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Inferno

Inferno

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Inferno

valutazioni:
4/5 (2,495 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
218 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 9, 2015
ISBN:
9788899447526
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

L"Inferno" è la prima delle tre cantiche della "Divina Commedia" di Dante Alighieri, corrispondente al primo dei Tre Regni dell'Oltretomba e il primo visitato da Dante nel suo pellegrinaggio ultraterreno, viaggio destinato a portarlo alla Salvezza. Il mondo dei dannati, suddiviso secondo una precisa logica morale derivante dall'Etica Nicomachea di Aristotele, è il luogo della miseria morale in cui versa l'umanità decaduta, privata ormai della Grazia divina capace di illuminare le azioni degli uomini. Le successive cantiche sono il Purgatorio ed il Paradiso.

L'autore

Dante Alighieri, o Alighiero, battezzato Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri e anche noto con il solo nome Dante, della famiglia Alighieri (Firenze, tra il 22 maggio e il 13 giugno 1265 –Ravenna, 14 settembre 1321), è stato un poeta, scrittore e politico italiano. È considerato, al pari di Francesco Petrarca, il padre della lingua italiana; la sua fama è dovuta eminentemente alla paternità della Comedìa, divenuta celebre come Divina Commedia e universalmente considerata la più grande opera scritta in italiano e uno dei più grandi capolavori della letteratura mondiale.
Pubblicato:
Jul 9, 2015
ISBN:
9788899447526
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante, is the penname of Italian poet Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri.

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Anteprima del libro

Inferno - Dante Alighieri

Inferno

CANTO I

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita 

mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,

ché la diritta via era smarrita. 3

Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura

esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte

che nel pensier rinova la paura! 6

Tant’è amara che poco è più morte;

ma per trattar del ben ch’i’ vi trovai,

dirò de l’altre cose ch’i’ v’ho scorte. 9

Io non so ben ridir com’i’ v’intrai,

tant’era pien di sonno a quel punto

che la verace via abbandonai. 12

Ma poi ch’i’ fui al piè d’un colle giunto,

là dove terminava quella valle

che m’avea di paura il cor compunto, 15

guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle

vestite già de’ raggi del pianeta

che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle. 18

Allor fu la paura un poco queta,

che nel lago del cor m’era durata

la notte ch’i’ passai con tanta pieta. 21

E come quei che con lena affannata,

uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,

si volge a l’acqua perigliosa e guata, 24

così l’animo mio ch’ancor fuggiva,

si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo

che non lasciò già mai persona viva. 27

Poi ch’èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,

ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,

sì che ’l piè fermo era sempre ’l più basso. 30

Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l’erta,

una lonza leggiera e presta molto,

che di pel macolato era coverta; 33

e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,

anzi ’mpediva tanto il mio cammino,

ch’i’ fui per ritornar più volte vòlto. 36

Temp’era dal principio del mattino,

e ’l sol montava ’n sù con quelle stelle

ch’eran con lui quando l’amor divino 39

mosse di prima quelle cose belle;

sì ch’a bene sperar m’era cagione

di quella fiera a la gaetta pelle 42

l’ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;

ma non sì che paura non mi desse

la vista che m’apparve d’un leone. 45

Questi parea che contra me venisse

con la test’alta e con rabbiosa fame,

sì che parea che l’aere ne tremesse. 48

Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame

sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,

e molte genti fé già viver grame, 51

questa mi porse tanto di gravezza

con la paura ch’uscia di sua vista,

ch’io perdei la speranza de l’altezza. 54

E qual è quei che volentieri acquista,

e giugne ’l tempo che perder lo face,

che ’n tutti i suoi pensier piange e s’attrista, 57

tal mi fece la bestia sanza pace,

che venendomi ’ncontro a poco a poco

mi ripigneva là dove ’l sol tace. 60

Mentre ch’i’ rovinava in basso loco,

dinanzi agli occhi mi si fu offerto

chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco. 63

Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,

«Miserere di me,» gridai a lui,

«qual che tu sii, od ombra od omo certo!» 66

Rispuosemi: «Non omo, omo già fui,

e li parenti miei furon lombardi,

mantoani per patria ambedui. 69

Nacqui sub Iulio, ancor che fosse tardi,

e vissi a Roma sotto ’l buono Augusto

al tempo de li dei falsi e bugiardi. 72

Poeta fui, e cantai di quel giusto

figliuol d’Anchise che venne di Troia

poi che il superbo Ilïón fu combusto. 75

Ma tu perché ritorni a tanta noia?

