Poetry. Translated from the Italian by Emanuel di Pasquale and Bruno Alemanni. THE NEW LIFE was Dante's first book. It was written between the years 1293 and 1295 in the spoken language, not in Latin, before Italy had a national literature. Dante took the poems he had written in youth of his love for a lady named Beatrice and put them in order, then introduced each one in prose and described the circumstances of its composition. After citing the poem, he then explained its structure. In this way he produced simultaneously an autobiography of youth, a treatise on poetry and a meditation on love. This charming and seemingly simple little book, together with his last and monumental work, The Divine Comedy, laid the foundation for Italian literature, the English novel and realism in Western literature.
The present translation is in modern English and intended for American readers. It aims at maximum clarity and readability without sacrificing the particularities of Dante's style. References in the work to medieval conceptions of the human body and the celestial spheres are explained in footnotes, but the identification of people, places and events that Dante did not himself identify are reserved for a translator's afterword so as not to spoil the author's design. Dante's refined system of literary epithets and personifications is likewise preserved.
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Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is a classic of world literature. He is the author of La commedia, known as The Divine Comedy (1300-21). Other works include include the philosophical treatise Il convivio / The Banquet (1306-08); De monarchia (1320-13) / On the Monarchy, expounding his political theories; and De vulgaris eloquentia / Concerning the Vulgar Tongue (1304-06), an original Latin work on Italian, its dialects and its use in literature.
La vita nuovo / The New Life was Dante's first book. It was written between the years 1293 and 1295 in the spoken language, not in Latin, before Italy had a national literature. It, The Banquet and The Divine Comedy, together with the lyrical poetry of his contemporaries, mark the beginning of Italian literature.Review:
Dante's Vita nuova reads like the Book of Genesis, as if written before literature, whilst truth yet existed. --Ralph Waldo Emmerson
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