New Life

Front Cover
Hesperus, 2003 - Fiction - 84 pages
0 Reviews
Considered by many to be the masterpiece of Dante’s youth, New Life is one of the finest poetical works and the first example of the modern novel in Italian. Foreword by Louis de Bernières.

At the age of nine, Dante met and fell in love with Beatrice. Although she died very young, she remained his lifelong muse. New Life is Dante’s profound attempt to reconcile the deep anguish he suffered after her loss and to capture something of her eternal beauty, seeing her as the universal figure of woman. Incorporating poems and prose, and distinguished by Dante’s remarkable linguistic style, New Life remains one of the greatest works in the literature of love. Author of the masterpiece The Divine Comedy, Florentine Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is one of the greatest writers of all time.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

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.

Francesco Petrarca was an Italian scholar, poet, and early humanist. J. G. Nichols is a poet, literary critic, and translator.

Louis de Bernières was born on December 8, 1954, in England to a military family. He spent four months in the British army in his late teens. When he was nineteen, he spent a year in Colombia where he wrote a short story about a true incident of violence that occurred there. Fifteen years later, while recuperating from a motorcycle accident, de Bernières used that short story as the basis for the first volume of his Latin American Trilogy, The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord, and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman. In the 1980s, de Bernières worked as an auto mechanic and then as a supply teacher in London. In 1993 he took a holiday on the Greek island of Cephallonia. That became the setting for Captain Correlli's Mandolin, a novel of war, love, and heroism, which remained on the (London) Times bestseller list for four years. It has sold more than 600,000 copies, has been reprinted in paperback more than thirty times, and has been translated into more than seventeen languages.The book also won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book. It was also shortlisted for the 1994 Sunday Express Book of the Year. De Bernières was named one of Granta's 20 Best British Novelists in 1993, and Author of the Year 1998 by England's Publishing News.

Bibliographic information