The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

Volume 1: Inferno


Introduction by:
Editor:
Translator:
Commentaries by:

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140448955
  • 560 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Overview

Inferno is the first part of Dante’s epic poem The Divine Comedy, revealing the eternal punishment reserved for such sins as greed, self-deception, political double-dealing and treachery. This Penguin Classics edition is translated and edited with an introduction and notes by Robin Kirkpatrick. Describing Dante’s descent into Hell midway through his life with Virgil as a guide, Inferno depicts a cruel underworld in which desperate figures are condemned to eternal damnation for committing one or more of seven deadly sins. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, Dante encounters doomed souls including the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicide Cleopatra, and his own political enemies, damned for their deceit. Led by leering demons, the poet must ultimately journey with Virgil to the deepest level of all. Portraying a huge diversity of characters culminating in a horrific vision of Satan, the Inferno broke new ground in the vigour of its language and storytelling. It has had a particular influence on Modernist writers and their successors throughout the world. Printed in English with facing pages in Dante’s Italian, this edition offers commentaries and notes on each canto by Robert Kirkpatrick. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), scion of a Florentine family, mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) an exercise in sonnet form constructed as a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. It is believed that The Divine Comedy – comprised of three canticles, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso – was written between 1308 and 1320. If you enjoyed the Inferno you might like Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, also available in Penguin Classics. ‘Kirkpatrick brings to this English Dante both his perfect knowledge of the Italian and an extraordinarily good ear in his own language’ Professor Piero Boitani, University of Rome
The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri, Introduction by: Robin Kirkpatrick, Editor: Robin Kirkpatrick, Translator: Robin Kirkpatrick, Commentaries by: Robin Kirkpatrick

Praise

“Kirkpatrick brings a more nuanced sense of the Italian and a more mediated appreciation of the poem’s construction than nearly all of his competitors. . . . There is much to recommend here-certainly the intelligence, the energy, the linguistic range. . . . His introduction and canto-by-canto notes are remarkably level and lucid, as attentive to structure as to syntax, language and motif, and deftly cross-reference the whole poem. On their own, they would justify the price.”
-The Times (London)

“We gain much from Kirkpatrick’s fidelity to syntax and nuance, and from the fact that the Italian is on the facing page for our inspection. . . . His introduction . . . tells you, very readably indeed, pretty much all you need for a heightened appreciation of the work. . . . Kirkpatrick edges us, smoothly, into Dante’s mind, and shows just how and why his influence has seemed to grow with the passage of time. We even get a map of trecento Italy (nestling against a map of hell). . . . If the Purgatorio and Paradiso are as good as this, then English readers will, I hope, start familiarising themselves with the two-thirds of the work most never get round to reading.”
-Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

“The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism… likely to be the best modern version of Dante.
-Bernard O’Donoghue

“This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation-a deeply informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read.”
-Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

The Divine ComedyHow to Read Dante
Translator’s Note
The Inferno
Introduction
Cantos

The Purgatorio
Introduction
Cantos

The Paradiso
Introduction
Cantos

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