St. Petersburg: Tipografia A. Morigerovskago, Troitskii per., d Gasse, 1871. , XXVI, 291 pp. 17.7x12.6cm. Period half-leather. Edges and spine worn. Otherwise a very good copy. Previous owner’s inscription on the p.78.
Rare. First edition. Second and third editions published in 1872 and 1873 respectively.
Published by V. A. Petrov in 1871, this is the third-ever Russian translation (in verse) of Dante’s Inferno from Italian.
The first Russian translations of excerpts from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy appeared in the early 19th century. The lack of Russian translations before this was due to Dante's Catholic views being unacceptable to the Russian Orthodox Church, which considered such theology heretical. The 1st part of The Divine Comedy was first translated into Russian by the famous writer and translator, Elizaveta Kologrivova (1809-1884) in 1842-1843. The second rendition of Inferno was published by the Russian poet, translator and professor of medicine, Dmitry Min (1818-1883) in 1855.
It is fair to say that Alighieri exerted revolutionary influence on the development of Russian poetry. Not only did The Divine Comedy arouse great interest from Russian poets, but it also gave impetus to the emergence of new literary forms. Russian poetry took advantage of the three-part structure of the Comedy – Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven - as a model for creating new literary works, the most famous examples of which are Gogol’s Dead Souls and Andre Bely’s novels.
The full Comedy was first translated into Russian by Dmitry Minaev (1835-1889) in 1873-1879.