Publishing goes to Hell with ‘Dante’s Inferno’ game tie-in

DriveThruRPG.com

A new trade paperback edition of the 14th century epic poem Dante’s Inferno is planned as part of a marketing push of Biblical proportions for Electronic Arts’ video game adaptation, which is due out Feb. 2.

gustave_dore_inferno34The text will be Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s English translation from the original Italian, and it will contain a 16-page, full-color insert chronicling the road from Renaissance literature to next-gen consoles — specifically the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the handheld PSP. The game’s executive producer, Jonathan Knight, pens a new introduction for the classic work as well.

Is this bordering on literary blasphemy? Perhaps. But it seems natural that the first high-profile game to be based solely on a work of classic literature should have its own reprint. Games inspire crappy novelizations and “original” novels all the time … what’s wrong with exposing one of the greats to a potential new audience?

Oh, check out the book’s cover — wrapped in promotional artwork from the game, of course — which I first saw over at Wired:

dantes-inferno-650x460

This is just the latest in a controversial crusade of promotions for the Dante’s Inferno game.

In June, EA secured an early seat in Hell with a publicity stunt involving a staged protest against its own game to coincide with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles. They also offered a $6.66 discount on 09/09/09 and sent $200 checks to video game critics, daring the journalists to cash them.

There was also a viral marketing campaign that involves a website and promotional video for a nonexistent game called Mass: We Pray, which links to the Inferno game’s official site and a Facebook app.

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  • Two issues with this:

    1) Are they only including Inferno in this book? If so, it’s missing 2/3 of the poem.

    2) A lot of people are critical about Longfellow’s translation. C.H. Sisson’s translation, which I use, uses a lot more clarity and common language. He even prefaces his translation which a few pages on why every other translation of The Divine Comedy is so terrible.

    I’m just saying in the interest of preserving the work and getting people to read it, they may not have chosen the best method of delivery.

  • Two issues with this:

    1) Are they only including Inferno in this book? If so, it’s missing 2/3 of the poem.

    2) A lot of people are critical about Longfellow’s translation. C.H. Sisson’s translation, which I use, uses a lot more clarity and common language. He even prefaces his translation which a few pages on why every other translation of The Divine Comedy is so terrible.

    I’m just saying in the interest of preserving the work and getting people to read it, they may not have chosen the best method of delivery.

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