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Vita Nuova (Dual-Language edition)

By Dante Alighieri

Translated by Anthony Mortimer

ISBN: 9781847496959

144 pages

RRP: £8.99 £7.19

The Vita Nuova, with its unusual blend of prose and poetry, is universally recognized as Dante’s early masterpiece and provides an indispensable prequel to The Divine Comedy. Set in thirteenth-century Florence, part autobiography and part religious allegory, it traces Dante’s quest to find a poetic idiom worthy of Beatrice, whom he had loved since boyhood. Her premature death plunges him into an emotional turmoil that finds release only through his faith in her continuing spiritual influence and through his determination “to write of her what has never been written of any woman”.

The Vita Nuova remains a central document in European culture’s examination of love and the self. It is a hundred and fifty years since Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s groundbreaking version of the Vita Nuova. Now Anthony Mortimer, already acclaimed as translator of Cavalcanti, Petrarch and Michelangelo, produces a verse translation that avoids Rossetti’s disturbing archaisms but preserves a lyric immediacy worthy of the original. This is a Vita Nuova for the twenty-first century.

Dante Alighieri

Born in Florence, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is considered to be the father of Italian poetry and one of the greatest influences in world literature. His masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is the zenith of medieval knowledge and a paragon of poetic imagination. Its first part, the Inferno, remains one of the most popular books of all time.

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