perché non sali il dilettoso monte

ch’è principio e cagion di tutta gioia?» 78

«Or se’ tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte

che spandi di parlar sì largo fiume?»,

rispuos’io lui con vergognosa fonte. 81

«O de li altri poeti onore e lume,

vagliami ’l lungo studio e ’l grande onore

che m’ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume. 84

Tu se’ lo mio maestro e ’l mio autore,

tu se’ solo colui da cu’ io tolsi

lo bello stilo che m’ha fatto onore. 87

Vedi la bestia per cu’ io mi volsi;

aiutami da lei, famoso saggio,

ch’ella mi fa tremar le vene e i polsi». 90

«A te convien tenere altro viaggio,»

rispuose, poi che lagrimar mi vide,

«se vuo’ campar d’esto loco selvaggio; 93

ché questa bestia, per la qual tu gride,

non lascia altrui passar per la sua via,

ma tanto lo ’mpedisce che l’uccide; 96

e ha natura sì malvagia e ria,

che mai non empie la bramosa voglia,

e dopo ’l pasto ha più fame che pria. 99

Molti son li animali a cui s’ammoglia,

e più saranno ancora, infin che ’l veltro

verrà, che la farà morir con doglia. 102

Questi non ciberà terra né peltro,

ma sapïenza, amore e virtute,

e sua nazion sarà tra feltro e feltro. 105

Di quella umile Italia fia salute

per cui morì la vergine Cammilla,

Eurìalo e Turno e Niso di ferute. 108

Questi la caccerà per ogne villa,

fin che l’avrà rimessa ne lo ’nferno,

là onde invidia prima dipartilla. 111

Ond’io per lo tuo me’ penso e discerno

che tu mi segui, ed io sarò tua guida,

e trarrotti di qui per loco etterno, 114

ove udirai le disperate strida,

vedrai li antichi spiriti dolenti,

ch’a la seconda morte ciascun grida; 117

e vederai color che son contenti

nel foco, perché speran di venire

quando che sia a le beate genti. 120

A le quai poi se tu vorrai salire,

anima fia a ciò di me più degna:

con lei ti lascerò nel mio partire; 123

ché quello imperador che lassù regna,

perch’i’ fu’ ribellante a la sua legge,

non vuol che ’n sua città per me si vegna. 126

In tutte parti impera e quivi regge;

quivi è la sua città e l’alto seggio;

oh felice colui cu’ ivi elegge!» 129

E io a lui: «Poeta, io ti richeggio

per quello Dio che tu non conoscesti,

a ciò ch’io fugga questo male e peggio, 132

che tu mi meni là dov’or dicesti,

sì ch’io veggia la porta di san Pietro

e color che tu fai cotanto mesti».

Allor si mosse, e io li tenni dietro. 136 

CANTO II

Lo giorno se n’andava, e l’aere bruno

toglieva li animai che sono in terra

da le fatiche loro; e io sol uno 3

m’apparecchiava a sostener la guerra

sì del cammino e sì de la pietate,

che ritrarrà la mente che non erra. 6

O muse, o alto ingegno, or m’aiutate;

o mente che scrivesti ciò ch’io vidi,

qui si parrà la tua nobilitate. 9

Io cominciai: «Poeta che mi guidi,

guarda la mia virtù s’ell’è possente,

prima ch’a l’alto passo tu mi fidi. 12

Tu dici che di Silvio il parente,

corruttibile ancora, ad immortale

secolo andò, e fu sensibilmente. 15

Però, se l’avversario d’ogne male

cortese i fu, pensando l’alto effetto

ch’uscir dovea di lui e ’l chi e ’l quale, 18

non pare indegno ad omo d’intelletto;

ch’e’ fu de l’alma Roma e di suo impero

ne l’empireo ciel per padre eletto: 21

la quale e ’l quale, a voler dir lo vero,

fu stabilita per lo loco santo

u’ siede il successor del maggior Piero. 24

Per quest’andata onde li dai tu vanto,

intese cose che furon cagione

di sua vittoria e del papale ammanto. 27

Andovvi poi lo Vas d’elezione,

per recarne conforto a quella fede

ch’è principio a la via di salvazione. 30

Ma io perché venirvi? o chi ’l concede?

