The Divine Comedy, Volume 1: Inferno (Penguin Classics)

Overview

 
This vigorous translation of Inferno preserves Dante's simple, natural style, and captures the swift movement of the original Italian verse. Mark Musa's blank verse rendition of the poet's journey through the circles of Hell re-creates for the modern reader the rich meanings that Dante's poem had for his contemporaries. Musa's introduction and commentaries on each of the cantos brilliantly illuminate the text.

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Overview

 
This vigorous translation of Inferno preserves Dante's simple, natural style, and captures the swift movement of the original Italian verse. Mark Musa's blank verse rendition of the poet's journey through the circles of Hell re-creates for the modern reader the rich meanings that Dante's poem had for his contemporaries. Musa's introduction and commentaries on each of the cantos brilliantly illuminate the text.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Musa operates on the principle that a translator's first duty is to render the original text as exactly as possible without compromising the literary quality of the work.... [This is] the best English-language version of the Inferno currently available." —Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142437223
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/17/2002
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 90,456
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. Considered Italy's greatest poet, this scion of a Florentine family mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) which is a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. Married to Gemma Donatic, Dante's political activism resulted in his being exiled from Florence to eventually settle in Ravenna. It is believed that The Divine Comedy—comprised of three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso—was written between 1308 and 1320. Dante Alighieri died in 1321.
Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mark Musa's translation was the best...

    I thought Mark Musa's translation of this book was outstanding. Sometimes when I read books that were originally written in different languages, I'm very weary of the translator, but Mark Musa exceeded my expectations. His footnotes and insight into what Dante was really trying to convey (including Musa's paragraph long history lessons of perfect length without taking away from the book as a whole) really made the book worthwhile. Without those footnotes, it would have been completely over my head. I haven't read any other translations of the Divine Comedy in comparison, but I cannot imagine there is a better translation of the text.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2004

    A very readable translation

    I read this translation for the first time two years ago. I had attempted to read the Longfellow translation, but found it much to difficult. This one, on the other hand, was very understandable. A great story, of course, and the notes at the end of EVERY CANTO were incredibly helpful in explaining the historical and cultural references, as well as the abundant symbolism. I loved the book and I've read it at least three times since I first read it. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2002

    This is the book to buy!

    Well, I read this book on my own time (that's right) and had great expectations for it. It was everything I thought it would be and more! Musa has commentaries on EVERY Canto and analyzes lines from the Canto giving YOU a better understanding of this exciting epic. The journey through hell was so exciting, in the sense that you could imagine not only Dante's twisted mind but what he imagined hell to be! The ending is by far the best ending of a book I've EVER READ IN MY LIFE. I suggest you read this if you haven't already! Pick a copy of it up and start reading! You'll like this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2001

    The Best Edition I've Found So Far

    This is the best edition I've found so far. The author did a wonderful job translating the text, but the part I like the best is that they take the time to explain what is going on (for those of us who are not versed in ancient Italian History).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2001

    Welcome to Hell

    I must admit, I came into this epic a little intimidated. However, my fears about reading a 300 page poem faded quickly to the back of my mind as soon as I opend up to Canto I. Instead of laboring through verses, I found myself immersed in the sick and twisted world of Dante's Hell. Never before have I read anything that can compare to Inferno. Dante's use of language to establish a setting as frightening and intricate as this outmatches that of any other literary work (and this is after a translation). On top of all of this, Mark Musa analyzes every Canto, so that the reader can have a better understanding of Dante's masterpiece. Overall, outstanding.

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    Posted April 7, 2011

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    Posted December 22, 2009

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    Posted November 24, 2009

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    Posted September 24, 2010

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    Posted August 11, 2012

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