Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Inferno: The Longfellow Translation” as Want to Read:
The Inferno: The Longfellow Translation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Inferno: The Longfellow Translation (La Divina Commedia #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  90,356 Ratings  ·  2,935 Reviews
The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

New introductions commissioned from today's t
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published 1304)
More Details... edit details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
    Release date: Nov 16, 2015
    Dante's immortal vision of Hell shines "as it never did before in English verse" (Edward Mendelson) in Clive James's new translation of Inferno.

    The mo

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 17 copies available, 2604 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 29 - Feb 09, 2016

    Countries available: US

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about The Inferno, please sign up.

    Popular Answered Questions

    Edward Richmond Not really.

    I mean, yes, obviously the Comedy as a whole is religious in character. It certainly engages with themes of sin, penance, salvation and…more
    Not really.

    I mean, yes, obviously the Comedy as a whole is religious in character. It certainly engages with themes of sin, penance, salvation and redemption. But that's not all it is, and a lot of the stuff that shows up in it is arguably at odds with the advice Dante the Pilgrim gives his readers. So it's "about" religion and how to live a righteous life, but that's not all it is about.

    The book is supremely political, although all the political figures in it are now historical figures, and some of them are really obscure if you don't already know a lot about late 13th/early 14th century Italian history. Many of the characters in Hell are people Dante personally disliked, or political opponents of his (Dante was a career politician in Florence, and when things went badly for his political party, he was exiled from the city and all his property was seized).

    Others are people he didn't have anything against, but they were famous at the time for assorted sins--consider them the equivalent of Kim Kardashian and her sex tape. Is it a book about medieval Italian politics and pop culture? Sort of, but again, that's not all it is.

    And then there's the whole thing with Beatrice, who was this woman that Dante had a crush on in real life before she died of the pox. Beatrice-the-character is an idealization of the real woman, Bice Donati, who never had any interest in him in real life. But in the poem, she loves him enough to dispatch a guide to take him through hell and into heaven. There's all sorts of emotional baggage at work there, some of it kinda creepy, some of it kinda sad. The Comedy is "about" this relationship, too

    And there's Virgil, who was a real poet that Dante considered the beginning of the same literary tradition that he was writing in. Picking this guy to be Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory makes it a story about being an author, and also a story about literary influence.

    Saying that the book is supposed to instruct the reader about how to lead a righteous life is . . . true, but also missing the point. Really great literature usually is about everything and nothing.

    I mean, really, Dante tells you what it's about in the first lines.

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    che la diritta via era smaritta.

    In the middle of the road of our life, I came back to myself in a dark forest, where the straight way was lost.

    In the story, this is literally true--he starts out lost in a forest, literally and also figuratively. And then the rest of the book is about how he got out of the woods, again literally and also figuratively.(less)
    This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
    filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
    Paquita Maria Sanchez
    I just want to start off by saying that "Through me you enter into the City of Woes" would make an EXCELLENT tramp stamp. Jump on it!

    Being that I am an atheist living in the "Bible Belt," I was certain that reading this would lead to some sort of goodreads tirade, which can at times feel about as good as vomiting up a sour stomach know...doing other stuff like shit that ladies don't do. However, I was from the outset hypnotized by Dante's très Baudelaire-esque-grotesque imagery and over
    The other day, in the comment thread to her review of The Aeneid, Meredith called The Divine Comedy "lame": specifically, she objected to the fact that Dante put all the people he didn't like in Hell. Well, Meredith, you're perfectly welcome to your opinions - but I'm half Italian, and I've been politely informed that if I don't respond in some way I'm likely to wake up some morning and find a horse's head lying next to me. So here goes.

    I actually have two separate defenses. First, let's conside
    Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
    Apr 28, 2011 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    Oct 08, 2013 Nefariousbig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reviewed
    A fantastic representation of Dante's Inferno - Nine Circles of Hell as divined by divine Lego artist, Mahai Marius Mihu. This is as close as I hope to get to understanding the Nine Circles according to Dante Alighieri.

    i. LIMBO - A place of monotony, here the souls are punished to wander in restless existence while they moan helplessly in echoes between the ruins of a temple

    ii. LUST - Surrounded by erotic representations, those overcome by lust are forced to watch and experience disgusting thin
    Glenn Russell
    Nov 25, 2015 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    Dante’s Inferno was the first book I was assigned to read in my high school World Literature class. Back then I couldn’t get over how much the emotion of fear set the tone as I read each page. I recently revisited this classic. Rather than a more conventional review – after all, there really is nothing I can add as a way of critical commentary –- as a tribute to the great poet, I would like to share the below microfiction I wrote a number of years ago:


