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The Portable Dante (Viking Portable Library) Paperback – 29 Jun 1995

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Portable Library; 1st New edition edition (29 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140231145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140231144
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,360,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.Mark Musa is a professor at the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University. A former Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow, Musa is the author of a highly acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
HALFWAY through his life, Dante the Pilgrim wakes to find himself lost in a dark wood. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
As a non-Italian-reader I came to Dante through the no doubt common path of T.S. Eliot's poetry and critical writing. Mark Musa's Portable Dante is a useful volume in that it includes La Vita Nuova as well as The Divine Comedy. (Although unfortunately no extracts from Dante's treatise on vernacular poetry, which Eliot and Ezra Pound so often mention.) I've enjoyed reading C.H. Sisson's translation (which contains a good fat section of commentary at the back); but this one is obviously more literal -- for example the small section Dante wrote in Provencal (Purgatorio XXVI) is given in Provencal and translated in a footnote, which is a nice touch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Harris on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Mark Musa translation is the one I find easiest to read out of the 4 I have, and I wanted a Kindle version, BUT
This version for some reason has the notes scattered throughout the text rather than separated at the end of each Canto as in the hard copy version.
It makes it almost impossible to keep the thread through the Cantos, especially for a largish note e.g. the one on the Old Man of Crete in Canto XIV
Hopefully at some point the publisher will upgrade this version to one resembling the Kirkpatrick version, which has the notes linked as foot notes at the appropriate point in the text
but for this formatting problem I would have given it 5 stars
Addition 15th May 2013 - Having seen the paperback preview of this I now realise that the notes are actually at the foot of each page, and the Kindle version reproduces the notes in the right place, BUT, does not have the page breaks. Hence it appears that the notes are scattered at random
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 July 2001
Format: Paperback
Little is needed to be said about Dante's masterpiece of poetry and allegory. Many translations exist, but this one I found to be the best. Not only is it clear in expressing what the Poet himself wanted to evoke, it also captures his sense of rhythm as well as brilliant synthesis of words. Keeping the meter and discarding any meagre attempt to rhyme in English, Musa has provided what is probably the best version of Dante for those who cannot enjoy him in his native tongue. Finally, the scholar's notes make for great guidance through the historical/mythological/theological alterations of the Pilgrim's sojourn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice on 23 July 2009
Format: Paperback
A very easy to read translation for a novice to Dante's Inferno and the Comedies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Smith on 18 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew what to expect from previous reviews but it is the only Kindle edition of the Musa translation. Penguin is a major publisher who should be taking the trouble to convert their books properly, including a final edit. Having the footnotes strewn through the text is extremely irritating. It's not as if we paid considerably less for this mechanically-produced, no-human-involved spin off that has none of the production or storage costs of the printed version. My rating is inspired sheerly by the publication - it remains a great text.
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