The California Lectura Dantis is the long-awaited companion to the three-volume verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum of Dante's Divine Comedy. Mandelbaum's translation, with facing original text and with illustrations by Barry Moser, has been praised by Robert Fagles as "exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths," and by the late James Merrill as "lucid and strong . . . with rich orchestration . . . overall sweep and felicity . . . and countless free, brilliant, utterly Dantesque strokes." Charles Simic called the work "a miracle. A lesson in the art of translation and a model (an encyclopedia) for poets. The full range and richness of American English is displayed as perhaps never before."
This collection of commentaries on the first part of the Comedy consists of commissioned essays, one for each canto, by a distinguished group of international scholar-critics. Readers of Dante will find this Inferno volume an enlightening and indispensable guide, the kind of lucid commentary that is truly adapted to the general reader as well as the student and scholar.