Dante's Inferno

3.93 avg rating
( 902 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780811842136: Dante's Inferno

A faithful yet totally original contemporary spin on a classic, Dante's Inferno as interpreted by acclaimed artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders is a journey through a Hell that bears an eerie semblance to our own world. Birk, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as one of "realism's edgier, more visionary painters," offers extraordinarily nuanced and vivid illustrations inspired by Gustave Dore's famous engravings. This modern interpretation depicts an infernal landscape infested with mini-malls, fast food restaurants, ATMs, and other urban fixtures, and a text that cleverly incorporates urban slang and references to modern events and people (as Dante did in his own time). Previously published in a deluxe, fine-press edition to wide praise, and accompanied by national exhibitions, this striking paperback edition of Dante's Inferno is a genuinely provocative and insightful adaptation for a new generation of readers.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Sandow Birk is a recipient of both Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships. His work has been exhibited widely and published in several books. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Marcus Sanders is a contributing editor for Surfing and Surfline, and has written for numerous travel and surfing magazines. Born and raised in Canada, he lives in San Francisco.

Review:

Creative people who don't write sometimes enjoy a honeymoon with the press -- right up until they put pen to paper. It happened with Madonna. She used to give interviews saying what an old-fashioned girl she really was at heart, how all she'd really like to do was find a nice writer and settle down. Consequently, she barely ever saw a bad review -- until she made the mistake of writing her first book. Critics promptly saw they'd been kidding themselves all along, and they turned on her.

So when word got around that the visionary California painter and book artist Sandow Birk was not just illustrating but co-writing a new adaptation of Dante's "Divine Comedy," some of us who cherish his work feared the worst. Sure, he could concoct historical canvases, sketches and propaganda posters about a bloody civil war between San Francisco and Los Angeles, as he did with "In Smog and Thunder: Historical Works From the Great War of the Californias." And OK, he could paint majestic landscapes of each of California's 33 state prisons in the luminist style of Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Remington, as he did with "Incarcerated: Visions of California in the 21st Century." Pastiching great painters was one thing. But Dante? In tackling not just fine but literary art for the first time, was Birk cruising for the same bruising Madonna got?

In a word, no. This version of the "Inferno" is God's face in a Groucho mask, a triumphant cathedral that will bring new readers to Dante, new appreciation for Birk's model here -- the great French illustrator Gustave Dore -- and new converts to the growing church of Sandow Birk.

The cover is so infernally beautiful that folks reading in public would do well to keep a tight grip on it. Imagine a panoramic hellscape in ochers and siennas, all set against a sulfurous sunset sky. On the left, half of the Golden Gate Bridge yearns forlornly, cables dangling from its broken span. To the right rises the ziggurat-crowned thrust of Los Angeles City Hall. Down below, so discreet that I never noticed it even in an art gallery last year, where the canvas measured a good 9 feet across, stands the leafless lattice of the World Trade Center's unmistakable stumps. And in the lower right corner, snaking around skyscrapers, oil refineries, palm trees and crow-clad telephone wires, writhes the telltale red and white tracery of nighttime freeways in gridlock. Behold -- literally -- the commute from hell.

For Birk, as for Dante, hell isn't just some posthumous grade you get on your life. It's a porous netherworld that welcomes slumming tourists like Dante and periodically overflows the infernal regions to contaminate the living world. Just look at Birk's panel for Canto III, the moment when the poet Virgil guides Dante through the gates of hell. Birk's Virgil resembles the caped figure familiar from Dore's edition, but here he's leading Dante past an overturned car into a littered, ominous underground garage. Signs beside them read "Do not back up/Severe tire damage" and "More parking lower level," and visible on the horizon is the Hollywood sign. Either hell is in Los Angeles, or Los Angeles is in hell.

Birk has drawn a full-page lithograph like this, plus a small black-and- white frontispiece, for each of Dante's 34 chapters. With the help of journalist and fellow surfer Marcus Sanders, he's also "adapted" Dante's text. They've avoided the word "translate," and it's not hard to see why. Here's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's translation of that moment at hell's portal in Canto III:

"All hope abandon, ye who enter in!"

These words in sombre colour I beheld

Written upon the summit of a gate;

Whence I: 'Their sense is, Master, hard to me!' "

OK, now try Birk and Sanders:

"Abandon all hope upon entering here!

