Dante's Inferno: The Indiana Critical Edition

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Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 409 pages
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This new critical edition, including Mark Musa's classic translation, provides students with a clear, readable verse translation accompanied by ten innovative interpretations of Dante's masterpiece.

  

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Dante's Inferno: the Indiana critical edition

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Musa (Italian, Indiana Univ.), who is noted for his translation of Dante's Vita Nuova, adds to the body of contemporary versions of the Inferno. Musa's verse translation is accurate but flattens Dante ... Read full review

Contents

I
ix
II
17
III
19
IV
27
V
34
VI
40
VII
48
VIII
56
XXV
167
XXVI
175
XXVII
182
XXVIII
189
XXIX
196
XXX
203
XXXI
210
XXXII
216

IX
62
X
69
XI
75
XII
82
XIII
89
XIV
95
XV
102
XVI
109
XVII
116
XVIII
122
XIX
128
XX
134
XXI
140
XXII
148
XXIII
155
XXIV
161
XXXIII
223
XXXIV
230
XXXV
236
XXXVI
243
XXXVII
251
XXXVIII
253
XXXIX
266
XL
286
XLI
299
XLII
310
XLIII
325
XLIV
340
XLV
353
XLVI
367
XLVII
381
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About the author (1995)

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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