Allen Mandelbaum

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Allen Mandelbaum (May 4, 1926 – October 27, 2011) was an American professor of Italian literature, poet, and translator. He taught English and comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York from 1966 to 1986 and served as executive officer of the Ph.D. Program in English from 1972 to 1980.[1] He was named the W. R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Humanities at Wake Forest University in 1989. He was born in Albany, New York in 1926.[2] His translation of the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri appeared between 1980 and 1984; they were published by the University of California Press and supported by the notable Dante scholar Irma Brandeis. He subsequently acted as general editor of the California Lectura Dantis, a collection of essays on the Comedy; two volumes, on the Inferno and Purgatorio, have been published.

Mandelbaum received the 1973 National Book Award in category Translation for Virgil's Aeneid.[3] He is also the recipient of the Order of Merit from the Republic of Italy, the Premio Mondello, the Premio Leonardo, the Premio Biella, the Premio Lerici-Pea, the Premio Montale at the Montale Centenary in Rome, and the Circe-Sabaudia Award.

In 2000, Mandelbaum traveled to Florence, Italy, for the 735th anniversary of Dante's birth, and was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor of the City of Florence, in honor of his translation of the Divine Comedy. In 2003, he was awarded The Presidential Prize for Translation from the President of Italy, and received Italy's highest award, the Presidential Cross of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity. He died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2011.[4]



  • Journeyman
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Chelmaxioms
  • A Lied of Letterpress
  • The Savantasse of Montparnasse
  • The Aeneid of Virgil (rev. 1971). New York: Bantam. 1981. ISBN 0-553-21041-6. 
  • Homer's Odyssey. New York: Bantam. 1991. ISBN 978-0-553-21399-7. 
  • Ovid's Metamorphoses
  • The Selected Writings of Salvatore Quasimodo
  • The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Inferno (1980). New York: Bantam. 1982. ISBN 0-553-21339-3. 
  • The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Purgatorio (1982). New York: Bantam. 1984. ISBN 0-553-21344-X. 
  • The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Paradiso (1984). New York: Bantam. 1986. ISBN 0-553-21204-4. 
  • Selected poems of Giuseppe Ungaretti. Ithaca: Cornell UP. 1975. ISBN 0-8014-0850-4. 

Edited work[edit]


  1. ^ Graduate Center Community News | February 2012
  2. ^ "Allen Mandelbaum". Winston-Salem Journal, November 4 to 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "National Book Awards – 1973". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
    There was a "Translation" award from 1967 to 1983.
  4. ^ "Allen Mandelbaum, Translator of Divine Comedy, Dies at 85". William Grimes. The New York Times, November 5, 2011.

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