The Portable Dante

The Portable Dante


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The famed Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s two masterworks—The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova—in one volume

A Penguin Classic

As a philosopher, he wedded classical methods of inquiry to a Christian faith. As an autobiographer, he looked unsparingly at his own failures to depict universal struggles. As a visionary, he dared draw maps of Hell, with Purgatory and Paradise, and populate all three realms with recognizable human beings. As a passionate lover, he became a poet of bereavement and renunication. As all of these, Dante Alighieri paved the way for modern literature, while creating verse and prose that remain unparalleled for formal elegance, intellectual depth, and emotional grandeur.

The Portable Dante captures the scope and fire of Dante’s genius as thoroughly as any single volume can. It contains complete verse translations of The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova, as well as a bibliography, notes, and an introduction by the eminent scholar and translator Mark Musa.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142437544
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/2003
Series: Penguin Classics
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 124,430
Product dimensions: 7.64(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) was born in Florence and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice,including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna.

Mark Musa (translator/introducer/notes) 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.

Table of Contents

The Portable DanteEditor's Introduction
Translator's Note

The Divine Comedy

Vita Nuova

Selected Bibliography

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The Portable Dante 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Raven_moon More than 1 year ago
T.S. Elliot once said "Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them; there is no third." Dante's Divine Comedy is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Originally written in what is widely considered the most eloquent Italian ever penned, it remains a classic portrait of medieval society, Christian theology, and both human and divine justice. Of all the translations available, Musa's remains the most accessible. He makes the bold decision to abandon rhyme, but in doing so, he keeps the lyrical cadence of the rhymed Italian while keeping his version readable, clear, and I think, closer to Dante's original meaning. His notes and introductions to each canto provide an exceptionally solid background for academics and casual readers alike. Finally, the inclusion of La Vita Nuova (Dante's autobiographical account of the inspiration for the Comedy, namely his love for Beatrice), also lovingly annotated by Musa, makes this edition the definitive version of Dante's greatest work.
tungsten_peerts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mine is the older Portable Dante with the Laurence Binyon translation. I have read another translation since but still prefer Binyon: as far as I can tell, he gets most things pretty well right and keeps the terza rima form. Great stuff, of course, but be sure to read the notes!
normanawall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Musa's translation captures an emotional poignancy notably lacking in other translations. He uses five-stressed lines to create a rhythm that carries the reader throughout the poem. For enjoyability, this is by far my favorite translation that I have read.
slaveofOne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this version. This is the entire Divine Comedy and Vita Nuova with notes to help you understand the historical background and characters.
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