'The bitter tragedy of human life- horrors of death, attack, retreat, advance, and the great game of Destiny and Chance. ' In The Liberation of Jerusalem (Gerusalemme liberata, 1581), Torquato Tasso set out to write an epic to rival the Iliad and the Aeneid. Unlike his predecessors, he took his subject t from myth but from history: the Christian capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The siege of the city is played out alongside a magical romance of love and sacrifice, in which the Christian knight Rinaldo succumbs to the charms of the pagan sorceress Armida, and the warrior maiden Clorinda inspires a fatal passion in the Christian Tancred. Tasso's masterpiece left its mark on writers from Spenser and Milton to Goethe and Byron, and inspired countless painters and composers. This is the first English translation in modern times that faithfully reflects both the sense and the verse form of the original. Max Wickert's fine rendering is introduced by Mark Davie, who places Tasso's poem in the context of his life and times and points to the qualities that have ensured its lasting impact on Western culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful tes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Max Wickert is a poet whose poems and verse translations have been published in American journals including American Poetry Review, Chicago Review, Sewanee Review etc. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Dennis, says of his translation: 'Max Wickert's fine translation captures both the dignity and the energy of Tasso's epic, its artfulness and its passion. It's an impressive achievement.' Mark Davie has published studies on various aspects of Italian literature, mainly in the period from Dante to the Renaissance. He has contributed to The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature and he is the Italian Editor of Modern Language Review.