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Jerusalem Delivered (Gerusalemme liberata) Paperback – Jul 10 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service (July 10 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801863236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801863233
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
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
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Viberg on May 25 2004
Format: Paperback
Tasso is arguably Italy's most important 16th-century poet. His Gerusalemme liberata is both his major work and the last great epic of the Italian Renaissance tradition, with foreshadowings of the emerging baroque style. Esolen is close to the mark in calling his subject "a kind of Caravaggio of poetry," for Tasso's verse embodies a chiaroscuro of both content and style. A retelling of the first Crusade--presenting battle, duels, and heroes in the classical mold and capturing doomed love affairs in sensual, melodic poetry--this is a rousing story, and Esolen does an exceptional job of capturing the rhythm and tensions of the original in a superb translation. Unlike Ralph Nash (prose translation, CH, Mar'88), Esolen provides fluid modern verse that maintains the end couplets of the ottava rima (which is nearly impossible to render into English) and many end rhymes too, making this a lyric feast as well as an accurate translation. The brief introduction provides considerable information about Tasso's life and times and a fine overview of the epic itself. The notes are equally informative, providing historical data as well as literary, particularly classical, references. A good bibliographic essay, a lengthy "Cast of Characters," and the solid scholarly apparatus includes a discussion of the epic's allegory
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GeoX on Aug. 1 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
First of all, let's be honest here: Jerusalem Delivered has a worldview which just about everyone reading today is going to find totally repulsive: Christians--good; Pagans--bad. Utterly and absolutely. True, Tasso's pagans (ie, Muslims) are occasionally praised, and his Christians sometimes stray, but really, let's not fool ourselves: this doesn't really amount to anything. Although Tasso's life was endlessly conflicted, here he is trying his hardest to write from a good, Christian viewpoint. I wasn't expecting the civilized urbanity of Ariosto or anything, but this is really a bit much. The climax of the poem, with Christians unapologetically slaughtering, pillaging, and raping (no, seriously--check book XIX, verse XXX)--all without a hint of disapprobation from Tasso--is pretty stomache-turning. You could *try* to argue that the scene is meant as some sort of subtle criticism in itself, but I really don't think you'll find any textual evidence for this. Contrast this with the sacking of Biserta in Orlando Furioso--surely that poem's darkest moment--and the difference becomes obvious. I realize that some people will dismiss my criticisms as nothing more than political correctness run amuck, and, ..., maybe it is, but I make no apologies. As a fairly serious reader, I'm accustomed to simply accepting things in literature that run totally counter to my own ideology, but being, alas, a mere human, there IS a limit. I want to stress that this only became irksome to me towards the poem's end, but it definitely affected my opinion of the work as a whole.
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Format: Paperback
This translation is wonderful. It's clear and understandable using more modern English, understandable yet regal. The other guy's translation of Jerusalem Delivered was so antiquated, with commas and clauses inserted every four words, hard to slog through. This one's much more enjoyable, if you really want to understand what Tasso is depicting without King James English. The book is literally all poetry, stanza after stanza.

Poor old Tasso lived a turbulent life, but he left a real masterpiece about the holy city, Jerusalem, when the Crusaders determined to take it for Christ. Godfrey of Bouillon is cool.

I'm enjoying this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Let's be clear on what I am reviewing...I am reviewing Jerusalem Delivered as published in hardcover by IndyPublish. This poem is also available in paperback as published by John Hopkins Univer. Press, and it is that version of the poem that first captured my attention. The John Hopkins paperback is a translation by A.M. Esolen and, in my humble opinion, it is magnificent in almost every way -- good introductory material on the original poet (Tasso) and the poem itself, great translation, good endnotes, nice packaging. The only draw back to the John Hopkins-published book is that it is a paperback, and after reading the poem I had to have a hardcover for my budding library. After months of searching I stumbled across the subject of this review...the IndyPublish hardcover version of Jerusalem Delivered. Where to start...? Firstly, the translation is (I think) that of Edward Fairfax, written in the late 1700s (perhaps...?). I prefer Esolen's, but the Fairfax is good. I get the feeling reading the Fairfax that the translator often tried too hard to force the rhymes, often employing punctuation to emphasize the rhymes and creating a very sing-song and, at times, tiring la-te-la-te-la-te-doe-doe. But, it is for the most part still a good read if you can break the sing-song cycle.
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.
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