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This vigorous translation of Dante's "Inferno" preserves the original simple, natural style while capturing the swift movement of the Italian verse. Mark Musa's blank verse rendition of the poet's journey through the circles of hell re-creates for the modern reader the rich meanings that Dante's poem had for his contemporaries. Musa's introduction and commentaries on each of the cantos illuminate the text.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321. Mark Musa is Distinguished Professor of French and Italian at the Center for Italian Studies, Indiana University.