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Dante's Inferno: Translations by Twenty Contemporary Poets

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A new telling of Dante's Inferno, this translation is the most fluent, grippingly readable version of the famous poem yet, and—with all the consummate technical skill that is the hallmark of Sean O'Brien's own poetry—manages the near-impossible task of preserving the subtle power and lyric nuance of the Italian original, while seeking out an entirely natural English music. ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Ecco
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Piret
Apr 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Clearly written by a repressed angry christian guy to who this book was the only outlet to his rage and to extend his brainwashing of weak minded people. All he does is name different people of his time who he thought all did wrong by his christian standards.
The book was very vividly written but the sublime christian undertone ruined it for the most part. It was actually pretty funny how deep down the rabbit hole his beliefs were.
"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at other
...more
Glen
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a little work, but rewarding and very interesting. It was really interesting the way each translation emphasised different aspects of the original. Some rhymed. Others went for atmosphere, others for literal translation. Some translations were simply better than others. This collection was a great way to read this relatively ancient work because I gained a sense of how much the translations varied from the original and could imagine the original sitting somewhere between them all.
Emma
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
We read parts of this in our textbook in English class this year, I think about four cantos, and it came as a surprise that I really liked it. I loved Dante's ryhming verse, and the symbolism embedded in everything. However, when I tried to find the book in Barnes and Noble so I could read the rest, I couldn't find the right editon--none of the copies that I found had the same verse structure and rhyming pattern that I liked so much. ...more
Jo Simpson
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A must have for any and all fans of Dante's epic poem. ...more
Hannah Thaggard
Apr 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oh this is pretty freaking delicious. A book where almost every canto is done by a different poet, it’s pretty freaking righteous. My one complaint is that there are some poets who are obviously stronger than the other, but it’s still... so good
Logan Judy
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There's so much to Dante's Inferno that it's really hard to summarize it in one short review like this. I will say that what stood out to me the most was how it is more political than it is theological. Dante holds to his Catholic roots, and you never see him waver in that faith, but what Inferno holds is a grand criticism of the corruption that he saw within the church, and how it bled into the political spectrum. This is such a criticism, in fact, that I would suspect Dante was not unlike Mart ...more
Catherine Austen
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting to read so many different translations in one volume. I'd try to read the Divine Comedy several times in my life and never got far till I recently read Mendelbaum's version. I read this one immediately afterward and got a lot out of it. (But there's only the inferno, no purgatory or paradise; as they say in the into to this book, hell is most interesting to modern readers.) Anything this old and heavy is a bit of a slog but rewarding if you commit to it. It's an amazing work. (I rere ...more
Lourdes Heuer
Book 13 of 2016. Poetry/Translation. "Dante himself...understands translation as the very metaphor of poetry at the moment in which he perceives as unavoidable the discrepancy between his words and his vision...at the opening of Canto XXXII...the poet says in Digges's rendition: 'Where there a language dark enough to speak / truly of that hole harrowed by crags / gravity itself could fall through to / I could taste the salt of my conception. / But words are abstract, sadly approximate, / dull wi ...more
Diana
Jul 06, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm not into these kinds of books- but I had to read it for class. It was a hard read and I definitely depended on spark notes for it. But I suppose it was good for my book history. ...more
Ian
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
This edition is ok, passable.
Hubbard
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very vivid and imaginative look at the levels of hell and Paradiso. . .great read
Roslyn
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it
A journey into purgatory. Will leave you wondering weather varying levels of Hell and Heaven exist and do the things we do in this world dictate were we will end up.
Kenneth
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
that was a very interesting book.
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