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The Inferno (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 9.31  
Retail Value $ 10.95  
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Item Number 400375  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.06" Width: 5.14" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2003
Publisher   Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN  1593080514  
EAN  9781593080518  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
The Inferno remains literature's most hallowed and graphic vision of Hell. Dante plunges readers into this unforgettable world with a deceptively simple—and now legendary—tercet:

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

With these words, Dante plunges readers into the unforgettable world of the Inferno—one of the most graphic visions of Hell ever created. In this first part of the epic The Divine Comedy, Dante is led by the poet Virgil down into the nine circles of Hell, where he travels through nightmare landscapes of fetid cesspools, viper pits, frozen lakes, and boiling rivers of blood and witnesses sinners being beaten, burned, eaten, defecated upon, and torn to pieces by demons. Along the way he meets the most fascinating characters known to the classical and medieval world—the silver-tongued Ulysses, lustful Francesca da Rimini, the heretical Farinata degli Uberti, and scores of other intriguing and notorious figures.

This edition of the Inferno revives the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation, which first introduced Dante's literary genius to a broad American audience. “Opening the book we stand face to face with the poet,” wrote William Dean Howells of Longfellow's Dante, “and when his voice ceases we may marvel if he has not sung to us in his own Tuscan.” Lyrically graceful and brimming with startlingly vivid images, Dante's Inferno is a perpetually engrossing classic that ranks with the greatest works of Homer and Shakespeare.

Features a map of Hell and illustrations by Gustave Doré.
Peter Bondanella is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at Indiana University and a past president of the American Association for Italian Studies. His publications include a number of translations of Italian classics, books on Italian Renaissance literature and Italian cinema, and a dictionary of Italian literature.

Buy The Inferno (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Peter Bondanella, Gustave Dore & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781593080518 & 1593080514

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More About Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Peter Bondanella, Gustave Dore & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dante Alighieri Durante degli Alighieri, simply referred to as Dante (1265–1321), was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called La Comedia and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.

In Italy he is known as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") or just il Poeta. He, Petrarch and Boccaccio are also known as "the three fountains" or "the three crowns". Dante is also called the "Father of the Italian language".

He entered into Florentine politics in 1295, but he and his party were forced into exile in a hostile political climate in 1301. Taking asylum in Ravenna late in life, Dante completed his Divine Commedia, considered one of the most important works of Western literature, before his death in 1321.

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 and died in 1321.

Dante Alighieri has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Penguin Classics

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Alighieri, Dante   [58  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Nice balance  Jun 26, 2008
Choosing which translation of Dante's Divine Comedy to read is a very subjective and personal question. Any translation involves balancing the meaning, feel, and artistry of the work, normally at the expense of at least one of these qualities. A major consideration is the topic of rhyme. The Divine Comedy has a complex rhyme scheme that suits itself well to the rhyme-rich language of Italian (where, unlike English, many words end in vowels). Translations that attempt to maintain any type of rhyme scheme often sound forced and usually compromise the meaning of the text.

At the other end of the spectrum are straight prose (spoken word) translations. Prose translations are great for communicating the story and it's nuances, however any poetical structure is lost. A third choice is a translation written in blank verse (iambic pentameter). This format allows freedom to communicate the work without rhyme, yet maintains a metrical structure. In addition, it's well suited for English (Shakespeare wrote much of his work in blank verse).

So, which version should you read? I have no vested interested in selling a particular author's work, my recommendations are just my personal opinion. My favorite version is by Mark Musa (written in blank verse). I also enjoy Anthony Esolen's translation (blank verse with some rhyme). They also both have good notes (a necessity). Ultimately, it's great to read a few and decide which version you like best, each has strengths and weaknesses.
A powerful translation of a masterpiece  Jun 24, 2008
There have been several excellent translations of Dante in the past few years, all worth reading in their own right. But I retain a special affection for John Ciardi's version, as it's the first one I ever read, at the unprepared & overwhelmed age of 15. I knew of its reputation as a major classic & I was ignorant enough to be unfazed by the prospect of reading it.

