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A brilliant new translation of the centerpiece of The Divine Comedy
Purgatory, the mountain that straightens souls made crooked by the world, is Dante’s single most conceptually brilliant creation. Anthony Esolen’s vivid and innovative new rendering unearths Dante’s own voice with unprecedented vigor, accuracy, and a masterly use of English meter. It will set the standard for years to come.
Esolen’s Introduction incisively explores Dante’s theological universe: the nature of Purgatory, how Dante came to invent it, and how Purgatory is finally about restoration, liberation, and friendship. Special features, from an appendix that reproduces key sources to extensive explanatory notes, make this a particularly illuminating edition for both expert and newcomer.
“Anthony Esolen’s new translation follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. It is living writing.”
—James Richardson, Princeton University
“Professor Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Inferno is the best one I have seen. . . . And his endnotes and other additions provoke answers to almost any question that could arise about the work.”
—A. Kent Hieatt, translator of The Canterbury Tales
"[A] lively, readable, and accurate English translation, in partially rhyming iambic pentamenter; the Italian text on the facing page; a thoughtful and stimulating introduction.... Highly recommended."
—Choice (American Library Association)