La Vita Nuova (Paperback)
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In this celebration of a poet's passionate love for the woman he worshiped from afar, Dante weaves together rapturous sonnets and canzoni with prose commentaries and an autobiographical narrative. La Vita Nuova records the poet's adoration of Beatrice, the celestial figure who would ultimately guide him through his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy.
In addition to its appeal as a sublime meditation on the anguish and ecstasy of love, this volume also serves as a treatise on the art and technique of poetry. Dante's commentaries explicate each poem, further refining his concept of romantic love as the initial step in the spiritual development that culminates in the capacity for divine love. His unconventional approach -- drawing upon personal experience, addressing readers directly, and writing in Italian rather than Latin -- marked a turning point in European poetry, when writers departed from highly stylized forms in favor of a simpler style. This complete and unabridged edition features the distinguished translation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.