A book about Dante's youth, an account of his love for Beatrice, the girl who was to become his lifelong muse, and of her tragic early death. It is also an allegory of the soul's crisis and growth, combining prose and poetry, narrative and meditation, dreams and songs and prayers.
The New Life is the masterpiece of Dante's youth, an account of his love for Beatrice, the girl who was to become his lifelong muse, and of her tragic early death. An allegory of the soul's crisis and growth, combining prose and poetry, narrative and meditation, dreams and songs and prayers, this work of crystalline beauty and fascinating complexity has long taken its place as one of the supreme revelations in the literature of love. The New Life is published here in the beautiful translation by the English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an inspired poetic re-creation comparable to Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and a classic in its own right.
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was born into a noble family in Florence and settled in Ravenna after being exiled due to a bitter feud in his home city. Celebrated as a poet from his youth, Dante was also an influential literary and political theorist. His most famous works are The New Life (circa 1293); De vulgar eloquentia (circa 1304-7), and The Divine Comedy, which he began in 1307 and finished shortly before his death. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) studied painting at the Royal Academy of Arts and was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Though he is best known as a painter, Rossetti was also a poet and his poems made a lasting impression on such writers as Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, and Ezra Pound. Michael Palmer has published ten collections of poetry and has taught at universities in the United States and Europe. His most recent collections are Thread (2011), Aygi Cycle (2009), and The Laughter of the Sphinx (forthcoming in 2016).
"Rossetti made a remarkable translation of the Vita Nuova, in some places improving (or at least enriching) the original. He was indubitably the man 'sent, ' or 'chosen, ' for that particular job." --Ezra Pound "[Rossetti's translation is] the fruit of countless hours of brooding over Italian painting, Italian images, Italian sounds and thoughts." --John Wain
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