probably my favorite translation of dante.
if you haven't read the inferno, i really think you should. it's so brilliant in a way that hadn't been really done before - it's should come as no surprise that i love dante given my love for poetry and the modernists. dante was doing symbolism and playing with language well before joyce entered the picture - centuries before even.
the numerology, the repetition, the genius of the terza rima form itself - i can't stop babbling about what i love. and the fact that it has turned into a sort of historical novel - we know the people in it because dante cursed them - and yet they are now, in a sense, immortal.
mandelbaum does a truly remarkable job of making a very clear picture of what's going on, while still making it poetry, and unlike pinsky's translation, you aren't caught up in the fact that this is a translation despite seeing the italian on the opposite page. mandelbaum allows dante to speak as dante, and i freaking love it.