The Inferno

The Inferno

Book - 2003
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The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, 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 top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
The Inferno remains literature’s most hallowed and graphic vision of Hell. Dante plunges readers into this unforgettable world with a deceptively simple—and now legendary—tercet:

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

With these words, Dante plunges readers into the unforgettable world of the Inferno—one of the most graphic visions of Hell ever created. In this first part of the epic The Divine Comedy, Dante is led by the poet Virgil down into the nine circles of Hell, where he travels through nightmare landscapes of fetid cesspools, viper pits, frozen lakes, and boiling rivers of blood and witnesses sinners being beaten, burned, eaten, defecated upon, and torn to pieces by demons. Along the way he meets the most fascinating characters known to the classical and medieval world—the silver-tongued Ulysses, lustful Francesca da Rimini, the heretical Farinata degli Uberti, and scores of other intriguing and notorious figures.

This edition of the Inferno revives the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation, which first introduced Dante’s literary genius to a broad American audience. “Opening the book we stand face to face with the poet,” wrote William Dean Howells of Longfellow’s Dante, “and when his voice ceases we may marvel if he has not sung to us in his own Tuscan.” Lyrically graceful and brimming with startlingly vivid images, Dante’s Inferno is a perpetually engrossing classic that ranks with the greatest works of Homer and Shakespeare.

Features a map of Hell and illustrations by Gustave Doré.
Peter Bondanella is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at Indiana University and a past president of the American Association for Italian Studies. His publications include a number of translations of Italian classics, books on Italian Renaissance literature and Italian cinema, and a dictionary of Italian literature.

Publisher: New York : Barnes & Noble, c2003
ISBN: 9781593083311
Characteristics: xlviii, 302 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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Nov 10, 2017

Mary Jo Bang's translation of the Inferno is an interesting one. Adopting a self-consciously postmodern tack, Bang attempts to bring the Inferno to a greater relevance for contemporary readers by sprinkling the verse with references to modernity, which in all fairness is precisely what the original did for its Italian audience with references to then-recent Florentine politics and scandals. Now, Bang's updated text can sometimes run the gamut from jarring (referencing South Park in Dante seems an odd choice) to ingenious (this version of Dante references Eliot's Waste Land, which in turn referenced Dante). Overall the occasional anachronism is annoying but outweighed, in my opinion, by the sense that some aspect of the poem has been recovered from the temporal void.

Feb 15, 2017

Should be on everyone's bucket list of books to read before he or she dies. The Michael Palma translation I read is excellent - it follows Dante's iambic pentameter as well as the rhyming scheme: ABA, BCB, CDC, etc. Frightening to discover where famous people lie within the nine circles of hell, including Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great - and, perhaps the most surprising, the Prophet Mohammed. This one is not for pre-teens, though - there are a few places where curse words are used (perhaps because no other word could describe a concept in the original Italian) - and besides, the scenes are just too scary for kids anyway.

Jan 13, 2017

I read the edition with translations from Dorothy Sayers and I loved the commentary with this book- the notes on specific lines and images really helped my understanding of this classic and the intricacies of Dante's poetic style. It's a really interesting, and as my professor states it, 'logical' organization of the classical ideas of sin and it's deserving punishment, with each deeper level and darker pit conveying the punishments of the marginally worse sinners, until Dante reaches Satan. It's an intriguing concept, apparently not as original an idea as I had previously thought for the time period, with Dante being guided through Hell because he has lost his way, but still a very cool class read. Not sure I would personally call it a comedy, though
*the introduction of Greek mythological figures and beasts was interesting given that they come from a pagan religion. I wonder what there purpose was- to get the audience's attention? Add dramatic flare?

Aug 30, 2016

Fantastic work by Dante!

Jul 01, 2014

While this was a book I read for a school assignment, I did come to like it. It, while difficult at time to understand, was far more readable than other texts from that period that I have read. The story is fascinating when taken from a psychological and sociological perspective, and I found myself often wanting to know more about Dante the author. Did he really believe in this version of Hell that he presented, and the religious construct it implicated or was it all fabricated?

May 08, 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 better, it wasn't an effort, but a joyride, thanks primarily to my lucky pick of the Ciardi translation for my first foray into the phantastical world of Dante. So my answer to the questions: can we still read Dante for pleasure and not for academic study is a resounding yes. Another big Yes is the answer to the relevance of the Commedia for the modern reader. The fundamental soul searching questions about the relationship between spiritual and material life, morality and political power, religious and secular governance, reason and faith remain unchanged over centuries and must still be answered by each of us after our own fashion. Dante is as great choice as the lightbearer showing the way to redemption, as Virgil was to the poet on his descent into Hell.

Aug 20, 2009

I like this version because it has refences in it and makes it easier to read! Very religous.


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Feb 15, 2017

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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