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Peter Hainsworth and David Robey, Dante: A Very Short Introduction – review

Peter Hainsworth and David Robey, Dante: A Very Short Introduction; OUP, £7.99, pbk, 144pp.

Hainsworth and Robey have to work within the limits of the Very Brief Introduction format. Their first pages rise brilliantly to the challenge. Swift-moving, decisive, sensitive and suggestive, plunging straight into a discussion of two famous encounters in the Inferno, and illustrating points with well-chosen references, this opening would have made me feel I knew why Dante’s ideas still matter, why he’s a giant among poets, and why people so praise his dramatic gifts in particular, even if I hadn’t read a word of him before.

Of course … Continue Reading

Prue Shaw, Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity – review

Prue Shaw, Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity; W. W. Norton, 398pp, hbk, £20.00;
ISBN 9780871407429
Published 29 April 2014

If I could recommend only one book on Dante it would be this one by Prue Shaw.

Her scholarship is profound and I think she must be a brilliant teacher: she shows an unusual ability to enter imaginatively into the minds of people who don’t have her knowledge. This book isn’t just “approachable”; it comes to meet you, seizes your hands and whisks you away to a glittering party where you’re involved in the conversation as if you were an old friend.

Shaw’s writing style … Continue Reading

Dante: A Very Short Introduction – review

 

You can read my review of Peter Hainsworth and David Robey’s Dante: A Very Short Introduction, OUP, £7.99, pbk, 144pp. by clicking here .

Prue Shaw, Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity – review

Prue Shaw, Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity; W. W. Norton, 398pp, hbk, £20.00

You can link to this review on the Manchester Review website here.

CH Sisson translating Dante’s Purgatorio

I used to think highly of Sisson’s poetry; I can remember being excited when Anchises and Exactions came out in the late seventies. I don’t know how I’d find his own poems if I read them again now, but I’ve just read his translation of Dante’s Purgatorio and was deeply disappointed. I did it because I wanted a more continuous reading process than you can get from the John Sinclair parallel text, which involves constant movement between the languages and interruption by the pages of commentary after each canto. What startled me in Sisson’s version was how heavily the line … Continue Reading