Io non Enea, io non Paulo sono:

me degno a ciò né io né altri ’l crede. 33

Per che, se del venire io m’abbandono,

temo che la venuta non sia folle.

Se’ savio; intendi me’ ch’i’ non ragiono». 36

E qual è quei che disvuol ciò che volle

e per novi pensier cangia proposta,

sì che dal cominciar tutto si tolle, 39

tal mi fec’io ’n quella oscura costa,

perché, pensando, consumai la ’mpresa

che fu nel cominciar cotanto tosta. 42

«S’i’ ho ben la parola tua intesa»,

rispuose del magnanimo quell’ombra;

«l’anima tua è da viltade offesa; 45

la qual molte fiate l’omo ingombra

sì che d’onrata impresa lo rivolve,

come falso veder bestia quand’ombra. 48

Da questa tema acciò che tu ti solve,

dirotti perch’io venni e quel ch’io ’ntesi

nel primo punto che di te mi dolve. 51

Io era tra color che son sospesi,

e donna mi chiamò beata e bella,

tal che di comandare io la richiesi. 54

Lucevan li occhi suoi più che la stella;

e cominciommi a dir soave e piana,

con angelica voce, in sua favella: 57

"O anima cortese mantoana,

di cui la fama ancor nel mondo dura,

e durerà quanto ’l mondo lontana, 60

l’amico mio, e non de la ventura,

ne la diserta piaggia è impedito

sì nel cammin, che volt’è per paura; 63

e temo che non sia già sì smarrito,

ch’io mi sia tardi al soccorso levata,

per quel ch’i’ ho di lui nel cielo udito. 66

Or movi, e con la tua parola ornata

e con ciò c’ha mestieri al suo campare

l’aiuta, sì ch’i’ ne sia consolata. 69

I’ son Beatrice che ti faccio andare;

vegno del loco ove tornar disio;

amor mi mosse, che mi fa parlare. 72

Quando sarò dinanzi al segnor mio,

di te mi loderò sovente a lui".

Tacette allora, e poi comincia’ io: 75

"O donna di virtù, sola per cui

l’umana spezie eccede ogne contento

di quel ciel c’ha minor li cerchi sui, 78

tanto m’aggrada il tuo comandamento,

che l’ubidir, se già fosse, m’è tardi;

più non t’è uo' ch'aprirmi il tuo talento. 81

Ma dimmi la cagion che non ti guardi

de lo scender qua giuso in questo centro

de l’ampio loco ove tornar tu ardi". 84

"Da che tu vuo’ saver cotanto a dentro,

dirotti brievemente", mi rispuose,

"perch’io non temo di venir qua entro. 87

Temer si dee di sole quelle cose

c’hanno potenza di fare altrui male;

