To Hell and Back

An anthology of Dante's Inferno in English translation (1782–2017)

| Victoria University of Wellington
| Victoria University of Wellington
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027212511 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027265401 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
 
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) maintained that translation destroys the harmony of poetry. Yet his Commedia has been translated into English time and again over the last two-and-a-bit centuries. At last count, one-hundred and twenty-nine different translators have published at least one canticle of the Italian masterwork since the first in 1782, and countless more have translated individual cantos. Among them there are some of the finest poets in the English language, including Robert Lowell and the Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. Smith and Sonzogni have assembled and annotated two complete translations of Dante’s most popular canticle, Inferno, each canto translated by a different translator. To Hell and Back is a celebration of the art and craft of poetry translation; of the lexical palettes and syntactical tempos of the English language; and, of course, of the genius of one of the greatest poets of all times.
[Not in series, 212]  2017.  xx, 295 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
xi–xiii
Dante's Inferno in English translation: A hell of a cookbook
xv–xx
Canto I. Henry Francis Cary (1805–06)
1–4
Canto II. Robert and Jean Hollander (2000)
5–9
Canto III. Seamus Heaney (1993)
10–13
Canto IV. C. H. Sisson (1980)
14–18
Canto V. Daniel Halpern (1993)
19–22
Canto VI. Albert Bandini (1928)
23–26
Canto VII. Armand Schwerner (2000)
27–30
Canto VIII. Ichabod Charles Wright (1833)
31–34
Canto IX. J. D. Sinclair (1939)
35–37
Canto X. Anthony Esolen (2002)
38–41
Canto XI. James Finn Cotter (1987)
42–45
Canto XII. Clara Stillman Reed (1962)
46–48
Canto XIII. John Dayman (1843)
49–52
Canto XIV. Melville B. Anderson (1921)
53–56
Canto XV. Robert Lowell (1967)
57–60
Canto XVI. Mark Musa (1971)
61–65
Canto XVII. Sean O'Brien (2006)
66–70
Canto XVIII. John Aitken Carlyle (1849)
71–73
Canto XIX. Dorothy L. Sayers (1949)
74–82
Canto XX. Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders (2003) 79 Canto XXI. Henry Boyd (1795)
83–88
Canto XXII. Susan Mitchell (1993)
89–92
Canto XXIII. Steve Ellis (1994)
93–96
Canto XXIV. Michael Palma (2002)
97–100
Canto XXV. Thomas Bergin (1948)
101–104
Canto XXVI. W. S. Merwin (1993)
105–108
Canto XXVII. Tom Simone (2007)
109–117
Canto XXVIII. Mary Prentice Lillie (1958) 114 Canto XXIX. Peter Dale (1996)
118–121
Canto XXX. Warwick Chipman (1961)
122–129
Canto XXXI. Sydney Fowler Wright (1928) 126 Canto XXXII. Terence Tiller (1966)
130–133
Canto XXXIII. John Ciardi (1954)
134–138
Canto XXXIV. Mary Jo Bang (2012)
139–145
Figure 1. Three Ways. Julian Peters (2016) 144 Figure 2. Upside-down. Julian Peters (2016) 145 Canto XXXIV. Charles Rogers (1782)
146–149
Canto XXXIII. Robert Hass (1993)
150–154
Canto XXXII. Benedict Flynn (1995)
155–158
Canto XXXI. Nicholas Kilmer (1985)
159–163
Canto XXX. Samuel Walker Griffith (1903)
164–167
Canto XXIX. Stephen Wentworth Arndt (1994)
168–172
Canto XXVIII. Patrick Cummins (1948)
173–176
Canto XXVII. Charles Eliot Norton (1891)
177–179
Canto XXVI. Geoffrey L. Bickersteth (1955)
180–183
Canto XXV. Charles S. Singleton (1970)
184–190
Canto XXIV. Frederick K. H. Haselfoot (1887) 187 Canto XXIII. Derrick Plant (1986)
191–193
Canto XXII. Claudia Hamilton Ramsay (1862)
194–197
Canto XXI. Ciaran Carson (2002)
198–202
Canto XX. Tom Phillips (1983)
203–206
Canto XIX. Robin Kirkpatrick (2006)
207–210
Canto XVIII. Laurence Binyon (1933)
211–214
Canto XVII. Kenneth Mackenzie (1979)
215–218
