Teaser Tuesday: Dante’s Inferno (Esolen)

Like planets in their orbits, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.Lent has returned, and with it my annual re-read of Dante’s Divine Comedy. For this, my 11th re-read, I’m embarking on a new (to me) translation by Anthony Esolen – a gift from my wife.

You know you’ve found the right person when they buy you your fourth different translation of the same book.


The Goodreads Blurb:

An extraordinary new verse translation of Dante’s masterpiece, by poet, scholar, and lauded translator Anthony Esolen

Of the great poets, Dante is one of the most elusive and therefore one of the most difficult to adequately render into English verse. In the Inferno, Dante not only judges sin but strives to understand it so that the reader can as well. With this major new translation, Anthony Esolen has succeeded brilliantly in marrying sense with sound, poetry with meaning, capturing both the poem’s line-by-line vigor and its allegorically and philosophically exacting structure, yielding an Inferno that will be as popular with general readers as with teachers and students. For, as Dante insists, without a trace of sentimentality or intellectual compromise, even Hell is a work of divine art.

Esolen also provides a critical Introduction and endnotes, plus appendices containing Dante’s most important sources — from Virgil to Saint Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic theologians — that deftly illuminate the religious universe the poet inhabited.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to the start of Canto 26 on page 169:

Florence, Rejoice! Your fame's so great to tell
you beat your wings over the land and seas
and spread your name throughout the depths of hell! 

Inferno Esolen Cover

I’m still reading The Penguin Book of the Undead and will post a review sometime in the near future.


What are you reading today?



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