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THE INFERNO OF DANTE

Earphones Award Winner

by | Read by John Cleese

Classics • 3 hrs. • Abridged • © 1994

At first, this recording seems unpromising. The text opens the poet's Divina Commedia, an untranslatable masterpiece of fourteenth- century Florence. No reading, no English version can reproduce its aesthetic virtues or explain the wordplay or the contemporary and classical references. Further--well, come on!--John Cleese? Monty Python and "Fawlty Towers" take a transcendental dream-descent into hell? Gimme a break! Yet, first impressions often deceive. Robert Pinsky does not try to imitate the peculiarly Italian verse form but wisely concentrates on meaning and artistic effects appropriate to our modern language. It possesses its own considerable beauty. And Cleese uses more intuition than technique to interpret the poetry, thus giving the listener a personal, musical and ingenuous reading. He inhabits Dante's persona so well that the full wonder and drama of the narrative shine forth, though he plays against excessiveness. Indeed, he brings a peculiar kind of exciting genius to Pinsky's dynamic text that makes this tape a fascinating art work in its own right. Y.R. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: JAN 98]

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Formats

Retail pak • Audio Literature • 1997

CS ISBN 1574531328 $17.95 • Two cassettes

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