de l’altre no, ché non son paurose. 90

I’ son fatta da Dio, sua mercé, tale,

che la vostra miseria non mi tange,

né fiamma d’esto incendio non m’assale. 93

Donna è gentil nel ciel che si compiange

di questo ’mpedimento ov’io ti mando,

sì che duro giudicio là sù frange. 96

Questa chiese Lucia in suo dimando

e disse: - Or ha bisogno il tuo fedele

di te, e io a te lo raccomando -. 99

Lucia, nimica di ciascun crudele,

si mosse, e venne al loco

Hai raggiunto la fine di questa anteprima. Registrati per continuare a leggere!
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Dante's journey through Hell ranks in my top 5 favorite books. I especially like this translation, as it keeps the language modern enough to be readable, but is still beautiful. Also, there are plenty of foot and end notes to explain middle age-phrases and historical references many people may not be familiar with.
  • (4/5)
    A handsome book, but a clunky and awkward translation.
  • (4/5)
    The first time I read this was in high school. At the time, it was a 2½ star book...nothing special, the teacher didn't do as much with it as she might have done, I got through it and moved on.The second time I read this was in college in a course I was auditing (therefore, no grade pressure) from a professor who not only was a well-known authority but...more important...lived, breathed, ate and slept Dante. It made a world of difference. The book becomes much more alive if you understand the political situation of the day, the personal relationships in Dante's life, the references to other things going on in the world at that time.I recommend reading this to anyone with any interest. However, if you can't do it under the tutelage of someone who knows this stuff, I would recommend a well-annotated edition.
  • (5/5)
    This is an amazing achievement. I spent so much time and energy researching this book during undergrad. So many hidden meanings, so many codes and metaphors. This translation is superior to anything else I've seen and is well bound. Its nice to have Italian right next to the English. The notes are excellent, not the penguin edition is bad, its you can tell that the Hollanders have done their homework with a passion. I can't wait to read again, but first I think some more thorough reading on the popes first.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent prose translation. The essays at the end of each canto are worth the price of the book,
  • (5/5)
    This past spring I took a class on Dante in which we read the entirety of The Commedia. After taking some time to think through and digest this massive poem, I think I am finally ready to write my review.At the opening of the poem, Dante awakes to find himself lost in a dark wood. Unable to leave the valley, he is greeted by the shade of Virgil, who tells him that he has been sent by Mary and Dante's dearly departed Beatrice to guide Dante through Hell, Purgatory, and eventually to the highest parts of Heaven. Although Dante is initially reluctant to go, he eventually follows Virgil down into the mouth of Hell. While the idea of reading such a long old poem seems daunting, the language and imagery that Dante uses makes it as compelling and fresh as if it were written yesterday. It is, first and foremost, a journey, and the sights the pilgrim sees on his journey to the bottom of Hell are described in vivid and sometimes gross detail. Hell is a very physical place, full of bodies and bodily functions, and Dante doe snot skimp on the imagery. But as often as his language is crude, it is at times stunningly beautiful. There were similes that absolutely stopped me in my tracks with their perfection and beauty. If you want to read the Inferno for the first time, read it like a novel. Jump in, enjoy the story, gawk at the imagery, and stop to relish the beautiful passages.Just as Dante the pilgrim takes Virgil as his guide through Hell, Dante the poet uses Virgil as a poetic guide in his attempt to write an epic that encompasses religion, politics, history, and the human experience. In each circle, Dante meets a new group of sinners who are in Hell for different reasons. The first thing to note about the damned is that they seem to be mostly from Florence. Seriously, sometimes I think Dante wrote this just so he could shove everyone he didn't like into the fiery pit. But in all seriousness, Dante's goal wasn't just to describe the afterlife, he was also trying to describe life on earth. By putting people from Florence in Hell or Heaven, Dante was commenting on what was happening in Italy at the time. Most important for Dante was the corruption he saw in the church, so there are entire cantos of the Inferno devoted to religious leaders, especially Popes, and especially Boniface, who was Pope at the time Dante was writing.The other thing to note about the damned is how relatable they are, at least in the beginning. When you meet Paolo and Francesca in Canto V and listen to Francesca's story, you can't help but be drawn in and pity her. Dante the pilgrim pitied her too, and swoons (again, seriously, he spends like the first 10 cantos swooning left and right) due to his empathy for them. Again and again the pilgrim pities the damned, but as the canticle goes on this happens less and less. By the end of the canticle he has stopped pitying the shades at all, and instead feels that their damnation is deserved. Why did Dante the poet make the pilgrim transforming such a way? Just as the description of Hell also serves as a description of Earth and of the nature of the human soul, the pilgrim's journey through the afterlife mirrors the soul's journey from the dark wood of sin and error to enlightenment and salvation. Dante is at first taken in by the sinners because he is not wise enough to see through their excuses. He