A masterly translation. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker Kirkpatrick brings a more nuanced sense of the Italian and a more mediated appreciation of the poems construction than nearly all of his competitors. . . . There is much to recommend herecertainly the intelligence, the energy, the linguistic range. . . . His introduction and canto-by-canto notes are remarkably level and lucid, as attentive to structure as to syntax, language and motif, and deftly cross-reference the whole poem. On their own, they would justify the price. The Times (London) We gain much from Kirkpatricks fidelity to syntax and nuance, and from the fact that the Italian is on the facing page for our inspection. . . . His introduction . . . tells you, very readably indeed, pretty much all you need for a heightened appreciation of the work. . . . Kirkpatrick edges us, smoothly, into Dantes mind, and shows just how and why his influence has seemed to grow with the passage of time. We even get a map of trecento Italy (nestling against a map of hell). . . . If the Purgatorio and Paradiso are as good as this, then English readers will, I hope, start familiarising themselves with the two-thirds of the work most never get round to reading. Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian Likely to be the best modern version of Dante . . . The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism. Bernard ODonoghue This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translationa deeply informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read. David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. Considered Italy's greatest poet, this scion of a Florentine family mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) which is a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. Married to Gemma Donatic, Dante's political activism resulted in his being exiled from Florence to eventually settle in Ravenna. It is believed that The Divine Comedy-comprised of three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso-was written between 1308 and 1320. Dante Alighieri died in 1321. Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.