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Dante’s Inferno, The Indiana Critical Edition

Translated by Mark Musa. Dante Alighieri

Publication Year: 1995

This new critical edition, including Mark Musa’s classic translation, provides students with a clear, readable verse translation accompanied by ten innovative interpretations of Dante’s masterpiece.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xviii

... In the opening essay Lawrence Baldassaro regards the "starting point that necessitates the pilgrim's difficult journey through Hell" to be the allegoricallandscape of Canto I of Inferno, "a physical manifestation of the pilgrim's contaminated soul." Because of his fallen condition, the way up and out of the "selva oscura" is closed. Climbing the hill is impossible because of the pilgrim's pride, which will be erased in Purgatory in a ...

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pp. 3-249

HALFWAY through his life, DANTE THE PILGRIM wakes to find himself lost in a dark wood. Terrified at being alone in so dismal a valley, he wanders until he comes to a hill bathed in sunlight, and his fear begins to leave him. But when he starts to climb the hill his path is blocked by three fierce beasts: first a LEOPARD, then a LION, and finally a SHE-WOLF that fills him with fear and drives him back down to the sunless wood. ...

Critical Essays

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Read It and (Don't) Weep: Textual Irony in the Inferno

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pp. 253-265

Readers approaching the Inferno for the first time will face any number of questions regarding both the poem itself (theme, structure, language, imagery) and its cultural context (medieval history, theology, politics, even astronomy). Among the many questions raised by the text, one of the first to confront readers head-on at the outset is that of the identity of ...

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Dante's Beloved Yet Damned Virgil

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pp. 266-285

A great Latin poet who "sang of arms and of a man" and who made the founding of the Roman Empire the subject of his Aeneid, Virgil articulated the goal of Dante's political philosophy: a universal monarchy headed by a strong and just ruler. He also told of heroic descents to the Under world-Aeneas in the Aeneid (Book VI) and Orpheus in the Georgia ...

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Inferno I: Breaking the Silence

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pp. 286-298

The Divine Comedy opens at an extraordinary moment of moral awakening, in the midst of a crisis. Dante has found himself again:1 he is in a dark wood, because the straight path has been lost. Conscious of his own perilous situation, he is filled with fear. ...

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Dante's Inferno, Canto IV

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pp. 299-309

It is tempting in a lectura Dantis to claim for the canto one is explicating a special status: the key to the whole poem. This is understandable from a psychological point of view, but the phenomenon also has a textual basis. The allusive quality of the Comedy's literal narrative is such that it is possible to develop an elaborate intra textual discourse starting from virtually any point. ...

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Behold Francesca Who Speaks So Well (Inferno V)

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pp. 310-324

The majority of scholars who have treated the figure of Francesca have presented her in a highly favorable light. To such an extent is this true, in some cases, that they seem to suggest that the attractiveness of her personality is great enough to atone for her sin.1 Since they treat her only on the surface, this favorable picture is surely understandable, as is their ...

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Iconographic Parody in Inferno XXI

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pp. 325-339

Although critical opinion is generally divided regarding the definition of comic elements and comicita in the Divina Commedia, the grotesque and farcical activities of the Malebranche in Inferno XXI-XXII should certainly give us some indication of Dante's sense of the parodic and ludicrous.' More general consensus has been reached on the similarity of the scene ...

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Virgil and Dante as Mind-Readers (Inferno XXI and XXIII)

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pp. 340-352

Dante's experience of the sin of barratry, punished in the fifth of the Malebolge, at first seems to be limited to a single incident (Inf XXI, 4-57) and to a single exemplary sinner (the unnamed elder of Lucca, first identified as Martino Bottario by Guido da Pisa 1327: 409). This episode comes to an apparent point of closure in the memorable pseudo-simile which compares the tormented sinner to meat being pushed down into ...

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The Plot-Line of Myth in Dante's Inferno

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pp. 353-366

We are gradually learning to focus critical attention not only on the story of the Commedia-that single line of spiritual development-but also, and now more valuably, on the stories within the Commedia. One of the more remarkable unfolding stories within the poem occurs exclusively in the Inferno. ...

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Hell as the Mirror Image of Paradise

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pp. 367-380

The Divine Comedy is a circular poem. Hell only yields its intended mes sage(s) when it is seen as a mirror image of Paradise, when it is understood in terms of what it is not. For Dante, Hell is the least important part of the poem-he would probably have been distressed to know how many people read only Hell. At the very least, Hell must be read ...

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Dante in the Cinematic Mode: An Historical Survey of Dante Movies

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pp. 381-395

It may come as a bit of a surprise to discover that Dante Alighieri's Medieval masterpiece known in English as the Divine Comedy has had a long and interesting relationship with Italian and world cinema.1 In addition to Dante's reception in literary high culture, his presence, for example, in T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland, the Cantos of Ezra Pound, and James Joyce's ...

Selected Bibliography: Inferno

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pp. 397-398


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pp. 399-400


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pp. 401-409

E-ISBN-13: 9780253012401
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253209306

Page Count: 432
Publication Year: 1995

Edition: The Indiana Critical Edition