The Divine Comedy

Front Cover
Valdonega, 2007
Often translated (and into many languages), the Comedy attracts new readers every year. This translation--a labor of love and the first ever by two poets--was begun in Florence in 1997 and completed in Hopewell in 2006.This new edition of Dante's great work brings together for the first time the three volumes of the Hollander translation with the art of internationally recognized illustrator Monika Beisner. Beisner has created 100 detailed paintings for this publication, making her the first woman credited with illustrating the entire work. The set begins with an introduction by Carlo Carena and a foreword by Academy Award winning actor Roberto Benigni, known for his lectures and dramatic recitations of Dante's poem. The third volume ends with an appreciation by writer and cultural historian Marina Warner entitled Monika Beisner: Illuminating Stories. The three volumes-Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso-are bound in full cloth with a dust jacket and are in a cloth-covered slipcase. The work has been set in Centaur and printed in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies. The first seventy-five are available as a deluxe issue, accompanied by an extra suite of illustrations, on Gardapat Kassica paper by Cartiere del Garda, numbered with roman numerals, signed by the artist, and boxed in a portfolio. The complete production has been carried out in Verona by Stamperia Valdonega Group. Deluxe edition, accompanied by an extra suite of illustrations, on Gardapat Kassica paper by Cartiere del Garda, numbered with roman numerals, signed by the artist, and boxed in a portfolio.

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User Review  - Veronica H. - Overstock.com

Beautifully made hardcover book. Cover quality is lovely and sturdy like it is an older type edition. Great value too. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Born Dante Alighieri in the spring of 1265 in Florence, Italy, he was known familiarly as Dante. His family was noble, but not wealthy, and Dante received the education accorded to gentlemen, studying poetry, philosophy, and theology. His first major work was Il Vita Nuova, The New Life. This brief collection of 31 poems, held together by a narrative sequence, celebrates the virtue and honor of Beatrice, Dante's ideal of beauty and purity. Beatrice was modeled after Bice di Folco Portinari, a beautiful woman Dante had met when he was nine years old and had worshipped from afar in spite of his own arranged marriage to Gemma Donati. Il Vita Nuova has a secure place in literary history: its vernacular language and mix of poetry with prose were new; and it serves as an introduction to Dante's masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice figures prominently. The Divine Comedy is Dante's vision of the afterlife, broken into a trilogy of the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante is given a guided tour of hell and purgatory by Virgil, the pagan Roman poet whom Dante greatly admired and imitated, and of heaven by Beatrice. The Inferno shows the souls who have been condemned to eternal torment, and included here are not only mythical and historical evil-doers, but Dante's enemies. The Purgatory reveals how souls who are not irreversibly sinful learn to be good through a spiritual purification. And The Paradise depicts further development of the just as they approach God. The Divine Comedy has been influential from Dante's day into modern times. The poem has endured not just because of its beauty and significance, but also because of its richness and piety as well as its occasionally humorous and vulgar treatment of the afterlife. In addition to his writing, Dante was active in politics. In 1302, after two years as a priore, or governor of Florence, he was exiled because of his support for the white guelfi, a moderate political party of which he was a member. After extensive travels, he stayed in Ravenna in 1319, completing The Divine Comedy there, until his death in 1321.

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