ISBN-10: 0812970063

ISBN-13: 9780812970067

Edition: 2003

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A groundbreaking bilingual edition of Dante’s masterpiece that includes a substantive Introduction, extensive notes, and appendixes that reproduce Dante’s key sources and influences.
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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/9/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.056

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.

Paul Gustave Dor� (January 6, 1832 to January 23, 1883) was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Dor� worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving. In 1853, Dor� was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron. This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible. A decade later, he illustrated a French edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote, and his depictions of the knight and his squire, Sancho Panza, have become so famous that they have influenced subsequent readers, artists, and stage and film directors' ideas of the physical "look" of the two characters. He continued to illustrate books until his death in Paris following a short illness. The city's P�re Lachaise Cemetery contains his grave.

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, che la diritta via era smarrita.
Ahi quanto a dir qual era � cosa dura4 esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte che nel pensier rinova la paura! Tant' � amara che poco � pi� morte;7 ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai, dir� de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
Io non so ben ridir com' i' v'intrai,10 tant' era pien di sonno a quel punto che la verace via abbandonai.
Ma poi ch'i' fui al pi� d'un colle giunto,13 l� dove terminava quella valle che m'avea di paura il cor compunto, guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle16 vestite gi� de' raggi del pianeta che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
Allor fu la paura un poco queta,19 che nel lago del cor m'era durata la notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
E come quei che con lena affannata,22 uscito fuor del pelago a la riva, si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata, Canto One Lost in a dark wood and threatened by three beasts, Dante is rescued by Virgil, who proposes a journey to the other world.
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wilderness, for I had wandered from the straight and true.
How hard a thing it is to tell about,4 that wilderness so savage, dense, and harsh, even to think of it renews my fear! It is so bitter, death is hardly more-7 but to reveal the good that came to me, I shall relate the other things I saw.
How I had entered, I can't bring to mind,10 I was so full of sleep just at that point when I first left the way of truth behind.
But when I reached the foot of a high hill,13 right where the valley opened to its end- the valley that had pierced my heart with fear- I raised my eyes and saw its shoulders robed16 with the rays of that wandering light of Heaven� that leads all men aright on every road.
That quieted a bit the dread that stirred19 trembling within the waters of my heart all through that night of misery I endured.
And as a man with labored breathing drags22 his legs out of the water and, ashore, fixes his eyes upon the dangerous sea, � that wandering light of Heaven: Italian pianeta, "planet." It is the sun, considered a planet, or wandering light, revolving about the earth.
cos� l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,25 si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo che non lasci� gi� mai persona viva.
Poi ch'�i posato un poco il corpo lasso,28 ripresi via per la piaggia diserta, s� che 'l pi� fermo sempre era 'l pi� basso.
Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,31 una lonza leggera e presta molto, che di pel macolato era coverta; e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,34 anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino, ch'i' fui per ritornar pi� volte v�lto.
Temp' era dal principio del mattino,37 e 'l sol montava 'n s� con quelle stelle ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino mosse di prima quelle cose belle;40 s� ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle l'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;43 ma non s� che paura non mi desse la vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
Questi parea che contra me venisse46 con la test' alta e con rabbiosa fame, s� che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame49 sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza, e molte genti f� gi� viver grame, questa mi porse tanto di gravezza52 con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista, ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
