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Luke Skywalker wanted to unify the Jedi order and bring peace to the universe. Instead his wife Mara lies dead at the hands of an unknown assassin, his wayward nephew Jacen has seized control of the Galactic Alliance, and the galaxy has exploded in all-out civil war.

With Luke consumed by grief, Jacen Solo works quickly to consolidate his power and jumpstart his plan to take over the Jedi. Convinced he’s the only one who can save the galaxy, Jacen will do whatever it takes, even ambush his own parents.

With the Rebel confederacy driving deep into the Core to attack Coruscant and the Jedi under siege, Luke must reassert his position. Only he can lead the Jedi through this crisis, but it means solving the toughest problem Luke’s ever faced. Does he fight alongside his nephew Jacen, a tyrant who’s illegally taken over the GA, or does he join the rebels to smash the Galactic Alliance he helped create?

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780345510532
List price: $7.99
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Availability for Inferno: Star Wars (Legacy of the Force) by Troy Denning
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Not entirely sure what translation this was, as it was a free ebook. In any case, it was a little difficult to read at times, but it seemed okay as a translation. The text itself is beautiful: I wish I could read it in the original.more
I kinda didn't love this as much as I wanted to. The fault might be Pinsky's; he uses a lot of enjambment, which makes the poem a more graceful, flowing thing than Dante's apparently was. It might also be Dante's fault; there are a ton of allusions to contemporary politics, none of which I got at all, so I did a lot of flipping to the end notes. And, y'know, it's a little...religious. I know, who woulda thought?

I liked it okay, I guess, but I've been reading a ton of epic poetry over the last year, and this hasn't been one of my favorites.more
This translation replaced names- so many names! Added modern phrases.

I appreciate that I may not have been able to real the original(or earlier translation) so easily (well, I'm not sure, but this is the only translation I've read) but I could not accept the replacement of the names. South Park's Cartman? Please. I prefer purer translations. The the addition of modern phrases and names stuck out like a sore thumb. I would be reading easily, then get so thrown off that I had to stop.

Now, I've read this, and I don't know how much of it was from the original, and how much the translator replaced. Now I feel like I have to re-read it, with a different translation.

It wasn't written in 2013, so don't translate it like it was. Please.

What was intact, the messages and the stories, all that makes this a classic, earns my four stars. Since I'm rating this particular translation, however, I'm giving it two. If I find out later that earlier translations are written in a way that I can easily read, then I'll come back and only give it one star.

more
Only three stars for Dante's classic? It was a difficult read/listen and required concentration as the translation from old italian poetry into english. I also wondered about the parallel between Inferno and A Christmas Carol...both contain scarey beasties.more
For years I had wanted to read Dante's Divine Comedy, but every time I thought of reading this epic poem it just seemed to be too daunting of a task. It wasn't until I visited Florence, Italy and saw the same mosaic on the ceiling of the baptistery of San Giovanni that Dante saw (which inspired him to eventually write the Divine Comedy) that I felt it the time had come to read Dante's epic work.

I started with the traditional English translation by Longfellow. At the encouragement of of a colleague, I quickly changed to Dorothy Sayers's translation from 1949. Sayers provides great commentary plus follows "Dante's terza rima stanzas."