is too much like them to do anything other than pity them. As he goes through Hell, he learns more and shakes off the darkness of the wood, so that by the time he gets to the bottom he no longer pities the damned. Still, even in the lowest circles, the shades are all deeply human, and their stories of how they ended up in Hell are incredibly compelling.Dante the poet shows again and again how similar the pilgrim and the damned really are. He constantly explores sins that he could have committed or paths that he could have taken, exposing his own weaknesses and confronting what would have been his fate if Beatrice and Mary had not sent Virgil to save him. I think it speaks to his bravery as a poet that he insisted on exposing not just the weaknesses in society, but also the weaknesses in his own character.Dante the poet is also brave, I think, for tackling some very serious theological, political, and psychological issues. When Dante the pilgrim walks through the gate of Hell, the inscription on the gate says that the gate and Hell itself were made by "the primal love" of God. Here, Dante tackles one of the greatest theological questions; how can a just and loving God permit something as awful as Hell? While the real answer doesn't come until the Paradiso, Dante was brave to put that question in such stark and paradoxical terms. Dante's constant indictments of the political and religious leaders of his day show bravery, intelligence, and a good degree of anger on his part. Before writing the Inferno, Dante had been exiled from his home city of Florence for being on the wrong side of a political scuffle. He was never able to return home, and his anger at the partisanship that caused his exile mixed with his longing for his home make the political themes of the poem emotionally charged and interesting to the reader, even now.Lastly, Dante shows both bravery and a great deal of literary skill in his treatment of Virgil. Virgil is Dante's guide through Hell and, later, Purgatory. He leads Dante every step of the way, teaching him like a father would, protecting him from daemons and even carrying him on his back at one point. It is clear that Dante admires Virgil, and in some ways the poem is like a love song to him. Virgil, living before Christ, was obviously not Christian, so Dante's choice of Virgil as a guide through the Christian afterlife is really quite extraordinary. It shows that wisdom can be attained from the ancient world, and that the light of human reason, which Virgil represents, is necessary for the attainment of enlightenment and salvation. Dante believed strongly that reason and faith were not opposites, but partners, and his choice of Virgil as a guide is a perfect illustration of that principle.But, despite Dante's love of Virgil, Virgil is, to me, one of the most tragic characters in literature. Virgil, as a pagan, cannot go to Heaven. He resides in Limbo, the first circle of Hell, home of the virtuous pagans. There, he and the other shades (including Homer, Plato, and others) receive no punishment except for their constant yearning for Heaven and the knowledge that they will never see the light of God. Virgil, at the request of Mary and Beatrice, leads Dante toward a salvation that he can never have. Human reason can only lead a soul so far; to understand the mysteries of Heaven one has to rely on faith and theology. Virgil's fate is the great tragedy of this otherwise comic poem, and the knowledge of that fate haunts the first two canticles. And while it makes sense thematically and in terms of the plot, Dante makes you love Virgil so much that his departure in the Purgatorio never really feels fair. I still miss him.The Inferno is a long and complex poem, filled with vivid imagery, vast psychological depth, scathing social commentary, and deep theological questions. It is also a journey, a real adventure in a way, and a pleasure to read. Though the real fulfillment of Dante's themes does not come until the Paradiso, the Inferno is well worth reading on its own. Even if you don't go on to read the other two canticles, reading The Inferno is time well spent.
  • (4/5)
    Obviously an amazing work. I just got bogged down in the middle, and it took me forever to finish. I think I would have gotten far more out of it in the context of a class that dealt with the many layers of references, or if I had simply taken more time to read the notes...but as it was, I just didn't really commit to it on a level that could remotely do it justice. I still look forward to reading Purgatorio and Paradiso, though.
  • (2/5)
    Almost totally pointless to read without an extensive grounding in 13th century Italian political history. I'm not surprised that Dante took the narrative of exploring hell as an opportunity to portray the supposedly deserved suffering of various recent historical figures he hated but I was not prepared for the extent to which he single-mindedly devoted the Inferno to this purpose and nothing else, just one long catalog of medieval Italians I'd never heard of and what a just God would posthumously wreak on them. Also Simon told me there's a cute fan-fictioney current to the relationship with Virgil, and I thought he was exaggerating but no, it's definitely there - there's one point where Dante talks about how one of his slams on these dead Italian assholes was so on target that Virgil decided to show how happy he was with it by carrying Dante around in his big strong poet arms for a while. Anyway this is cute and gay but it's not enough to carry my interest through the book.
  • (3/5)
