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Jerusalem Delivered (Gerusalemme liberata) Paperback – Jul 10 2000
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From Library Journal
Published in 1581, Tasso's (1544-95) verse epic on the 11th-century First Crusade and the love of Tancred and Clorinda is one the masterpieces of Italian literature. Esolen (English, Providence Coll.), a translator of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things, here provides a solid verse translation. Despite its importance, Jerusalem Delivered has enjoyed only one significant rendition in English that is still in print: Edward Fairfax's 1600 Spenserian version. Esolen observes the basic shape, rhythm, and rhetorical movement of the original ottava rima but never sacrifices poetry or meaning to rigid form. The result is both highly readable and truer to the spirit of Tasso than Fairfax's rendition. Esolen also provides a valuable introduction, an essay on Tasso's allegory, a glossary of characters, and helpful textual notes to identify allusions. An important contribution; recommended for public and academic libraries.DT.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What a tale it is!... [Esolen's] notes are full of fascinating and comment and helpful information... These notes, a thoughtful introduction, and above all a winning translation that captures the charms of Tasso's verse should give Tasso the wide audience in the English-speaking world that he has so far never had, but richly deserves. -- Bernard Knox New York Review of Books This is the best way to read [Tasso] at the moment. Do it. -- Colin Burrow London Review of Books Now English readers have available to them Anthony Esolen's readable and accurate verse translation of Jerusalem Delivered. Esolen copes admirably with Tasso's octave stanza... It is not only beauty that Jerusalem Delivered still holds for us. In our time, when the future of the Holy City is contested once again, and sectarian conflicts are on the rise, and a Tridentine spirit, a fear of internal dissent, has returned to the Roman church, Tasso's magniloquent epic still has something to say. -- David Quint New Republic A solid verse translation... Esolen observes the basic shape, rhythm, and rhetorical movement of the original ottava rima but never sacrifices poetry or meaning to rigid form. The result is both highly readable and truer to the spirit of Tasso than [Edward] Fairfax's rendition... An important contribution. Library Journal [A] much-needed new translation... No one will fail to admire the careful enormity of the undertaking. Publishers Weekly This new translation of Gerusalemme liberata is a very fine, highly readable version of Tasso's epic about the First Crusade. The Gerusalemme is an acknowledged masterpiece of world literature and a culmination of Italian Renaissance poetry. It is good to have a modern, affordable edition of Tasso in print again, in a fast-flowing English verse that is infinitely more accessible to the ordinary reader than the Elizabethan rendition of Edward Fairfax... Tasso's work is charged with the fiery passion of youth. Esolen's translation captures this fire... A very useful feature of Esolen's edition, besides the notes and index, is a 'Cast of Characters' at the end, where each personage is identified, with words and actions noted for each canto. -- Anne Barbeau Gardiner New Oxford Review Until now, the rollicking story of the heroes, villains, witches and lovers was available in only one modern English translation. Anthony M. Esolen has corrected this shortage in masterful style and his translation restores not only the epic grandeur of the original but also its excitement. -- Daniel Boice Catholic Library World [Esolen] executes verse with art that it rarely intrudes upon the reader's consciousness, and then only to invoke admiration at the accomplishment of both the poet-scholars involved in telling the tale... This edition is eminently satisfying. Because Esolen takes such care to make the text accessible, he offers an excellent introduction to Tasso for new generations of readers, and he succeeds in awakening an interest in the original Italian, as well as in all of Tasso's works, with this translation. -- Karen L. Nelson Sixteenth Century Journal We are fortunate to have Anthony Esolen's new verse Englishing of Torquato Tasso's masterpiece... Thanks to Esolen we now have an English Tasso worthy of use in our classrooms without the sort of fussy apologies that can undermine the experience we are trying to provide our students. In translating the Liberata Esolen has undertaken a daunting challenge and met it handsomely. -- Lawrence F. Rhu Spenser Review Jerusalem Delivered offers a thorough introduction tackling T.'s relationship to Ariosto, his struggle with the problems of truth, authority, and religion, and notes on the characters. Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 2003See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
I sing the reverent armies, and that Chief who set the great tomb of our Savior free; much he performed with might and judgment, much he suffered in the glorious victory; in vain hell rose athwart his path, in vain two continents combined in mutiny. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, the IndyPublish hardback comes with absolutely no notes, introductory or otherwise. The cast of characters in the poem is very large, the scenes and settings shift, the action ebbs and flows, ...I believe that in order to appreciate the Fairfax as presented by IndyPublish you must have prior and intimate knowledge of the poem (cast, scenes, settings, history, etc) prior to reading.Read more ›
C. S. Lewis relished this epic poem -- see his essay "Tasso" in his book of essays on medieval and Renaissance literature. I wonder if Tolkien also had read it, as a number of scenes reminded me of the Siege of Minas Tirith, etc. For those who want to move on from the authors and works that everyone knows influenced and/or impressed Lewis (and Tolkien?) such as Chesterton, George MacDonald, et al., Tasso may be recommended. I wonder if Lewis didn't get the idea for the severed head, of the criminal Alcasan, who seems to speak, but is really manipulated by a devil, and which the heroine of That Hideous Strength sees in a dream, from Tasso, where a Fury from hell makes a severed head talk (deceivingly) in a dream to one of the Christian warriors. The gruesome descriptions are similar, and Lewis even calls Alcasan "the Saracen"; and Alcasan certainly could be the name of one of the Saracen knights in Tasso. Who knows...?
But how many of these readers are aware that there exists in Western literature another, parallel stream of myth and legend called Carolingian, which celebrates the exploits and heroes of the Age--not of Arthur--but of Charlemagne?
Carolingian epic and romance may safely be said to begin with "The Song of Roland" (available in W.S. Merwin's excellent translation in the Modern Library volume "Medieval Epics"), but the tradition includes scores if not hundreds of contributors--and three of these constitute together a magnificent achievement: Pulci's "Morgante," Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso," and Tasso's "Jerusalem Delivered."
Maybe due to the hyper-popularity of Arthurian material, these three major authors and their respective masterpieces have a shockingly undistinguished and short list of english translations. Happily, Anthony Esolens has supplied us with a truly superb, vivid, and beautiful rendering of Tasso's neglected epic. It is so good, in fact, that I second the reviewer below in hoping for a future translation of Ariosto. For what it's worth, Bernard Knox wrote a highly favorable review of this edition in the New York Times Book Review, in which he called Esolen's work "a triumph." Don't hesitate.
Most recent customer reviews
This translation is wonderful. It's clear and understandable using more modern English, understandable yet regal. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2011 by Crusades Fan
It is what it is. I suppose the fact that I wish it was something different is hardly Tasso's fault; nonetheless, I have mixed emotions regarding this poem. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003 by GeoX
I am just about to finish this translation of Tasso's venerable crusade and I just had to express how wonderful I think it is. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2002 by Kim
A terrific poem! Just read: --
A felon in his wrath, Argante rides
trampling the fighter's breast like a bare street,
shouting, "Let every one who loves his... Read more
Tasso's wonderful story of adventure and romance is rendered poorly by translator Esolen. While everyone realizes that prose translation is a difficult task, when the literature is... Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2001 by Steve A
This magical epic poem tells the story of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon and other European noblemen and warriors. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2001 by Guillermo Maynez
Mr. Esolen has done the english-bound reader a fine service: we are drowning in Dantes, up to our eyeballs in Homers and Virgils and Ovids, but where are the compulsively readable... Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2000
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