    One balmy July evening at a seaside
    May 29, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
    This is such an interesting book, though definitely very hard to get through. I think if I was able to read it in Italian it would be a little easier as it would actually be read like Dante intended, but it's still really cool to see all the concepts! This is such an influential piece of literature and is referenced SO MUCH in culture that it is really cool to have a basis for it. I think I may reread this in a different rhyming translation next time to see what th
    Mar 15, 2014 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2014
    Before I start talking about the book proper, I have a confession to make: I wasn't sure I really wanted to read philosophical poetry written seven centuries ago. I had doubts about style, quality of translation and my own lack of literary background in decyphering the numerous Christian and mythological references, not to mention political and cultural trivia from Dante's Florence. Thanks to my Goodreads friends, I took the plunge and I can report back that it was well worth the effort. Even be ...more
    Bill  Kerwin
    Nov 04, 2015 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    An excellent translation--even better than John Ciardi. Like Ciardi, Pinsky is a real poet and makes Dante the poet come alive. His verse has muscularity and force, and his decision to use half-rhyme is an excellent one, since it allows us to attend to the narrative undistracted.
    Jul 30, 2015 Nahed.E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: للدراسة

    عشت مع كلمات دانتي ليلتي أمس .. وتأملته وهو يصف حال الفلاسفة والشعراء الذين نتغني بأعمالهم طوال عمرنا وهم في الجحيم
    فقد كان مأواهم جميعاً في الجحيم
    تخيل أن تجد سقراط وافلاطون وأرسطو وأبيقور وديموقريطس وهوميروس
    واين سينا وابن رشد وكليوباترا وأخيل وكثير من الفلاسفة والشعراء والزعماء الذين تظل تقرأ لهم وعنهم طوال حياتك وقد أصبح مصيرهم جميعاً الجحيم !!
    شئ غريب للغاية أن يتخيل شاعر إيطالي هذا المصير لكل هؤلاء
    والأكثر غرابة أن يصف لنا حالهم وسط الأهواء والرياح والنار والهوة السحيقة المظلمة التي يعيشون
    For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh versus The Divine Comedy

    (All citations from the Inferno are from the Longfellow translation.)

    To You

    Paw in paw we come
    Pooh and the Bouncer
    To lay this review in your lap.
    Give us one of those sultry little smiles
    and say you're surprised!
    Say you can't get over it!
    Say it's just what you've always wanted
    and it's even more fun than a day at the spa
    (because, let's face it, hunny honey, on my salary
    I couldn'
    ای آن که بدین مکان داخل می شوی، از هر امیدی دست بشوی!
    سر در دوزخ

    کمدی الهی، شاهکار "دانته" شاعر ایتالیایی، شرح سفر خیالی او از دوزخ به برزخ و سپس به بهشت است. دانته در توصیف طبقات دوزخ و بهشت، از تلفیقی از الهیات مسیحی و اساطیر رومی و تخیل خویش بهره برده است.
    معشوق او، "بئاتریس" که ساکن بهشت است، یکی از ارواح را (روح "ویرژیل"، شاعر رومی) می فرستد تا دانته را راهنمایی کرده، از دوزخ نجات دهد و به بهشت برساند. برای این سفر، دانته باید از طبقات دوزخ یک به یک پایین برود و از میان ارواح معذب بگذرد تا در
    Mary Ronan Drew
    Dec 03, 2013 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    4 Reasons to Read Dante's Inferno

    1. To finally figure out the difference between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Dante was a Guelph.

    2. To discover why Constantine made his famous donation.

    3. To learn some new and ingenious ways to torture your enemies. Dante is very imaginative in this regard.

    4. To find out what happened to Potiphar's wife, Mohammed, Ulysses, Atilla the Hun, Cleopatra, and Helen of Troy. We meet them all in The Inferno.

    I recommend Dorothy Sayers' translation because of the exce
    Sura Sami
    Jan 09, 2016 Sura Sami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: poetry-شعر
    في البداية لا يمكن انكار ان الترجمه سلبت الكثير من هذه الملحمه الشعريه لكن انصح بترجمه كاظم جهاد فهي الافضل وتحتوي على الاجزاء الثلاثه , بمجلد واحد
    تعكس هذه اللوحه الرائعه اضطرابات الوضع السياسي والديني في تلك الفتره ,
    وسيطرة الكنيسه وفسادها انذاك لذا نرى دانتي يترنح بين الشاعر العاطفي الميال الى الرحمه وبين رجل الدين المتعصب
    الذي يحكم على من اعتنق دين غير المسيحيه بالعقاب في الجحيم , حتى وان كان نبيا -قبل او بعد المسيح- فهو يواجه هذا المصير.
    وهاهو يرمي خصومه الذين عاصروه - وحتى من لم يعاصرهم لك
    Jan 26, 2009 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    I'm not sure where the copy of the book came from. The copyright is one year before I was born, but I don't remember picking it up in a used book store. But I guess that's neither here nor there.