    I read the Ciardi translation in college, and this had a similar feel. It read a little more like prose than poetry--it's unrhymed, though it still has a nice rhythm. Really drags when you get closer to the end, though.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic, even though the Sayers translation may give up too much in the battle to stick to the terza rima scheme. It's not a fatal flaw by any means, but the tendency is particularly noticeable in some of the classic lines: "I could never have believed death had undone so many" becomes "It never would have entered my head / There were so many men whom death had slain" in order to cram the square English into the round Italian.
  • (4/5)
    This particular translation is interesting because it attempts to retain Dante's original three line rhyming scheme.
  • (5/5)
    gotta love dante...he made a synthetic world in what 1200 or so? there are maps of the inferno, even, but not in this edition. the inferno is the midlife crisis to end all midlife crises, although no red sportscars were involved.
  • (5/5)
    The Inferno is a classic among classics. Dante's vision, along with Milton's "Paradise Lost", form the very basis for society's concept of HELL. A must read for any literary buff.
  • (4/5)
    A nicely done translation, but at times I sensed the author tried to impose his voice over Dante's, and while he is good, he is no Dante. I still prefer Wordsworth.
  • (5/5)
    My favorite of all classics. This is a story of loss and retribution, temptation and horror. The imagery is amazing and the voice is strong and full of passion.
  • (5/5)
    I had a collected copy of The Divine Comedy which I gave up for these three volumes. Inferno was excellent. I felt that it lived up to the translation that I read, and surpassed it in some ways. With the addition of contemporary pop-culture references throughout, we have a Hell in a very faithful to the original work. I definitely recommend these books to anyone who’s interested in The Divine Comedy.
  • (4/5)
    This was my favourite thing I've read for school this semester. Vivid and fascinating.
  • (5/5)
    Dante's journey through Hell ranks in my top 5 favorite books. I especially like this translation, as it keeps the language modern enough to be readable, but is still beautiful. Also, there are plenty of foot and end notes to explain middle age-phrases and historical references many people may not be familiar with.
  • (3/5)
    Ever since the eleventh grade class I worked with at Camphill Special School studied this I felt like I should read it. I'd gotten a fair way through it but kept picking up other more immediately interesting things (see the rest of this list!). But now I've finally finished it. And may I say that I hadn't quite realized how much of this was Dante's commentary on the political situation? Which I suppose was much more relevant to when the book was written. I suppose I should find a copy of The Purgatory next.
  • (5/5)
    More a commentary on 14th century Italy than anything else, "The Divine Comedy" details three spheres of the afterlife, and the first volume of Dante's "Divine Comedy" is the decent into the Inferno. In understanding the works of Dante one must understand the man himself. A devout Catholic, he wrote the work as a commentary on the political, economic and social happenings of his city. He strongly believed that his own city was on its own decent into darkness. The Inferno gave Dante a chance to punish his enemies, etc, for eternity in one of the most graphic depictions of Hell. Composed of 34 Cantos, the Inferno takes us through the nine rings of Hell. Dante, along with his idol and guide Virgil, make the decent into Hell ring by ring. From the lustful, the wrathful, the violent, to the betrayers, the reader is given a detailed look at the idea of "punishment fitting the crime". Indeed the genius of Dante is not just in the poetry or the detail in the description, but his construction of the entire idea itself; his anti-trinity found in the devil and among others the parabola nature of his travel through hell. It is an important work in understanding the history of Hell's development, but to learn about Dante's world, his views, and his biases. This particular edition allows the reader to view not only the English translation but the original Italian. Robert Durling also provides extensive notes on each Canto which can illuminate the reader on the deeper meaning and hidden contexts in the work. All in all it is one of the classics of literature and will continue to be a captivating work about man's greatest question. What happens to us when we die?
  • (5/5)
    Dante's Divine Comedy is a strange puzzle to sort out. I feel it was written for highly personal reasons. One that is evident is his love of Virgil and the Homeric Greek epics. He also crafted this poem as a cathartic release, as a means to slander his enemies. And man, if the measure of a man is his enemies (choose them carefully) then Dante is quite the fellow. Don’t read Divine Comedy as poetry, get the whole picture as it is more fascinating than fiction.That's what makes this edition so handy, you're tempted to read it as epic poem but this edition offers all the contextual clues you need from reliable experts.I need to read this one again, damn...
  • (4/5)
    i had trouble with this one. i did not know who many of people Dante wrote about seeing on his journey, and if it were not for the notes in the back i would not have understood much at all. if you really want to experience this book as it was meant be, be prepared to do some research.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent (rhyming) translation of Dante's epic by Dorothy L. Sayers. Very easy to read. The commentaries between cantos (by Sayers and heavily influenced by Charles Williams) are of great value for understanding both the social setting of the work and the deep philosophical and mythological imagery.
  • (2/5)
    This translation replaced names- so many names! Added modern phrases.

