The inferno /

Main Author: Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321.
Other Authors: Ciardi, John, 1916-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Signet Classic, 2001.
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Review by Choice Review

In its notoriously overcrowded field, this excellent work stands out in several ways. Consistently accurate and readable, its fluent iambic pentameters (occasionally rhymed) convey a good sense of the life and movement of Dante's verse; its thorough and substantial footnotes will be more than adequate for the needs of all but the expert reader; it provides useful contextualizing excerpts from several of Dante's most important sources, a unique inclusion; and the translator contributes a provocative and deeply reasoned introduction, which will be helpful in guiding the general reader but will also stimulate scholars. Among verse translations aimed at a wide audience, this ranks with Allen Mandelbaum's classic version (1980) for readability and achieved poetic effect, although other recent versions--e.g., those of Mark Musa (CH, Oct'97), Robert Hollander and Jan Hollander (CH, Jun'01), and (in prose) Martinez and Durling (CH, Oct'96)--have more to offer readers needing extensive scholarly annotation. This seems to be a golden age of new Inferno translations--a half dozen have appeared in the last five years--and Esolen's is a worthy addition to the company. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduate and general 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