There are numerous translations available but I'm glad I stuck with the Sayers translation. Having said that, I think it would be wise to read the traditional Longfellow translation at some point in time. Next up I'm looking forward to trying Robert and Jean Hollander's dual-language and more modern translations of the Divine Comedy.more
This is an amazing translation of the Inferno. It is by far the best translation of the text that I have encountered, and it is far superior to the version included in the World Literature textbook that I use. I always share some of this translation with my students particularly when we are discussing Dante's terza rima. Translations are never ideal, but this translation is the best available.more
If you like reading poetry then this won't be as difficult of a read than for those who do not, however you still need to get past the language Dante uses. If you get the Barnes and Noble Classic Series book (which I highly suggest) you get great End Notes that are actually longer than the poem itself. Getting through the language and seeing what Dante is really talking about you see the horror that is hell, and it is a fascinating horror. You may feel more religious than ever after reading this book; no one wants to walk the path that Dante and Virgil walked. But you want to read about it...more
It's interesting but I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The morality seems rather heavy-handed, maybe I'm not digging deep enough into it.more
A good translation of a very fun book from the medieval period.more
I read this when I was 13 or 14, and I really didn't like it. The only reason I got to finish this was because the required us to read it and pass a book report. The reason for my disapproval for this book is partly because I do not believe in Hell (yes I believe in Heaven but in Hell, hell no!). The second reason is because I'm not the least attracted to Dante's writing style.more
Approached through lots and lots of footnotes (how else can you read a 14th century Italian poet?) I felt I couldn’t really judge the poetry because of the translation issue. Dante imagined a place of eternal torments based on the teachings of his church, and peopled it with 14th century Florentines and ancient Greeks. Judgemental, narrow in historical approach and doctrinally cringe-worthy.more
If you like reading about people boiled in a river of blood, forever immersed in shit, having their heads on backwards, split down the middle, beheaded, suffering eternal disease and itching, being frozen in ice, or lastly for those in the innermost circle of hell, you know, bad old Judas and Brutus, chewed by Satan himself (as well as in the other circles a myriad of other tortures, er, “just” punishments for sins on Earth per the Christian view of morality), well, this is the book for you! To me this book represents the worst of Christianity: eternal torment, eternal torture, and no mercy. It’s all cruel retribution, without pity. I fail to see how these sentiments are Christ-like even within the dogma of the religion, and I fail to see why anyone would ever view this as representative of an enlightened faith that should be aspired to. If you are inclined to read it this is a great edition – lots of annotation, illustrations, and a fresh translation … but I don’t recommend it.more
I never thought I'd say it, but I think I'd rather have read this for a literature class so as to get a better understanding of it. I felt as though I simply didn't have the context to appreciate it, and my world view is sufficiently remote from Dante's that I didn't have much personal insight. If fire, brimstone, and devils with pitchforks are your thing, you'll love this. Unfortunately, they're not mine.I was pleased to have the extensive notes in this edition, however, and Pinsky's clean, modern translation was also greatly appreciated.more
I find The Divine Comedy among the most amazing works I've ever read--despite that the work is essentially Christian Allegory and I'm an atheist. First and foremost for its structure. Recently I read Moby Dick and though it had powerful passages I found it self-indulgent and bloated and devoutly wished an editor had taken a hatchet to the numerous digressions. There is no such thing as digressions in Dante. I don't think I've ever read a more carefully crafted work. We visit three realms in three Canticas (Hell, Purgatory and Heaven) each of 33 cantos and in a terza rima verse in a triple rhyme scheme. Nothing is incidental or left to chance . That's not where the structure ends either. Hell has nine levels, it is an imaginary landscape worthy of Tolkien or Pratchett, both in large ways and small details. I found it fitting how Dante tied both sins and virtues to love--a sin was love misdirected or applied, and the lower you go in hell, the less love there is involved, until at the lowest reaches you find Satan and traitors encased in a lake of ice. Then there are all the striking phrases, plays of ideas and gorgeous imagery that comes through despite translations. This might be Christian Allegory, but unlike say John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress it's far from dry or tedious and is full of real life contemporaries of Dante and historical figures. There are also Dante's guides here. His Virgil is wonderful--and the perfect choice. The great Latin poet of the Aeneid leading the great Italian poet who made his Tuscan dialect the standard with his poetry. I've read the entire Divine Comedy but certainly Hell is what stays most vividly in my mind. I remember the people of Hell best. There's Virgil of course, who must remain in limbo for eternity because he wasn't a Christian. There's