    I appreciate that I may not have been able to real the original(or earlier translation) so easily (well, I'm not sure, but this is the only translation I've read) but I could not accept the replacement of the names. South Park's Cartman? Please. I prefer purer translations. The the addition of modern phrases and names stuck out like a sore thumb. I would be reading easily, then get so thrown off that I had to stop.

    Now, I've read this, and I don't know how much of it was from the original, and how much the translator replaced. Now I feel like I have to re-read it, with a different translation.

    It wasn't written in 2013, so don't translate it like it was. Please.

    What was intact, the messages and the stories, all that makes this a classic, earns my four stars. Since I'm rating this particular translation, however, I'm giving it two. If I find out later that earlier translations are written in a way that I can easily read, then I'll come back and only give it one star.

  • (3/5)
    I kinda didn't love this as much as I wanted to. The fault might be Pinsky's; he uses a lot of enjambment, which makes the poem a more graceful, flowing thing than Dante's apparently was. It might also be Dante's fault; there are a ton of allusions to contemporary politics, none of which I got at all, so I did a lot of flipping to the end notes. And, y'know, it's a little...religious. I know, who woulda thought?

    I liked it okay, I guess, but I've been reading a ton of epic poetry over the last year, and this hasn't been one of my favorites.
  • (4/5)
    Peter Thornton's verse translation of the first book of the Divine Commedy, The Inferno, is certainly readable. To the extent that that was an (the?) intention it succeeds. I think for a general reader who just wants to know why The Inferno has remained influential this will serve them well. There are plenty of contextualizing notes, a must for just about any translation, which will make understanding why certain people are where they are comprehensible to a contemporary reader.For study purposes I have my doubts but I have my own favorite translations so am doing more of a comparison than simply an isolated assessment. First, my preferred verse translation is still Ciardi's version (plus, if for study purposes, he translated all of the Comedy not just one book so you don't have to change translations when you leave the Inferno). Part of my favoritism here is likely because it was the third version I had read and the first with a professor who made it come alive for me, so I do want to acknowledge that. Part of it for me is how the translators try to solve the issue of form. Some compromise is necessary to make an English translation and I am not sure there is a right vs a wrong way, they will all fall well short of Dante in Italian. I just think that wrestling with a form closer to Dante's helps students to slow down and do a better close reading while making it too easy to read turns Dante's work into simply a story that can be read quickly and easily. Again, this is personal opinion and preference. The necessary notes will keep the work from being read like a contemporary novel and could, with the right effort from an instructor, keep the reading close. I just have a hard time imagining The Inferno as an easy read and hope not to see this type of translation of Purgatorio or Paradiso since those should be more difficult to grasp in keeping with Dante's apparent intentions.I would certainly recommend this to general readers who just want to read it and maybe for high school classes that want to get through it with just a few areas of closer reading. I would also recommend instructors look at it and decide if this translation would serve their purposes for what they hope to achieve in their courses. It is a good translation even though I would personally choose not to use it.Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via Edelweiss.
  • (4/5)
    I read the Longfellow translation and despite a huge lack of historical knowledge about Dante's contemporary Florence I really enjoyed Inferno.

    The imaginative punishments are gruesome enough to capture your attention and the whole poem is successful in painting quite a visual image of Dante's incarnation of hell.

  • (3/5)
    Gave me nightmares.
  • (4/5)
    Amazing and bizarre. To have lived in a time awhen the fires and ice of hell were as real as the sun rising each day. The horrors of The Inferno were certainly cautionary, but not exactly in keeping with what modernity would deem the correct weight of sins. On to Purgatorio.
  • (5/5)
    If you haven't walked through Hell with Dante, I highly recommend you do so immediately. It's quite nice.