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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.50
  • October 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97796-7
  • 368 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide


Norton Critical Editions


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Dante Alighieri (Author), Michael Palma (Translator), Giuseppe Mazzotta (Editor, Yale University)


This Norton Critical Edition of Dante’s masterpiece is based on Michael Palma’s verse translation, which is acclaimed for its elegant rendering of Dante’s triple-rhyme scheme into contemporary English.

Richard Wilbur praises Palma’s translation as “accurate as to sense, fully rhymed, and easy, as a rule, in its movement through the tercets. Readers will find it admirably clear and readable.” The text is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations. Also included in this edition are an illuminating introduction by Giuseppe Mazzotta, a Translator’s Note, The Plan of Dante’s Hell, and six maps and illustrations. “Criticism” provides twelve interpretations by, among others, John Freccero, Robert M. Durling, Alison Cornish, Teodolinda Barolini, Giuseppe Mazzotta, and Robert Hollander. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.



    Translator’s Note

    The Plan of Dante’s Hell

    Map of Italy

    The Text of Inferno

    Backgrounds and Contexts


    1. From New Life – [Poem: Love and the gracious heart]
    2. From Of the Vernacular Language – [The Tower of Babel]
    3. From Banquet – [On knowledge, literature, government]
    4. From On World-Government – [On nobility and government]


    1. Virgil – From the Aeneid
    2. Augustine – From The Confessions
    3. Guido Guinizelli – “Love returns always to a noble heart”
    4. Guido Cavalcanti – “A lady bids me”
    5. Boniface VIII – “The Holy One”


    1. John Freccero – Dante’s Prologue Scene
    2. Renato Poggioli – Tragedy or Romance? A Reading of the Paolo and Francesca Episode in Dante’s Inferno
    3. Giuseppe Mazzotta – A Pattern of Order: Inferno VII and Paradiso VII
    4. John Freccero – Medusa: The Letter and the Spirit
    5. Robert M. Durling – Canto X: Farinata and Cavalcante
    6. Marc Cogan – Part II: The Poetic Application of the Structure of Hell
    7. Leo Spitzer – Speech and Language in Inferno XIII
    8. Alison Cornish – The Harvest of Reading: Inferno 20, 24, 26
    9. Peter S. Hawkins – Descendit ad inferos
    10. Teodolinda Barolini – Transition: How Cantos Begin and End
    11. Giuseppe Mazzotta – Canto XXVI Ulysses: Persuasion versus Prophecy
    12. Robert Hollander – Inferno XXXIII, 37-74: Ugolino’s Importunity

    Dante Alighieri: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography