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Head of Zeus
The Inferno
The Inferno translated by Ciaran Carson

'Quite simply the best version of Dante there is' PAUL MULDOON, Irish Times.

Almost eight centuries after its first publication, Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy remains an icon of Italian literature and of the epic genre. In Inferno, the first volume, the poet Virgil leads Dante's hero through hell, showing him the inhabitants of each of its nine circles and examples of the divine justice meted out to them.

In this beautifully produced Apollo Library edition, Ciaran Carson's translation suffuses the text with wit, anger and irreverent vigour, without diminishing the pathos of the original. This is a retelling of Dante's epic journey for the twenty-first-century reader.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo Library book * Language and Literary Studies
05 Mar 2020 * 320pp * £7.99 * 9781838933241
'Ciaran Carson's version of Dante's Inferno is the first I've read in which the English (because Irish really) seemed so kickingly alive'
Ali Smith, Scotsman
'Quite simply the best version of Dante there is'
Paul Muldoon, Irish Times
'Carson gives us a much racier Inferno than most others have done, one in which the language makes eloquent upward soarings at one moment and vulgar dives deep into the vernacular at the next, moving like a bolt of lightning from gravity to punch immediacy. There is a surprising amount of playful humour. It reads jauntily, even balladically at times'
Financial Times
'An excellent translation, full of powerful and arresting images ... Carson's colloquial glee, drawing freely from the language he hears on Belfast streets, makes The Inferno come alive. It has spit as well as polish ... Carson has created something pithy and original'

Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson
Ciaran Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast. He was Professor of Poetry and Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University Belfast. He published numerous collections of poetry that have been shortlisted for both the Irish Book Award for Literature and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry. He is the author The Star Factory, a memoir of Belfast, Fishing for Amber, and Shamrock Tea, which was long-listed for the Man Booker prize. Carson's new translation of Dante's Inferno was published to great acclaim. He passed away in Belfast in October 2019.
ALSO BY Ciaran Carson
The Star Factory
Lives of the Poets
A Way of Being Free
After Ireland
Great Books of China
A Time for New Dreams
The Inferno