Inferno: A New Verse Translation

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9780679442806: Inferno: A New Verse Translation
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"As poetry, Mr. Zappulla's English Dante is successful--. The power of Dante's descriptive poetry should be apparent, and that is perhaps the highest compliment one can pay a translator."--Washington Times

In this new rendition of a timeless classic, Italian scholar Elio Zappulla captures the majesty and enduring power of the Inferno, the first of the three canticles of Dante's The Divine Comedy, unarguably one of the masterpieces of world literature. Rendering Dante's terza rima into lyrical blank verse, Zappulla's translation makes accessible to the modern reader the journey of the famed Florentine poet Dante through the nine circles of hell. With Virgil at his side, the great poet descends through horrific landscapes of the damned--dark forests, boiling muck, and burning plains filled with unspeakable punishment, lamentation, and terror--depicted with gruesome detail unmatched in all literature. Richly annotated, this translation takes even the first-time reader on a truth-seeking journey whose imaginative and psychological discoveries make clear why this work persists at the heart of Western culture.

"If Dante's Inferno is a cautionary tale of the history of human depravity, it is also an amazingly complex narrative, treating timeless ethical themes, medieval philosophy and religion, tendentious political issues and deeply personal events."--San Diego Union-Tribune
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From the Back Cover:

“Professor Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Inferno is the best one I have seen, for two reasons. His decision to use unrhymed blank verse allows him to come nearly as close to the meaning of the original as any prose reading could do, and allows him also to avoid the harrowing sacrifices that the demand for rhyme imposes on any translator. And his endnotes and other apparatus provoke answers to almost any question that could arise about the work.”
- A. Kent Hieatt, Professor Emeritus, Yale University

"Esolen’s brilliant translation captures the power and the spirit of a poem that does not easily give up its secrets. The notes and appendixes provide exactly the kind of help that most readers will need."
- Robert Royal, President, Faith and Reason Institute, author of Dante Alighieri: Divine Comedy, Divine Spirituality

“Dante’s conversations with his mentor Virgil and the doomed shades are by turns assertive and abashed, irritated and pitying and inquisitive, and Anthony Esolen’s new translation renders them so sensitively that they seem to take place in the same room with us. It follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. This Inferno gives us Dante’s vivid drama and his verbal inventiveness. It is living writing.”
- James Richardson, Princeton University
From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:

Elio Zappullo lives in Stony Brook, New York.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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