An exquisite medley of lyrical verse and poetic prose, La Vita Nuova
(The New Life
) ranks among the supreme revelations in the literature of love. Its allegorical view of the soul's crisis and growth combines a narrative with meditations, dreams, songs, and prayers.
In this masterpiece of his youth, Dante assembles a selection of his love poems within a prose framework that situates them chronologically and autobiographically. The result is a history of his love for Beatrice, the muse he encountered in childhood who continued to influence him long after her marriage and early death. Upon completing this work in 1294, the future author of The Divine Comedy
pledged to write of Beatrice "what has never before been written of any woman."
Instructors and students of Italian, as well as anyone interested in the masterworks of world literature, will appreciate this dual-language edition. It features a new English translation, in addition to an informative introduction and helpful notes.