    I wish I could honestly check off 5 stars and say that my eyes were opened. That I really felt transformed by having read this classic of literature and that I will make it point to re-read it every year on the anniversary of my having discovered the error of my ways in not reading it at age 5.

    But I can'
    Andrew Spear
    Mar 23, 2008 Andrew Spear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    As though I could really give Dante anything but five stars? Seriously, The Inferno in general and this edition in particular is a great read. Anthony Esolen does a great job of not only placing the book in its historical context (almost anyone who can write numbers can do that), but also of helping the reader to appreciate and to almost step inside of the world-view held by Dante himself. This is accomplished both through the use of copious informative endnotes and through the inclusion at the ...more
    Karim Mohamed
    سمعت الكثير عن هذه الكوميديا .. الإسم أصلاً كان غريب .. لقد قام دانتي بكتابة ثلاثية عن يوم القيامة (الجحيم - المطهر - الجنة ) كيف يمكنك أن تكتب عن موضوع شائك مثل هذا الموضوع ؟

    circles of hell in dantes inferno 50291c3324df2

    “يا رُبات الشعر , يا أيتها العبقريّة العُليا , الآن ساعديني...
    وأنت أيتها الذاكرة التي سجّلت ما رأيت , هنا سيظهرُ نُبلكـِ..”

    الكتابة عن هذه الملحمة صعب جداً ، الكثير من المشاعر و الكثير من الوصف الرائع ، اللوحات عن تلك الملحمة كانت عبقرية و ملهمة مثل العمل تماماً.

    Dante Bouguereau

    “Do not be afraid; our fate
    Cannot be taken from us; it is a gi
    Sarah Angell ❤❤

    I really liked this book because it was just so interesting to learn all the different levels of hell, whose in each, and what the punishment is for every sin.

    Here’s all the levels:

    Here is a good map of all the people there:

    1st Circle of Hell: Limbo

    Second Circle of Hell: Lust

    Third Circle of Hell: Gluttony

    Fourth Circle of Hell: Greed

    Fifth Circle of Hell: Wrath

    Sixth Circle of Hell: Heresy

    Seventh Circle of Hell: Violence

    Eight Circle of Hell: Fraud

    Ninth Circle of Hell: Treachery

    Well I’m not sinning
    Simona Bartolotta
    I already wrote a review (translate: adoring babbling not further specified) of this here (I beg your pardon, English-speaking friends: it's in Italian) but it dates back to two years ago and I won't probably come up with something new in a new review, which I'll post both in English and Italian (because, come on, I can't review Dante in English when I am Italian). (To many brackets here. I seem to not be able to elaborate a uniform text at the moment. I call this the Inferno phenomenon.) So, a ...more
    In Florence, Italy, in the early 1300s, in the middle of the path of his life, a poet finds himself in a dark forest. Here’s Dante Alighieri - he always looks like this, by the way, just super mad. He’s got the worst resting bitch face.

    hope: abandoned

    And this is the problem with Inferno: Dante’s an asshole. He’s just super judgey. In the poem he’s guided through hell, and later through Purgatory and then Paradise, by Virgil, whom you remember as the author of the Aeneid. There are some terrifica
    May 07, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    the only place i know in literature where saying "nice shoes" or "that's a lovely tattoo of a water buffalo on your forehead" or "you look especially wonderful in red rayon" but not meaning it is worse than murdering the entire population of stevens point, wi, (25,056 as of the last census) in an attempt to become emperor of the dairy state--a bitter guy sticks voodoo pins in everyone against whom he had an imagined or real gripe--if the bitter guy's vision is reality, all we can do is grab our ...more
    Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
    Rating: 4* of five

    The Publisher Says: This widely praised version of Dante's masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve Dante's terza rima form without distorting the flow of English idiom. The result is a clear and vigorous translation that is also unique, stude
    Beautifully written and emotionally draining. However, this isn't simply a tale of terror. It is a philosophical and I suppose historical work as well. (I learned interesting historical facts). Who among us are sinners? Who are the righteous ones? Are people and deeds simply right or wrong, good and evil? Dante weeps for all the souls condemned to eternal torture. Yet, he seems rather certain that they deserve their fate. If so, why does he weep for them? If we believe someone worthy of our tear ...more
    Claire S
    Ok, I'm officially giving up.
    Yes, I agree with my daughter that it's cool how the punishments fit the crime - like for theives, their own actual human form keeps getting stolen and they are forced to shape-shift into reptilian form and back. Awesome.

    But the payoff is insufficient.

    How do I dislike these? Let me enumerate some of the ways:

    Zillions of references to local politics of Italy circa 700AD - don't know, not that interested honestly.