Francesca di Rimini and her lover, for their adultery forever condemned to be flung about in an eternal wind so that even Dante pities them. And that, of course, is the flip side of this. Dante's poem embodies the orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity of the 1300s and might give even Christians today pause. Even though I don't count myself a Christian, I get the appeal of hell. In fact, I can remember exactly when I understood it. When once upon a time I felt betrayed, and knew there was no recourse. The person involved would never get their comeuppance upon this Earth. How nice I thought, if there really was a God and a Hell to redress the balance. The virtue of any Hell therefore is justice. These are the words Dante tells us are at hell's entrance.THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY,THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL PAIN,THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST. JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER;MY MAKER WAS DIVINE AUTHORITY,THE HIGHEST WISDOM, AND THE PRIMAL LOVE. BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT ETERNAL THINGSWERE MADE, AND I ENDURE ETERNALLY.ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE.It's hard to see Dante's vision matching the orthodox doctrine as just however, even when I might agree a particular transgression deserves punishment. Never mind the virtuous and good in limbo because they weren't Christians or unbaptized or in hell because they committed suicide or were homosexual. And poor Cassio and Brutus, condemned to the lowest circle because they conspired to kill a tyrant who was destroying their republic. My biggest problem with hell is that it is eternal. Take all the worst tyrants who murdered millions, make them suffer not only the length of the lifetimes of their victims but all the years they might have had, I doubt if you add it up it comes to the age of the Earth--never mind eternity. Justice taken to extremes is not justice--it's vindictiveness and sadism. Something impossible for me to equate with "the primal love." Yet I loved this work so much upon my first read (I read the Dorothy Sayers translation) I went out and bought two other versions. One by Allen Mandelbaum (primarily because it was a dual language book with the Italian on one page facing the English translation) and a hardcover version translated by Charles Eliot Norton. Finally, before writing up my review and inspired by Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club, I got reacquainted by finding Longfellow's translation online. Of all of them, I greatly prefer Mandelbaum's translation. The others try to keep the rhyming and rhythm of the original and this means a sometimes tortured syntax and use of archaic words and the result is forced and often obscure, making the work much harder to read than it should be.more
I must admit I read this because of a class however I really enjoyed itThis is not a light reading it is dry and slow at times but I felt it was very interesting when you read it and connect it to other global ideas such as politics and religionmore
I wanted to like this, but in the end it just got very repetitive and preachy to me. There was certainly some great symbols and imagery and the weird obsession with numerology was interesting but this semi-casual semi-academic reader could not be bothered to dig into all of the abstruse Italian references to by-gone politics family feuds etc... In some sense Dante's hubris annoyed me as well. Placing himself in his own epic, chatting it up with the greatest poets of the time etc... I know that a story is not the author but when the author directly inserts himself into that story, I don't know what I'm really to make of that.more
Dante's Inferno is the first part of an epic poem that rivals other greats like Ovid's Metamorphosis and Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. As one reads Dante, they must keep in mind that he was stifled politically. It has been said that without a proper avenue to voice his political distaste, Dante constructed his seven levels of Hell. Each level represents an action and it's subsequent punishment. At times the poem can become tedious and hard to follow, but there's a large amount of very memorable sequences that make this one of the greatest pieces of writing constructed.more
I have not read a huge number of translations of Dante, but of the one's that I've read Musa's is by far the best. Extremely readable but also quite complex. I would recommend this translation to anyone.more
It should not be surprising to hear me refer to Dante's Commedia as the greatest piece of literature ever written. This is a work that can never be read too many times and should never be read only once. Inferno is the first and most iconic piece of Dante's trilogy since it is set in Hell (which is surprisingly appealing to many people...). However, its depth far succeeds Hell's reaches and calls for a very conscientious approach to be grasped in any significant way. The Hollanders' translation I highly recommend when reading the book for a second or third time, otherwise one might easily become lost in Robert Hollander's lengthy (but interesting!) commentary.more
The four and 1/2 stars is for the translation, not the work itself which is a five star world masterpiece. Although Dante can drag here and there in his philosophical asides, no other artist has attempted to do what Dante has done in this work: take an almost universally held belief-in this case the afterlife, and more specifically here, hell, and completely realize it. In fact, his hell was so convincing that for many people it STILL is what they believe hell to be. Ciardi's translation is a good one and one that is used in schools; however, it does not keep the terza rima rhyme scheme, and its explanations and notes are not the best. I personally think Dorothy Sayer's translation is better.more