Well, to say that I was soon in over my head is an understatement! But Ciardi's fine, lyrical translation, as well as his extensive but always clear notes, enabled me to go on without drowning. And what a journey it was! At the time, I was simply dazzled by the invention & imagery of the work; now that I'm older, I can appreciate its many psychological & spiritual levels. Both the capstone of the Middle Ages & the gateway to the Renaissance, Dante's masterpiece is a stunning exploration of the religious & political world of its time. A lifetime of knowledge went into its creation, and every intricately woven thread of poetry shines like gold, without ever becoming pedantic.

Whether you accept or reject a literal belief in God & Hell, the poem remains an astonishing revelation of & descent into the human psyche, the heart of darkness. Dante's insight that the damned have ultimately chosen their fate remains psychologically true today ... how many people trapped in the private hells of their own lives have placed themselves there, bemoaning their fate while unable to find the courage or strength to escape it?

But that's merely one level of meaning in this magnificent work. A visionary epic of learning, of faith, of poetry, it becomes deeper & richer with every new reading. If you don't know the original language, the next best thing is to read as many translations as possible -- and I still recommend Ciardi's as one of the best. This is an illumination of Hell that can't dim or fade with the years -- most highly recommended!
One of the Best Translations  May 29, 2008
This is an excellent translation by John Ciardi, a fine poet in his own right. But Ciardi displays admirable grace under fire (pun intended) to let Dante shine through without intruding with his (Ciardi's) own poetic intentions. My favorite translation is actually by Sandow Birk, but this is my second favorite. Brilliant notes are a highlight of this text. Everything is explained, everything!
Mandelbaum for beauty, Hollander for notes, Esolen for arguments  May 28, 2008
On page 167 of his translation of the Inferno, Anthony Esolen gives the following definition: "A comedy is a song written in the humble style wherein the main character begins in grief and trouble and ends in happiness."

Wonderful, isn't it? Who wouldn't wish to be scooped up in such a Commedia?

But this Esolen, though he aims to be helpful, can be both pushy and pious. I had a boyfriend once just like him. This boyfriend used to get me in the car and start playing cassettes of motivational speakers. At certain points, he'd pause the tape and say, "See? See? That's what YOU are doing WRONG."

This is exactly how Esolen uses his commentaries on Dante. Everything Dante says Esolen uses for some heavy-handed moral point he wants to make.

On the other hand, it seems very appropriate to argue over Dante, who was, after all, the world's most artful picker of fights. Not once in the one hundred cantos of his Commedia does he say "Why can't we just get along?"

There's a lot to be said for an argumentative version. So I read Mandelbaum for beauty, Hollander for the notes, and Esolen for arguments.
Sets the bar high for future B&N Classics  Dec 12, 2007
I ended up reading this book twice. The first time, I read straight through the poem and was thoroughly unimpressed. The story, as Longfellow himself says, is "tedious" and self-congratulatory and mostly a platform for attacking his enemies. It isn't really great reading.

So what made me read it a second time? This time, Barnes & Noble seems to have found the right person to write the introduction and put together endnotes and discussion notes. The second time through, I read the poem along with each endnote, and my appreciation of the book was dramatically better.

Without the background as presented in the introduction and endnotes, the story is hobbled from the outset. You simply can't understand the story and what Dante is trying to say without a clear understanding of the history and circumstances in which he wrote it. Who are these people in Hell? Why is Hell shaped the way it is? What is the meaning of each character in Hell? The endnotes answer all these questions, and make the story interesting.

The follow-on discussion notes pose an interesting question. Can a reader read and enjoy The Inferno as a book and story, rather than as "literature"? The answer, based on the story alone is a resounding no. However, this edition by Barnes & Noble Classics turns that right around and proves that with the right supporting material, even a "tedious" book like this can be made enjoyable.

5 stars for the excellent B&N addition, but -1 for the story itself.

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