Canto XVI. Thomas William Parsons (1843)
219–222
Canto XV. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1867)
223–226
Canto XIV. Allan Gilbert (1969)
227–229
Canto XIII. Robert M. Torrance (2011)
230–234
Canto XII. Robert Musgrave (1893)
235–239
Canto XI. Seth Zimmerman (2003)
240–243
Canto X. Louis Biancolli (1966)
244–247
Canto IX. Edward Haynes Plumptre (1886)
248–251
Canto VIII. Burton Raffel (2010)
252–255
Canto VII. James R. Sibbald (1884)
256–259
Canto VI. Elio Zappulla (1998)
260–263
Canto V. J. G. Nichols (2005)
264–267
Canto IV. Stanley Lombardo (2009)
268–272
Canto III. Allen Mandelbaum (1980)
273–280
Canto II. Patrick Creagh and Robert Hollander (1989) 277 Canto I. Clive James (2013)
281–285
Canto I. Ned Denny (2016)
286–289
Canto II. Patrick Worsnip (2017)
290–293
“This Inferno—there and mercifully back again—is the two-century love story of English and Dante. How joyful we can be at the freedoms English has earned as it has changed nations, periods, accents and decorums: this ultimate post-modern Dante, though it is translation, has all the energy of a primary work: the triumph of a brilliant editorial vision.”
“This extremely rich collection of sample translations springs surprises on every page. The ingenuity of individual translators gains relief against the choices of others, the variety of registers and verse forms is astounding, and the book as a whole celebrates the translator’s much undervalued craft.”
“This anthology provides a rich assortment of exempla that reaffirm the ongoing inspiration of Dante’s poetry.”
“This fascinating book reveals the techniques of the many translators who have attempted to translate Dante. By juxtaposing different versions, the editors shatter the illusion that a translation is nothing more than a pale copy of an original, and show how a creative translator can ensure the survival of a great ancient work. I enjoyed reading this book and deciding which versions I prefer.”
“This Inferno-by-many-hands is a sheer delight, for anyone fascinated by the variable act of translation--or anyone willing to be enchanted by an exciting new approach to a great classic. I can hardly wait to use it in class, the next time I teach world literature!”
“Smith’s and Sonzogni’s volume should help to promote research and discussion about translation of the Commedia as a major feature of British literary culture over the past two-and-a-half centuries. To Hell and Back serves to demonstrate what one writer has called the ‘boundless generosity’, another the ‘versatility’ of Dante’s text; and as one of the blurbs on the back cover foresees, it will be a valuable resource for courses on reception and world literature, usefully complementing the current range of anthologies and surveys. [...] Meanwhile, for researchers, teachers, and readers, translation of the Inferno is the obvious place to start, and this volume offers a rich variety of reasons for going there. ‘Perché venirvi?’ asks Dante. Virgil answers: ‘Perché, perché restai?’- Why wait?”
“Smith’s and Sonzogni’s volume should help to promote research and discussion about translation of the Commedia as a major feature of British literary culture over the past two-and-a-half centuries. To Hell and Back serves to demonstrate what one writer has called the ‘boundless generosity’, another the ‘versatility’ of Dante’s text; and as one of the blurbs on the back cover foresees, it will be a valuable resource for courses on reception and world literature, usefully complementing the current range of anthologies and surveys.”
Subjects

Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies

Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: DSC – Literary studies: poetry & poets
BISAC Subject: LIT014000 – LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017012840