Poetry like this touches your soul Dante was a lot like Mozart a daring rebel and a geniusmore
"In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, having lost the straight path."With the famous words above Dante begins The Inferno, the first section of his Divine Comedy. Rereading this poem reminded me of the greatness of Dante's creation. As T. S. Eliot observed, "Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them, there is no third."("Dante" in Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot) While I would add Proust as a third, whether you agree with Eliot or not, Dante is magnificent in his ability to imagine the breadth and depth of humanity. In the Inferno the details are impressed on the reader through Dante's exceptional visual poetry. Whether the translation maintains the terza rima or not this comes through. Thus the poetry is relatively easy to read even though many of the allusions may escape the average reader. One gains from rereading the opportunity to deepen the understanding of the allusions and the images, the symbols and the subtle nuances of meaning that make this poem great. Further discussion with a group of serious readers adds to one's understanding, especially for a non-Catholic like myself.I look forward to further reading of Dante, for just as with other great books this one continues to yield new treasures.more
To fully understand and fall in love with this trilogy, you really need to get a copy that explains who the people are and why Dante hates or admires them. This book changed the way I read books, and made me want to read more classic literature. The depictions of Hell are amazingly vivid, with your imagination filling in any gaps. Horror fans will love this book. Inferno is the easiest of the three poems to read, getting to near impossible with the final, Paradise. This trilogy makes me want to learn Italian, purely so I can read it in its full glory.Mmore
Even though I'm not very big on religion, this is one of my favorite trilogies. I love the descriptions he gives of hell and heaven. They're very believable and made me picture them in a different way.more
This famous book is really a poem, a really long poem. Our narrator is the author himself and the year 1300. Guided by Virgil, Dante travels through the nine circles of hell and describes what he sees in each one. Here's a rundown of what sin imprisoned the individuals in each of the nine circles. First Circle - LimboSecond Circle - LustThird Circle - GluttonyFourth Circle - Avarice and ProdigalityFifth Circle - Wrath and SullennessSixth Circle - HeresySeventh Circle - ViolenceEighth Circle - FraudNinth Circle - BetrayalOne thing that surprised me was the order of the sins. I would have expected violence to be considered worse than fraud. I also would have expected lust to be worse than gluttony. It was interesting to see how Dante ranked them in his version of hell. The "active" sins, like intentional betraying someone, were considered much worse than "passive" sins, like sullenness. The premise being, if you're intentional doing something to hurt or take advantage of someone else than you are more evil than someone who just lets life happen or focuses on the wrong things. It makes sense and I still wouldn't want to suffer the punishments for the passive sins. I thought it was interesting to read about all the different people he runs into in hell. There are historical figures, like Cleopatra, literary legends like Medusa and people like Cain, from the Biblical. It was such a diverse group representing each of the circles of sinners. The thing that was the most fascinating to me was the method of pain and torture inflicted in each circle. The crime definitely fits the punishment and is described in disturbing detail. In a section of the 8th circle flatterers are covered in human excrement, which represents the words they spewed on others during their life. How fitting is that! The souls in hell are trapped in a perpetual cycle of torment that they have selected by their choices in life. The writing and descriptions in The Inferno are intense and often hard to follow. I found myself re-reading many sections to make sure I understood everything. It's absolutely worth reading, but it's heavy material and I can't say it was exactly enjoyable. Here's an example of one of the beautiful sections of the Inferno... CANTO XVIIFor flames I saw, and wailings smote mine ear:So that all trembling close I crouch'd my limbs,And then distinguish'd, unperceiv'd before,By the dread torments that on every sideDrew nearer, how our downward course we wound.more
Without understanding who all these people are and why Dante wanted to see them suffer, this books is a very painful, difficult read. It really requires a companion book to make sense of the scenes.more
I've read this book, the first of three, in French, when I was 25, and I immediately was swept away by its poetic force, its classical symmetrical construction and its sharp and benign view on the human condition. Brilliantly composed. Each canto tells the story of several prominent historical persons, set in breathtaking landscapes. Tragedy is all around, sometimes with a comical touch, but almost always compassionate. The filosofical and theological dimensions are less prominent than in book II and III. I've reread this book in Dutch (both prose and lyrical translation) and in the original Italian. An everlasting treasure.more
Read all 72 reviews

