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Inferno Paperback – 19 Jun 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc; Tra Blg edition (19 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385496982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385496988
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 7.4 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" The most accessible and the closest to the Italian... with ample commentary easily and unobtrusively available at the end of each Canto." - Tim Parks, "The New Yorker
"
" The Hollanders... act as latter-day Virgils, guiding us through the Italian text that is printed on the facing page." - "The Economist
"" Probably the most finely accomplished and may well prove the most enduring... . The annotation... is crowded with useful insights and bits of information and keeps us abreast of scholarly opinion across the ages." - R.W.B. Lewis, "Los Angeles Times Book Review
"

"The most accessible and the closest to the Italian...with ample commentary easily and unobtrusively available at the end of each Canto."-Tim Parks, "The New Yorker
"
"The Hollanders...act as latter-day Virgils, guiding us through the Italian text that is printed on the facing page."-"The Economist
""Probably the most finely accomplished and may well prove the most enduring.... The annotation...is crowded with useful insights and bits of information and keeps us abreast of scholarly opinion across the ages."-R.W.B. Lewis, "Los Angeles Times Book Review
"

The most accessible and the closest to the Italian with ample commentary easily and unobtrusively available at the end of each Canto. Tim Parks, "The New Yorker
"
The Hollanders act as latter-day Virgils, guiding us through the Italian text that is printed on the facing page. "The Economist
" Probably the most finely accomplished and may well prove the most enduring . The annotation is crowded with useful insights and bits of information and keeps us abreast of scholarly opinion across the ages. R.W.B. Lewis, "Los Angeles Times Book Review
""

From the Inside Flap

The epic grandeur of Dante's masterpiece has inspired readers for 700 years, and" has entered the human imagination. But the further we move from the late medieval world of Dante, the more a rich understanding and enjoyment of the poem depends on knowledgeable guidance. Robert Hollander, a renowned scholar and master teacher of Dante, and Jean Hollander, an accomplished poet, have written a beautifully accurate and clear verse translation of the first volume of Dante's epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Featuring the original Italian text opposite the translation, this edition also offers an extensive and accessible introduction and generous commentaries that draw on centuries of scholarship as well as Robert Hollander's own decades of teaching and research. The Hollander translation is the new standard in English of this essential work of world literature.

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Format: Paperback
To give this work a 5* rating would not be doing the work of Robert & Jean Hollander any justice whatsoever. It is a work that suits the needs of students studying the Inferno, the casual reader who wishes to know more or understand better Dante's views in the Inferno, and for the specialist in such a subject. It opens with a nice little introduction to the Inferno and a short history of the man behind it, as well as a one page drawing/map of the Inferno from the Dark Wood to the Frozen Floor of Hell. The Inferno ends with a list of works cited, for further reading. The commentary is superb and extremely detailed.

The depth of such a task undertaken by Robert & Jean to bring such a book forward is admirable to say the least.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a well read man, and when I say 'well read', I mean I have had not read many classical novels or poems etc. And before buying this book, these such thoughts were going through my mind:

"Oh, I've never read a poem before in my life, I probably wont understand it"
"Commentaries? Urgh, but they were such a bore in school"

Despite these thoughts, I bought this translation of the Inferno anyway, and I couldnt have chosen better.

The poem is tranlated brilliantly, because I understand it, and I can feel it. Simple as that.

The commentaries after each Canto are not dull or boring at all, because they are not only interesting, but are a humungous help. On first reading a canto on its own, I could understand it yes, but after reading the commentary with it, I understood it even more, and understood the depths behind it.

I had great fun reading this book, its entertaining for a good read and even contains some good humour, both in the poem itself and in the commentary.

All in all, if like me you're not an English literary expert. Do not worry! The poem is a joy to read (considering where its based) and the commentaries explain it so well, that it felt like I had Mr and Mrs Hollander sitting next to me explaining what it all meant as I went along.
So in a way, as I read about Dante's trip through hell with Virgil as his guide, I took a trip through hell, following behind Dante and Virgil, with Robert and Jean Hollander as my guide.

My Recommendation: Buy it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My first foray into "the classics" could not have been a better choice - indeed, I think I may have spoiled myself by choosing one of the best first! Dante's work is fantastic, which suprised me as I am not a fan of poetry, and the additions provided by the editors were immensely useful. I recommend that if you are new to Dante, you read through the whole poem by itself first, then read it again, but using the explanations provided after each section to clarify some of the more obscure points. Although I had originally thought this version of the text was illustrated, I am now pleased it isn't, as it allows the reader to use their imagination to the fullest. Although I have no idea how a seasoned literature expert would view this book, for a beginner it is magnificent!
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