When I saw these bleak words etched in the stone above the gate,

I turned to Virgil and said, 'Hang on, I'm not too sure about this.' "

Obviously, Dante purists are going to tak

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Birk, Sandow
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VH-9780811842136

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Sandow Birk
Published by CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fiercely original modern adaptation - in word and image-of Dante s Inferno. This modern adaptation is for fans of the traditional translations and a new generation alike. Artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders offer a modern interpretation of Dante s Inferno, with a literary adaptation incorporating contemporary urban slang and references to contemporary events and people, and unsettlingly vivid illustrations based on Gustave Dore s well-known engravings. (Dore was a popular French illustrator of the nineteenth century who illustrated over 200 books, some with more than 400 plates, though he is primarily known for his illustrations to The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Milton s Paradise Lost, and Poe s The Raven.) Here, the vision of Hell is full of the familiar scenes of contemporary Los Angeles (with some San Francisco mixed in). The ever watchful police helicopters search the Stygian skies, familiar images of the mythic are assaulted by corporate logos and mass-consumption detritus. The Minotaur guards the shawerma stand of the damned, while Greyon, the Beast of Fraud, is transformed into a pollution-belching SUV. This edition of the Inferno is a mixture of the original poem and a new hellish urban context, lending a uniquely postmodern edge to this classic. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780811842136

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.88
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Sandow Birk
Published by CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fiercely original modern adaptation - in word and image-of Dante s Inferno. This modern adaptation is for fans of the traditional translations and a new generation alike. Artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders offer a modern interpretation of Dante s Inferno, with a literary adaptation incorporating contemporary urban slang and references to contemporary events and people, and unsettlingly vivid illustrations based on Gustave Dore s well-known engravings. (Dore was a popular French illustrator of the nineteenth century who illustrated over 200 books, some with more than 400 plates, though he is primarily known for his illustrations to The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Milton s Paradise Lost, and Poe s The Raven.) Here, the vision of Hell is full of the familiar scenes of contemporary Los Angeles (with some San Francisco mixed in). The ever watchful police helicopters search the Stygian skies, familiar images of the mythic are assaulted by corporate logos and mass-consumption detritus. The Minotaur guards the shawerma stand of the damned, while Greyon, the Beast of Fraud, is transformed into a pollution-belching SUV. This edition of the Inferno is a mixture of the original poem and a new hellish urban context, lending a uniquely postmodern edge to this classic. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780811842136

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 27.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Sandow Birk
Published by CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description CHRONICLE BOOKS, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A fiercely original modern adaptation - in word and image-of Dante s Inferno. This modern adaptation is for fans of the traditional translations and a new generation alike. Artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders offer a modern interpretation of Dante s Inferno, with a literary adaptation incorporating contemporary urban slang and references to contemporary events and people, and unsettlingly vivid illustrations based on Gustave Dore s well-known engravings. (Dore was a popular French illustrator of the nineteenth century who illustrated over 200 books, some with more than 400 plates, though he is primarily known for his illustrations to The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Milton s Paradise Lost, and Poe s The Raven.) Here, the vision of Hell is full of the familiar scenes of contemporary Los Angeles (with some San Francisco mixed in). The ever watchful police helicopters search the Stygian skies, familiar images of the mythic are assaulted by corporate logos and mass-consumption detritus. The Minotaur guards the shawerma stand of the damned, while Greyon, the Beast of Fraud, is transformed into a pollution-belching SUV. This edition of the Inferno is a mixture of the original poem and a new hellish urban context, lending a uniquely postmodern edge to this classic. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780811842136

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 28.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Sandow Birk
Published by Chronicle Books (2003)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books, 2003. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # TV9780811842136

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.51
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Dante, Sandow Birk
Published by Chronicle Books, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Trade Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books, United States, 2003. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Textbooks. Book: NEW, New. Bookseller Inventory # 01978081184213600. Bookseller Inventory # 01978081184213600

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.49
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Marcus Sanders, Doug Harvey, Sandow Birk (Illustrator)
Published by Chronicle Books (2004)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0811842134

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Marcus Sanders; Doug Harvey
Published by Chronicle Books (2004)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Sandow Birk (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0811842134

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 34.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Sanders, Marcus; Harvey, Doug
Published by Chronicle Books
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0811842134 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # XM-0811842134

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 34.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Marcus Sanders/ Doug Harvey
Published by Chronicle Books Llc (2004)
ISBN 10: 0811842134 ISBN 13: 9780811842136
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Chronicle Books Llc, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 218 pages. 11.00x7.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zr0811842134

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 36.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.00
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book