Reviews

Not entirely sure what translation this was, as it was a free ebook. In any case, it was a little difficult to read at times, but it seemed okay as a translation. The text itself is beautiful: I wish I could read it in the original.more
I kinda didn't love this as much as I wanted to. The fault might be Pinsky's; he uses a lot of enjambment, which makes the poem a more graceful, flowing thing than Dante's apparently was. It might also be Dante's fault; there are a ton of allusions to contemporary politics, none of which I got at all, so I did a lot of flipping to the end notes. And, y'know, it's a little...religious. I know, who woulda thought?

I liked it okay, I guess, but I've been reading a ton of epic poetry over the last year, and this hasn't been one of my favorites.more
This translation replaced names- so many names! Added modern phrases.

I appreciate that I may not have been able to real the original(or earlier translation) so easily (well, I'm not sure, but this is the only translation I've read) but I could not accept the replacement of the names. South Park's Cartman? Please. I prefer purer translations. The the addition of modern phrases and names stuck out like a sore thumb. I would be reading easily, then get so thrown off that I had to stop.

Now, I've read this, and I don't know how much of it was from the original, and how much the translator replaced. Now I feel like I have to re-read it, with a different translation.

It wasn't written in 2013, so don't translate it like it was. Please.

What was intact, the messages and the stories, all that makes this a classic, earns my four stars. Since I'm rating this particular translation, however, I'm giving it two. If I find out later that earlier translations are written in a way that I can easily read, then I'll come back and only give it one star.

more
Only three stars for Dante's classic? It was a difficult read/listen and required concentration as the translation from old italian poetry into english. I also wondered about the parallel between Inferno and A Christmas Carol...both contain scarey beasties.more
For years I had wanted to read Dante's Divine Comedy, but every time I thought of reading this epic poem it just seemed to be too daunting of a task. It wasn't until I visited Florence, Italy and saw the same mosaic on the ceiling of the baptistery of San Giovanni that Dante saw (which inspired him to eventually write the Divine Comedy) that I felt it the time had come to read Dante's epic work.

I started with the traditional English translation by Longfellow. At the encouragement of of a colleague, I quickly changed to Dorothy Sayers's translation from 1949. Sayers provides great commentary plus follows "Dante's terza rima stanzas."

