"Abandon all hope you who enter here." Dante's Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is lead down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth. The Inferno is the first part of the long journey which continues through redemption to revelation - through Purgatory and Paradise - and, in this translation prepared especially for audio, his images are as vivid as when the poem was first written in the early years of the 14th century. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
Heathcote Williams enters into this new translation of Dante's masterpiece with almost as much enthusiasm as did Dante himself. Whether the souls Dante meets in the Inferno are tortured by cold, fire, their own fingernails, or just longing, Williams manages to make their pain come to life. His narration is so dramatic and so individualized that it feels more like a full-cast production than a solo narration, especially with the accompanying music, which both sets the mood and provides transitions. A short biography of Dante read by John Shrapnel accompanies the production. Shrapnel's voice is full of sympathy over Dante's exile, but his primary quality as a narrator is intense clarity; he handles complex political explanations smoothly and seems at ease with the Italian.
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