Eva Plesnik Reads Dante in Slovak

June 4, 2021 by Communications

CMS student Eva Plesnik appears in a recent release from the Toronto Salutes Dante project, where she reads Dante's Inferno 18 in Slovak.

Eva’s doctoral work is on the Italian humanist Petrarch. As she notes, “many of Petrarch’s ideas actually come from Dante,” and Dante is important to her work as a “fundamental point of comparison.”

Inferno 18 describes the eighth circle of hell, the circle of seducers and flatterers. Eva says that a unique feature of this canto is its satire. Dante’s earlier empathy for the tormented souls in hell evaporates, and in the eighth circle, Eva says that “Dante is very much mocking the people that he meets here.”

Eva also notes that this is her first time reading Dante in her native language, Slovak. The translation was made in 1964 by a celebrated Slovak poet named Viliam Turčány, who collaborated with the scholar Jozef Felix. Turčány memorized Dante’s original verses in Italian and would recite them while making his translation. The translation emphasizes rhymes and alliteration, and is meant to be recited; it has won many awards in Slovakia and Europe. The translation of Inferno 18 can be downloaded from the Italian Studies website.