There are numerous translations available but I'm glad I stuck with the Sayers translation. Having said that, I think it would be wise to read the traditional Longfellow translation at some point in time. Next up I'm looking forward to trying Robert and Jean Hollander's dual-language and more modern translations of the Divine Comedy.more
This is an amazing translation of the Inferno. It is by far the best translation of the text that I have encountered, and it is far superior to the version included in the World Literature textbook that I use. I always share some of this translation with my students particularly when we are discussing Dante's terza rima. Translations are never ideal, but this translation is the best available.more
If you like reading poetry then this won't be as difficult of a read than for those who do not, however you still need to get past the language Dante uses. If you get the Barnes and Noble Classic Series book (which I highly suggest) you get great End Notes that are actually longer than the poem itself. Getting through the language and seeing what Dante is really talking about you see the horror that is hell, and it is a fascinating horror. You may feel more religious than ever after reading this book; no one wants to walk the path that Dante and Virgil walked. But you want to read about it...more
It's interesting but I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The morality seems rather heavy-handed, maybe I'm not digging deep enough into it.more
A good translation of a very fun book from the medieval period.more
I read this when I was 13 or 14, and I really didn't like it. The only reason I got to finish this was because the required us to read it and pass a book report. The reason for my disapproval for this book is partly because I do not believe in Hell (yes I believe in Heaven but in Hell, hell no!). The second reason is because I'm not the least attracted to Dante's writing style.more
Approached through lots and lots of footnotes (how else can you read a 14th century Italian poet?) I felt I couldn’t really judge the poetry because of the translation issue. Dante imagined a place of eternal torments based on the teachings of his church, and peopled it with 14th century Florentines and ancient Greeks. Judgemental, narrow in historical approach and doctrinally cringe-worthy.more
If you like reading about people boiled in a river of blood, forever immersed in shit, having their heads on backwards, split down the middle, beheaded, suffering eternal disease and itching, being frozen in ice, or lastly for those in the innermost circle of hell, you know, bad old Judas and Brutus, chewed by Satan himself (as well as in the other circles a myriad of other tortures, er, “just” punishments for sins on Earth per the Christian view of morality), well, this is the book for you! To me this book represents the worst of Christianity: eternal torment, eternal torture, and no mercy. It’s all cruel retribution, without pity. I fail to see how these sentiments are Christ-like even within the dogma of the religion, and I fail to see why anyone would ever view this as representative of an enlightened faith that should be aspired to. If you are inclined to read it this is a great edition – lots of annotation, illustrations, and a fresh translation … but I don’t recommend it.more
I never thought I'd say it, but I think I'd rather have read this for a literature class so as to get a better understanding of it. I felt as though I simply didn't have the context to appreciate it, and my world view is sufficiently remote from Dante's that I didn't have much personal insight. If fire, brimstone, and devils with pitchforks are your thing, you'll love this. Unfortunately, they're not mine.I was pleased to have the extensive notes in this edition, however, and Pinsky's clean, modern translation was also greatly appreciated.more
I find The Divine Comedy among the most amazing works I've ever read--despite that the work is essentially Christian Allegory and I'm an atheist. First and foremost for its structure. Recently I read Moby Dick and though it had powerful passages I found it self-indulgent and bloated and devoutly wished an editor had taken a hatchet to the numerous digressions. There is no such thing as digressions in Dante. I don't think I've ever read a more carefully crafted work. We visit three realms in three Canticas (Hell, Purgatory and Heaven) each of 33 cantos and in a terza rima verse in a triple rhyme scheme. Nothing is incidental or left to chance . That's not where the structure ends either. Hell has nine levels, it is an imaginary landscape worthy of Tolkien or Pratchett, both in large ways and small details. I found it fitting how Dante tied both sins and virtues to love--a sin was love misdirected or applied, and the lower you go in hell, the less love there is involved, until at the lowest reaches you find Satan and traitors encased in a lake of ice. Then there are all the striking phrases, plays of ideas and gorgeous imagery that comes through despite translations. This might be Christian Allegory, but unlike say John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress it's far from dry or tedious and is full of real life contemporaries of Dante and historical figures. There are also Dante's guides here. His Virgil is wonderful--and the perfect choice. The great Latin poet of the Aeneid leading the great Italian poet who made his Tuscan dialect the standard with his poetry. I've read the entire Divine Comedy but certainly Hell is what stays most vividly in my mind. I remember the people of Hell best. There's Virgil of course, who must remain in limbo for eternity because he wasn't a Christian. There's Francesca