is a prosimetrum, a work composed of verse and prose. In each case the prose is a device for binding together poems composed over approximately a ten-year period. The Vita Nuova brought together Dante's poetic efforts from before 1283 to about 1292-93; the Convivio, a bulkier and more ambitious work, contains Dante's most important poetic compositions from just prior to 1294 to the time of La Divina Commedia.
The Vita Nuova, which Dante called his libello, or little book, is a remarkable work. It contains 42 brief chapters with commentaries on 25 sonnets, one ballata, and four canzoni; a fifth canzoni is left dramatically interrupted by the death of Beatrice (perhaps Bice Portinari, a woman Dante met and fell in love with in 1274 but who died in 1290). In Beatrice, Dante created one of the most celebrated women in all of literature. In keeping with the changing directions of Dante's thoughts and career, Beatrice underwent enormous changes in his hands--sanctified in the Vita Nuova, demoted in the canzoni (poems) presented again in the Convivio, only to be returned with more profound comprehension in La Divina Commedia as the woman credited with having led Dante away from the "vulgar herd" to Paradise.
The prose commentary provides the frame story, which does not emerge from the poems themselves (it is, of course, conceivable that some were actually written for occasions other than those alleged).
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Format: Paperback
Genuine romance and passion is missing from most books, either fiction or nonfiction. As a result, it's hard to come across both in such quantity as there is in "La Vita Nuova" ("The New Life"), the unsung masterpiece of poet Dante Alighieri, author of the classic Divina Comedia.
"La Vita Nuova" is a series of poems and anecdotes 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.
It would be a hard task to find another 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 brief and only includes one part of Dante's life overall, 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this in my Dante class, where our emphasis was on his Divine Comedy. This book came in handy for understanding Beatrice in Paradiso. If you are planning to read the Divine Comedy, I highly recommend it. From a literature standpoint, I recommend it to those who enjoy poetry and gradual, narrated character development. I would not have chosen this book for pleasure, yet despite it being an assignment, I ultimately enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has read Dante's legendary "Divine Comedy" will know of his passion for a woman named Beatrice, who was his tour guide through heaven.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg, as "La Vita Nuova (The New Life)" shows in detail. This exquisite little book describes Dante's passion for Beatrice, and the emotional rollercoaster he went through as a result. This is Dante's unsung, more intimate masterpiece.

"La Vita Nuova" is a series of poems and anecdotes 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.

It would be a hard task to find another book overflowing with such incredible love and passion as "La Vita Nuova"; it's probably the most romantic book I have ever seen. Dante's feelings might seem a bit odd by modern standards, because Dante and Beatrice were never romantically involved. In fact, both of them married other people. But at the time, courtly love was considered the best, purest kind there is, and Dante's emotions are a perfect example of this.
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