Review by Choice Review
This outstanding parallel-text edition of Dante's masterpiece (Purgatorio and Paradiso will appear shortly) jumps straight to the head of a crowded field. Durling (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) and Martinez (Univ. of Minnesota) provide Giorgio Petrocchi's standard text, an accurate and readable English prose translation carefully keyed to the terzine of the Italian original, a concise but thorough introduction to Dante's life and work, and remarkably comprehensive and up-to-date footnotes to individual cantos. Together with the more detailed "Additional Notes," which conclude the volume, this annotative material forms by far the most substantial help currently available to English-speaking readers of Dante. Although, being in prose, the translation itself does not aim to compete with recent versions by practicing poets such as John Ciardi, C.H. Sisson, Allen Mandelbaum, and Robert Pinsky, it is of consistently high quality; and the coverage of this modern edition as a whole should definitely replace not only J.D. Sinclair's fondly remembered but antiquated version (1961) but even the idiosyncratic and generally overrated contribution of Charles S. Singleton (1970-75). Enthusiastically recommended for all general and academic collections. S. Botterill University of California, Berkeley
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A veteran translator of Lucretius and Tasso, Esolen ornaments his dual-language edition with Dor illustrations, some rhyme and blank verse-and the results hold their own among the many underworld competitors: "Midway upon the journey of our life/ I found myself in a dark wilderness,/ for I had wandered from the straight and true." A number of texts crucial to Dante, and some by him, appear in appendices; a fulsome section of notes is also included. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
If a recent spate of new translations is any evidence, Dante remains as popular as ever with the general reading public. Durling's new verse translation of the Inferno joins recent versions by Robert Pinsky (LJ 1/93) and Mark Musa (LJ 3/1/95). While Durling's translation (with Italian on the facing page) does not use Dante's rhyme or line divisions, it captures the metrical rhythm of the original. Similarly, his rendering of Dante's diction is literal and accurate, conveying the tone and feel while remaining accessible. Supplemented with an introduction, useful notes, and appendixes, this version, soon to be joined by Purgatorio and Paradiso, can be recommended to the general reader. In a new reader's guide to the Divine Comedy, Gallagher, a Catholic priest as well as a poet and scholar, presents the Comedy canto by canto in a series of mini-essays that discuss content, themes, characters, major allusions, and religious doctrines, particularly from the perspective of Dante as a Christian. For a more scholarly commentary on Dante's language and sources, one should still consult Charles Singleton's translation (The Divine Comedy, 6 vols., Princeton Univ., 1970-75); nevertheless, Gallagher's thorough, lucid, and accessible guide is a good starting point for the general reader.Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.