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 Post subject: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:18 pm 
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Journeyman
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I'm really enjoying this book. Can't put it down.
I remember reading it in college. Not Esolen's translation, but some very hard to understand version. This one feels more prose than poetry. There's an appendix that explains difficult to understand portions.

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Last edited by p.falk on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:22 pm 
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I also have his video lectures on all three: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Very enjoyable.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:01 am 
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Quote:
There's an appendix that explains difficult to understand portions.
Which is most of it :) Dante requires good notes.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:48 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
There's an appendix that explains difficult to understand portions.
Which is most of it :) Dante requires good notes.


And not only that but most of the really hard to understand stuff is disputed because no one really knows what he meant. For example, while most commentators agree that 'the one who made the great refusal' is Pope Celestine V, but this is really only speculation, and there is no way of knowing for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Reading Mandelbaum's translation now.
It's not that hard to get. Some of that might be because Esolen's was so clear for me.

Esolen's notes at much better though.

But I'm liking Mandelbaum's. A bit more rhyme to it, but it isn't forced.


After this one I might read Ciardi's. I have that one too. I have paged through Ciardi's; and I have to admit that it's not the clearest. It feels a bit confusing to read.
Since Mandelbaum's is older than Ciardi's... I'm surprised that Ciardi's is the one that was read in high school and college. Anyone my age that I've asked all remember reading Ciardi's. Esolen's wouldn't have been around when I was in high school/college... but Mandelbaum's would have.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Wonder how risky it was for Dante to put Pope Celestine V in hell. He was canonized before the book came out. Putting in hell a person the Church canonized has to be a bold thing to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:42 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Wonder how risky it was for Dante to put Pope Celestine V in hell. He was canonized before the book came out. Putting in hell a person the Church canonized has to be a bold thing to do.


It isn't even clear that he does put Celestine V in hell, that's just speculation based on the fact that it is known that he hated Boniface VIII, and Celestine's resignation is what made Boniface's ascension possible, no one knows for sure that is what he intended. Do the notes in the edition you're reading address the possibility that the identification of 'the one who made the great refusal' with Celestine V might be wrong?

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:45 pm 
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Doom wrote:
p.falk wrote:
Wonder how risky it was for Dante to put Pope Celestine V in hell. He was canonized before the book came out. Putting in hell a person the Church canonized has to be a bold thing to do.


It isn't even clear that he does put Celestine V in hell, that's just speculation based on the fact that it is known that he hated Boniface VIII, and Celestine's resignation is what made Boniface's ascension possible, no one knows for sure that is what he intended. Do the notes in the edition you're reading address the possibility that the identification of 'the one who made the great refusal' with Celestine V might be wrong?


Very true. Thank you for that reminder.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:52 pm 
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The only one I made it through was Dorothy Sayers' translation. It has good notes too.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:54 pm 
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BTW, the tip that made it all work for me came from C. S. Lewis, who wasn't talking about Dante directly but talked about how poetry works best read aloud. Even if "aloud" is only in my head, it is helpful not to read it as I do prose.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The only one I made it through was Dorothy Sayers' translation. It has good notes too.


Adding it to my list of translations ;)


Wikipedia references some reviewer of all of the translations who rated the worst ones out there: one by a Joseph Hume and another by a Patrick Bannerman.
Kind of interested in seeing how bad they are

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The only one I made it through was Dorothy Sayers' translation. It has good notes too.



I once sat in a graduate discussion comparing Sayers and Ciardi's translations.

I can't remember a thing about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Sayers did hers in terza rima, which makes it a little more awkward in places. Ciardi rhymed the first and last lines of each triplet, with no rhyme linking the subsequent triplet.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Sayers did hers in terza rima, which makes it a little more awkward in places. Ciardi rhymed the first and last lines of each triplet, with no rhyme linking the subsequent triplet.



That's the sort of thing I don't remember.

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 Post subject: Re: Dante's Inferno - Anthony Esolen's (and others) translat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Esolen uses illustrations from Gustave Dore.
Mandelbaum uses illustrations from Barry Moser.


Not even close. Dore's are much better.

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