di Rimini and her lover, for their adultery forever condemned to be flung about in an eternal wind so that even Dante pities them. And that, of course, is the flip side of this. Dante's poem embodies the orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity of the 1300s and might give even Christians today pause. Even though I don't count myself a Christian, I get the appeal of hell. In fact, I can remember exactly when I understood it. When once upon a time I felt betrayed, and knew there was no recourse. The person involved would never get their comeuppance upon this Earth. How nice I thought, if there really was a God and a Hell to redress the balance. The virtue of any Hell therefore is justice. These are the words Dante tells us are at hell's entrance.THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY,THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL PAIN,THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST. JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER;MY MAKER WAS DIVINE AUTHORITY,THE HIGHEST WISDOM, AND THE PRIMAL LOVE. BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT ETERNAL THINGSWERE MADE, AND I ENDURE ETERNALLY.ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE.It's hard to see Dante's vision matching the orthodox doctrine as just however, even when I might agree a particular transgression deserves punishment. Never mind the virtuous and good in limbo because they weren't Christians or unbaptized or in hell because they committed suicide or were homosexual. And poor Cassio and Brutus, condemned to the lowest circle because they conspired to kill a tyrant who was destroying their republic. My biggest problem with hell is that it is eternal. Take all the worst tyrants who murdered millions, make them suffer not only the length of the lifetimes of their victims but all the years they might have had, I doubt if you add it up it comes to the age of the Earth--never mind eternity. Justice taken to extremes is not justice--it's vindictiveness and sadism. Something impossible for me to equate with "the primal love." Yet I loved this work so much upon my first read (I read the Dorothy Sayers translation) I went out and bought two other versions. One by Allen Mandelbaum (primarily because it was a dual language book with the Italian on one page facing the English translation) and a hardcover version translated by Charles Eliot Norton. Finally, before writing up my review and inspired by Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club, I got reacquainted by finding Longfellow's translation online. Of all of them, I greatly prefer Mandelbaum's translation. The others try to keep the rhyming and rhythm of the original and this means a sometimes tortured syntax and use of archaic words and the result is forced and often obscure, making the work much harder to read than it should be.more
I must admit I read this because of a class however I really enjoyed itThis is not a light reading it is dry and slow at times but I felt it was very interesting when you read it and connect it to other global ideas such as politics and religionmore
I wanted to like this, but in the end it just got very repetitive and preachy to me. There was certainly some great symbols and imagery and the weird obsession with numerology was interesting but this semi-casual semi-academic reader could not be bothered to dig into all of the abstruse Italian references to by-gone politics family feuds etc... In some sense Dante's hubris annoyed me as well. Placing himself in his own epic, chatting it up with the greatest poets of the time etc... I know that a story is not the author but when the author directly inserts himself into that story, I don't know what I'm really to make of that.more
Dante's Inferno is the first part of an epic poem that rivals other greats like Ovid's Metamorphosis and Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. As one reads Dante, they must keep in mind that he was stifled politically. It has been said that without a proper avenue to voice his political distaste, Dante constructed his seven levels of Hell. Each level represents an action and it's subsequent punishment. At times the poem can become tedious and hard to follow, but there's a large amount of very memorable sequences that make this one of the greatest pieces of writing constructed.more
I have not read a huge number of translations of Dante, but of the one's that I've read Musa's is by far the best. Extremely readable but also quite complex. I would recommend this translation to anyone.more
It should not be surprising to hear me refer to Dante's Commedia as the greatest piece of literature ever written. This is a work that can never be read too many times and should never be read only once. Inferno is the first and most iconic piece of Dante's trilogy since it is set in Hell (which is surprisingly appealing to many people...). However, its depth far succeeds Hell's reaches and calls for a very conscientious approach to be grasped in any significant way. The Hollanders' translation I highly recommend when reading the book for a second or third time, otherwise one might easily become lost in Robert Hollander's lengthy (but interesting!) commentary.more
The four and 1/2 stars is for the translation, not the work itself which is a five star world masterpiece. Although Dante can drag here and there in his philosophical asides, no other artist has attempted to do what Dante has done in this work: take an almost universally held belief-in this case the afterlife, and more specifically here, hell, and completely realize it. In fact, his hell was so convincing that for many people it STILL is what they believe hell to be. Ciardi's translation is a good one and one that is used in schools; however, it does not keep the terza rima rhyme scheme, and its explanations and notes are not the best. I personally think Dorothy Sayer's translation is better.more