    Millions of references to mythology - don't know, so do
    Sep 10, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Miriam by: the author
    Shelves: poetry
    This is a less accurate but wonderfully written vernacular translation of Dante's Inferno. Carson focused on recreating the feel of the poem rather than reproducing Dante's exact words. This is a great version for casual readers who find most translations too stuffy or formal. Do NOT choose it if you need to do anything serious with the work, as many allusions, details, and shades of meaning have been lost.

    I had the pleasure of hearing Carson read some excerpts when this volume was first release
    Aug 06, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: adult, fiction
    I could kiss the professor of my Concepts of Punishment course at CAL for making me read this book. I had no idea at the time how much I would think about it during my lifetime. I was just thinking about the lovers in the second circle today, almost ten years after I first read it.
    This is far and away the best and most accessible translation I have read and I looked at several since 2010. But best of all is that it can now be listened to, as it is read with great cognition by Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Nobel Prize Winner Seamus Heaney, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner Louise Glück, and Bolligen Prize Winner Frank Bidart, in a new production cosponsored by Penguin Audio and FSG Audio. It doesn't take long to listen to (5 hours), and it packs a punch, just like the ...more
    Jul 29, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What a joy to read literature that is not only well executed, but beautiful in spirit! Dante's work is one of the pillars of western literature, and justly so. Conceived and executed in a poetical form called "terza rima" and functioning on multiple levels of meaning simultaneously, the three books of the "Commedia" are a microcosm of human spiritual life. Care is lavished on every detail from the geography to the astronomy and everything in between. It is a monumental achievement, encompassing ...more
    Nov 23, 2015 Marjan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    این کتابو حدود سال پیش خوندم برای همین خیلی جزییات یادم نمیاد
    اما یادمه اول ورودیه دوزخ ابن سینا هم بود توی کتاب :|
    چون مسیحی نبود و حق ورود به بهشت نداشت :D
    همه اینا به کنار
    نویسنده عموما با هرکی خصومت شخصی داشت تو جهنم ذهنش تصورش کرده بود
    و خببب...
    این جهنمو واسه ما هم به تصویر کشیده بود
    کمدی الهی مسلما یه شاهکار ادبیه
    اما نمیشه گفت یه شاهکار ادبی هست که منطق و عقل و شعور روش حکمفرماست
    جلدهای بعدیشو نخوندم اونموقع
    چون سنم یکم پایین بود و خیلی ناراحت کننده بود بعضی متن هاش واسم
    احتمالا در آینده ای نزد
    Feb 27, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The amazing intellectual architectural structure of theme and allegory is certainly enormously impressive! It has the complexity of a literary cathedral and there is nothing to equal it in European Literature. In addition,I am fascinated by the wildness of the imagery which is as stunning as anything I have ever read in a fantasy novel. That final terrifying image of Satan frozen in the ice of his own hubris is unforgettable.

    The allegorical layers add profundity to this symbolic kaleidoscope. T
    Lynne King
    Mar 23, 2013 Lynne King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: classics
    This was one of my father's books and sadly my dog chewed the flycover.

    This is an epic production of 138 prints by the translator and it took seven years to make. The original book was a limited edition and in 1985 retailed at 10,000 a copy. It makes one wonder what a book in that particular edition will sell for now. So I'm very happy to have this somewhat cheaper "popular edition" at home.

    I confess that I basically just skimmed through it at the time not really appreciating its worth but now I
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Are humans all evil? 3 21 Dec 19, 2015 11:53AM  
    Mrs. Schuet's AP ...: Dante's Inferno 7 13 Dec 13, 2015 11:38PM  
    • Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Signet Classics)
    • The Song of Roland
    • Orlando Furioso: Part One
    • Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 1
    • Jerusalem Delivered
    • Four Quartets
    • The Consolation of Philosophy
    • City of God
    • The Decameron
    • Odes and Epodes (Loeb Classical Library)
    • Yvain, or The Knight with the Lion
    • The Prince and Other Writings
    • Canzoniere
    • The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse
    • Homeric Hymns
    • Ovid III: Metamorphoses: Volume I, Books I-VIII
    • A Shropshire Lad
    • English Romantic Poetry
    Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante (May 14/June 13 1265 – September 13/14, 1321), is one of the greatest poets in the Italian language; with the comic story-teller Boccaccio and the poet Petrarch, he forms the classic trio of Italian authors. Dante Alighieri was born in the city-state Florence in 1265. He first saw the woman, or rather the child, who was to become the poetic love of his life when he ...more
    More about Dante Alighieri...

    Other Books in the Series

    La Divina Commedia (3 books)
    • Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy, #2)
    • Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3)

    Share This Book

    “Do not be afraid; our fate
    Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
    “In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.” 441 likes
    More quotes…