(P)1995 Recorded Books
"Though transforming Dante's terza rima into readable English has bogged down many a distinguished translator, Pinsky more than meets the challenge." (Publishers Weekly)
Former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky's translation of Dante's classic is beautifully dark and very accessible to modern listeners. It features stunning imagery and those who are hesitant to dive in because of the work's religious connotation should take heart. This is an incredible nightmare vision that should chill most listeners regardless of their religious beliefs. Dante was a wonderful writer and it is with good reason that this masterpiece has stood the test of time. My only criticism is that the introduction is quite long (about 24 minutes) and gets a bit tiring on repeated listens. There should always be a break you can skip to immediately after the introduction, but the first one in "Inferno" doesn't come until a ways into the story, so you have to do that "fast forward" thing on your iPod, which is cumbersome. Maybe they could fix that. But, otherwise, it's a very entertaining story and presentation.
First time I read through the entire piece. All that I can say is that it is Amazing the impact this piece of prose has had on our world. I can see so much of it's influence in the works of Poe, Dumas, Rand, even Clarke and Roddenberry. It was a great mental exercise that I will be repeating again in the next couple months.
I even enjoyed the introduction that set the stage for the piece, as it framed the context of the authors perspective. Which now 700 years removed may have been a bit of a strech.
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.
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