Poetry like this touches your soul Dante was a lot like Mozart a daring rebel and a geniusmore
"In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, having lost the straight path."With the famous words above Dante begins The Inferno, the first section of his Divine Comedy. Rereading this poem reminded me of the greatness of Dante's creation. As T. S. Eliot observed, "Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them, there is no third."("Dante" in Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot) While I would add Proust as a third, whether you agree with Eliot or not, Dante is magnificent in his ability to imagine the breadth and depth of humanity. In the Inferno the details are impressed on the reader through Dante's exceptional visual poetry. Whether the translation maintains the terza rima or not this comes through. Thus the poetry is relatively easy to read even though many of the allusions may escape the average reader. One gains from rereading the opportunity to deepen the understanding of the allusions and the images, the symbols and the subtle nuances of meaning that make this poem great. Further discussion with a group of serious readers adds to one's understanding, especially for a non-Catholic like myself.I look forward to further reading of Dante, for just as with other great books this one continues to yield new treasures.more
To fully understand and fall in love with this trilogy, you really need to get a copy that explains who the people are and why Dante hates or admires them. This book changed the way I read books, and made me want to read more classic literature. The depictions of Hell are amazingly vivid, with your imagination filling in any gaps. Horror fans will love this book. Inferno is the easiest of the three poems to read, getting to near impossible with the final, Paradise. This trilogy makes me want to learn Italian, purely so I can read it in its full glory.Mmore
Even though I'm not very big on religion, this is one of my favorite trilogies. I love the descriptions he gives of hell and heaven. They're very believable and made me picture them in a different way.more
This famous book is really a poem, a really long poem. Our narrator is the author himself and the year 1300. Guided by Virgil, Dante travels through the nine circles of hell and describes what he sees in each one. Here's a rundown of what sin imprisoned the individuals in each of the nine circles. First Circle - LimboSecond Circle - LustThird Circle - GluttonyFourth Circle - Avarice and ProdigalityFifth Circle - Wrath and SullennessSixth Circle - HeresySeventh Circle - ViolenceEighth Circle - FraudNinth Circle - BetrayalOne thing that surprised me was the order of the sins. I would have expected violence to be considered worse than fraud. I also would have expected lust to be worse than gluttony. It was interesting to see how Dante ranked them in his version of hell. The "active" sins, like intentional betraying someone, were considered much worse than "passive" sins, like sullenness. The premise being, if you're intentional doing something to hurt or take advantage of someone else than you are more evil than someone who just lets life happen or focuses on the wrong things. It makes sense and I still wouldn't want to suffer the punishments for the passive sins. I thought it was interesting to read about all the different people he runs into in hell. There are historical figures, like Cleopatra, literary legends like Medusa and people like Cain, from the Biblical. It was such a diverse group representing each of the circles of sinners. The thing that was the most fascinating to me was the method of pain and torture inflicted in each circle. The crime definitely fits the punishment and is described in disturbing detail. In a section of the 8th circle flatterers are covered in human excrement, which represents the words they spewed on others during their life. How fitting is that! The souls in hell are trapped in a perpetual cycle of torment that they have selected by their choices in life. The writing and descriptions in The Inferno are intense and often hard to follow. I found myself re-reading many sections to make sure I understood everything. It's absolutely worth reading, but it's heavy material and I can't say it was exactly enjoyable. Here's an example of one of the beautiful sections of the Inferno... CANTO XVIIFor flames I saw, and wailings smote mine ear:So that all trembling close I crouch'd my limbs,And then distinguish'd, unperceiv'd before,By the dread torments that on every sideDrew nearer, how our downward course we wound.more
Without understanding who all these people are and why Dante wanted to see them suffer, this books is a very painful, difficult read. It really requires a companion book to make sense of the scenes.more
I've read this book, the first of three, in French, when I was 25, and I immediately was swept away by its poetic force, its classical symmetrical construction and its sharp and benign view on the human condition. Brilliantly composed. Each canto tells the story of several prominent historical persons, set in breathtaking landscapes. Tragedy is all around, sometimes with a comical touch, but almost always compassionate. The filosofical and theological dimensions are less prominent than in book II and III. I've reread this book in Dutch (both prose and lyrical translation) and in the original Italian. An everlasting treasure.more
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