E qual � quei che volontieri acquista,55 e giugne 'l tempo che perder lo face, che 'n tutti suoi pensier piange e s'attrista; tal mi fece la bestia sanza pace,58 che, venendomi 'ncontro, a poco a poco mi ripigneva l� dove 'l sol tace. So too my mind, while still a fugitive,25 turned back to gaze again upon that pass which never let a man escape alive.
When I had given my weary body rest,28 I struck again over the desert slope, ever the firmer foot the one below, And look! just where the steeper rise began,31 a leopard light of foot and quick to lunge, all covered in a pelt of flecks and spots, Who stood before my face and would not leave,34 but did so check me in the path I trod, I often turned to go the way I came.
The hour was morning at the break of dawn;37 the sun was mounting higher with those stars� that shone beside him when the Love Divine In the beginning made their beauty move,40 and so they were a cause of hope for me to get free of that beast of flashy hide- The waking hour and that sweet time of year;43 but hope was not so strong that I could stand bold when a lion stepped before my eyes! This one seemed to be coming straight for me,46 his head held high, his hunger hot with wrath- seemed to strike tremors in the very air! Then a she-wolf, whose scrawniness seemed stuffed49 with all men's cravings, sluggish with desires, who had made many live in wretchedness- So heavily she weighed my spirit down,52 pressing me by the terror of her glance, I lost all hope to gain the mountaintop.
And as a gambler, winning with a will,55 happening on the time when he must lose, turns all his thoughts to weeping and despair, So I by that relentless beast, who came58 against me step by step, and drove me back to where the sun is silent evermore.
those stars: the constellation Aries. It is the springtime of the year, recalling the springtime of the universe; see notes. Mentre ch'i' rovinava in basso loco,61 dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.
Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,64 �Miserere di me”, gridai a lui, �qual che tu sii, od ombra od omo certo!”.
Rispuosemi: �Non omo, omo gi� fui,67 e li parenti miei furon lombardi, mantoani per patr�a ambedui.
Nacqui sub Iulio, ancor che fosse tardi,70 e vissi a Roma sotto 'l buono Augusto nel tempo de li d�i falsi e bugiardi.
Poeta fui, e cantai di quel giusto73 figliuol d'Anchise che venne di Troia, poi che 'l superbo Il��n fu combusto.
Ma tu perch� ritorni a tanta noia?76 perch� non sali il dilettoso monte ch'� principio e cagion di tutta gioia?”.
�Or se' tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte79 che spandi di parlar s� largo fiume?”, rispuos' io lui con vergognosa fronte.
�O de li altri poeti onore e lume,82 vagliami 'l lungo studio e 'l grande amore che m'ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume.
Tu se' lo mio maestro e 'l mio autore,85 tu se' solo colui da cu' io tolsi lo bello stilo che m'ha fatto onore.
Vedi la bestia per cu' io mi volsi;88 aiutami da lei, famoso saggio, ch'ella mi fa tremar le vene e i polsi”.
�A te convien tenere altro v�aggio”,91 rispuose, poi che lagrimar mi vide, �se vuo' campar d'esto loco selvaggio; ch� questa bestia, per la qual tu gride,94 non lascia altrui passar per la sua via, ma tanto lo 'mpedisce che l'uccide; Now while I stumbled to the deepest wood,61 before my eyes appeared the form of one who seemed hoarse, having held his words so long.
And when I saw him in that endless waste,64 "Mercy upon me, mercy!" I cried out, "whatever you are, a shade, or man in truth!" He answered me: "No man; I was a man,67 and both my parents came from Lombardy, and Mantua they called their native land.
In the last days of Julius I was born,70 and lived in Rome under the good Augustus in the time of the false and cheating gods.
I was a poet, and I sang of how73 that just son of Anchises� came from Troy when her proud towers and walls were burnt to dust.
But you, why do you turn back to such pain?76 Why don't you climb that hill that brings delight, the origin and cause of every joy?" "Then are you-are you Virgil? And that spring79 swelling into so rich a stream of verse?" I answered him, my forehead full of shame.
"Honor and light of every poet, may82 my long study avail me, and the love that made me search the volume of your work.
You are my teacher, my authority;85 you alone are the one from whom I took the style whose loveliness has honored me.
See there the beast that makes me turn aside.88 Save me from her, O man renowned and wise! She sets the pulses trembling in my veins!" "It is another journey you must take,"91 replied the poet when he saw me weep, "if you wish to escape this savage place, Because this beast that makes you cry for help94 never lets any pass along her way, but checks his path until she takes his life.
From the Hardcover edition.
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