Inferno A New Verse Translation

ISBN-10: 0679757082
ISBN-13: 9780679757085
Edition: N/A
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Description: "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  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/5/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

"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

Born Dante Alighieri in the spring of 1265 in Florence, Italy, he was known familiarly as Dante. His family was noble, but not wealthy, and Dante received the education accorded to gentlemen, studying poetry, philosophy, and theology. His first major work was Il Vita Nuova, The New Life. This brief collection of 31 poems, held together by a narrative sequence, celebrates the virtue and honor of Beatrice, Dante's ideal of beauty and purity. Beatrice was modeled after Bice di Folco Portinari, a beautiful woman Dante had met when he was nine years old and had worshipped from afar in spite of his own arranged marriage to Gemma Donati. Il Vita Nuova has a secure place in literary history: its vernacular language and mix of poetry with prose were new; and it serves as an introduction to Dante's masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice figures prominently. The Divine Comedy is Dante's vision of the afterlife, broken into a trilogy of the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante is given a guided tour of hell and purgatory by Virgil, the pagan Roman poet whom Dante greatly admired and imitated, and of heaven by Beatrice. The Inferno shows the souls who have been condemned to eternal torment, and included here are not only mythical and historical evil-doers, but Dante's enemies. The Purgatory reveals how souls who are not irreversibly sinful learn to be good through a spiritual purification. And The Paradise depicts further development of the just as they approach God. The Divine Comedy has been influential from Dante's day into modern times. The poem has endured not just because of its beauty and significance, but also because of its richness and piety as well as its occasionally humorous and vulgar treatment of the afterlife. In addition to his writing, Dante was active in politics. In 1302, after two years as a priore, or governor of Florence, he was exiled because of his support for the white guelfi, a moderate political party of which he was a member. After extensive travels, he stayed in Ravenna in 1319, completing The Divine Comedy there, until his death in 1321.

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