The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Volume 1: Inferno (Durling Translation)

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This first volume of this new Divine Comedy presents the Italian text of the Inferno and, on facing pages, a new prose translation (the first in twenty-five years). Robert Durling's translation brings a new power and accuracy to the rendering of Dante's extraordinary vision of Hell, with all its terror, pathos, and sardonic humor, and its penetrating analyses of the psychology of sin and the ills that plague society. Martinez and Durling's introduction and notes are designed with the first-time reader of the poem...
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The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Volume 1: Inferno (Durling Translation)

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Overview

This first volume of this new Divine Comedy presents the Italian text of the Inferno and, on facing pages, a new prose translation (the first in twenty-five years). Robert Durling's translation brings a new power and accuracy to the rendering of Dante's extraordinary vision of Hell, with all its terror, pathos, and sardonic humor, and its penetrating analyses of the psychology of sin and the ills that plague society. Martinez and Durling's introduction and notes are designed with the first-time reader of the poem in mind but will be useful to others as well. The concise introduction presents essential biographical and historical background and a discussion of the form of the poem. The notes are more extensive than those in most translations currently available, and they contain much new material. In addition, sixteen short essays explore the autobiographical dimension of the poem, the problematic body analogy, the question of Christ's presence in Hell, and individual cantos that have been the subject of controversy, including those on homosexuality. There is an extensive bibliography, and the four indexes (to foreign words, passages cited, proper names in the notes, and to proper names in the text and translation) will make the volume particularly useful. Robert Turner's illustrations include detailed maps of Italy, clearly labeled diagrams of the cosmos and of the structure of Hell, and line drawings illustrating objects and places mentioned in the poem.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This new edition of Inferno is distinctly user-friendly....Serious students-in or out of the classroom-who...examine the original poem alongside a readable and reliable prose translation will find this edition excellently suited to their needs.'

-The Christian Science Monitor

'A useful volume for students and first-time visitors to Dante's cosmos.'-

Publishers Weekly

'In this new translation, Durling tries to be as concrete as possible, producing a version that is more fluent and accurate than the versions of Mandelbaum and Musa.... Highly recommended.'

-Library Journal

'Like the Inferno edition that preceded it, the Durling-Martinez Purgatorio, with its beautiful translation and superb apparatus of notes, is simply the best edition of Dante's second canticle in English. No other version offers anything close to what we find gathered here in one volume.'

-Robert Harrison, Professor of Italian, Stanford University

"As Durling and Martinez complete their monumental three-volume presentation of Dante's masterpiece, we can sense their triumph and elation, despite their characteristic modesty. This, after all, is the volume with which they can demonstrate the fullness and consistency of Dante's great project, its final approach to what they describe in one footnote as 'a pitch of intensity unique in all literature.' The scholarship, as always, is graceful, comprehensive, and acute, and it surrounds a translation that is so carefully considered and fully realized as to be, at times, quite breathtaking." —David Young, translator of The Poetry of Petrarch

"Durling and Martinez deliver Paradiso in elegant English prose faithful to Dante's Italian. The general introduction and succinct notes to each canto enable an informed reading of a frequently daunting text, while the longer 'Additional Notes,' bibliography, and indices will more than satisfy the most exigent critic. Marvelous, in the richest medieval sense of the term." —Michael Wyatt, author of The Italian Encounter with Tudor England

"At the end of his poem Dante claims that his 'high imagining failed of power,' but Durling and Martinez have suffered no such fate in completing their translation of the Divine Comedy. Their Paradiso is a crowning achievement, a work of lucid prose and of impeccable accuracy. Readers will find themselves rewarded by the succinct, richly informative notes at the end of each canto and the extended essay-notes at the back of the volume. A splendid accomplishment." —Richard Lansing, editor of The Dante Encyclopedia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195087406
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 672
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.37 (h) x 1.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Durling is Professor Emeritus of English and Italian Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ronald L. Martinez is Professor of Italian at Brown University. Their works together include Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio and Time and the Crystal: Studies in Dante's "Rime petrose."
Robert Turner has been a professional illustrator for thirty years.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    Great...But

    This is a great book. The notes at the end of each canto make it very easy to understand the poetry and symbolism of Dante's work. What would really be great is if Durling ever decided to finish the Divine Comedy. It is pretty annoying to read the first part of the Comedy translated by one person then have to go find another translator's edition to finish the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2000

    The best analysis of Inferno I've ever read!

    I have a personal passion for the varrying translations of Inferno, and this is easily the best I have come across. The specific analysis include thematic essays and comparative analysis with Aenid and the Bible, linking each point to primary themes. The hidden autobiography, historical account of italy, and political commentary are touroughly analyzed. This book displays the awesome art of the Inferno

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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