“Dante’s descriptions of his imagined underworld creep right into that part of the mind which simply cannot shake off the willies. Children know that the scariest things are those we dream up in response to a few well-placed hints—and Dante is nothing if not a master of the beautifully dropped, deeply unnerving suggestion.
“Dante’s Inferno is far better known to most American readers than Purgatorio and Paradiso, the other two canticles of his immense Commedia Divina or Divine Comedy. And for good reason: sin’s more entertaining than grace. L’Inferno has been widely and variously translated into English, and weighing in on the results has become, over the years, a kind of literary sport. Fierce admirers and equally fierce detractors of John Ciardi, C.S. Singleton, and Robert Pinsky (among others) have tossed the football of judgment up and down the field; no one wins the game, but it’s lively and fun to watch.” –Martha Cooley, AWP, 2009
Read the full article here.