The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation, Bilingual Edition

The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation, Bilingual Edition

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by Dante, Michael Mazur
     
 

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The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation, Bilingual Edition

This widely praised version of Dante's masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant

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Overview

The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation, Bilingual Edition

This widely praised version of Dante's masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve Dante's terza rima form without distorting the flow of English idiom. The result is a clear and vigorous translation that is also unique, student-friendly, and faithful to the original: "A brilliant success," as Bernard Knox wrote in The New York Review of Books.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though transforming Dante's terza rima into readable English has bogged down many a distinguished translator, Pinsky (The Want Bone) more than meets the challenge. His rendering has an efficient feel; the lines seem slimmer and less unwieldy than most contemporary verse translations. Each one of the cantos features a good number of stanzas dominated by monosyllables-his answer, along with intriguing patterns of assonance, to approximating the splendor of Dante's profusion of rhymes, which are impossible to replicate in English. The coherent narration of the translation is also welcome, as it keeps a harness on the sometimes meandering diction of the original. Pinsky's voice is nearly irresistible when rounding out the grotesqueries of Dante's Hell: his versions of the ninth and final circle bring the bizarre terror of the fiery pit to life. Plainspoken yet elegant, this Inferno sustains a tactile succession of images over 34 cantos, and lends itself to being read aloud. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Library Journal
Since Charles Rogers published the first complete translation of the Inferno in 1782, nearly 80 versions of Dante's masterpiece have appeared in English. Poet Pinsky (English, Boston Coll.) offers another. This book includes the Italian version at the end of the book, notes on textual allusions, a foreword by scholar John Freccero, and illustrations by Michael Mazur. Unlike other modern verse translations, notably those of Dorothy Sayers, John Ciardi, and Allen Mandelbaum, Pinsky's attempts to capture Dante's terza rima, the interlocking rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, etc., which is difficult to sustain in English. A good poet, Pinsky is fluent if less literal than Ciardi and Mandelbaum, flattening Dante's diction. His version is a pleasure to read, but ultimately it does not supersede Ciardi's or Mandelbaum's.-T.L. Cooksey

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466878471
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
08/19/2014
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
192,839
File size:
7 MB

Meet the Author

A former Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University and has also taught at the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante (1265 - 1321), was an Italian poet from Florence. His central work, the Divina Commedia (originally called "Commedia" and later called "Divina" (divine) by Boccaccio hence "Divina Commedia"), is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
A former Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. In addition to his books of poetry and The Inferno of Dante, he has written prose works, including The Life of David and The Sounds of Poetry.
Michael Mazur illustrated The Inferno of Dante from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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