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Orlando Furioso

Lodovico Ariosto

Book Overview: 

Charlemagne's nephew Orlando (AKA Roland) is driven insane by the infidelity of his beloved Angelica. Angelica's relationship with him and others loosely unifies multiple story lines to produce a rich tapestry of romance, fictionalized history, and pure fantasy. This romance-epic is a sequel to the less distinguished and unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato, by Mattteo Maria Boiardo.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .X
  Here beds are seen adorned with silk and gold;
  Nor of partition aught is spied or wall:
  For these, and floor beneath, throughout that hold,
  Are hid by curtains and by carpets all.
  Now here, now there, returns Orlando bold,
  Nor yet can glad his eyes, in bower or hall,
  With the appearance of the royal maid,
  Or the foul thief by whom she was conveyed.

  This while, as here and there in fruitless pain
  He moves, oppressed with thought and trouble sore,
  Gradasso, Brandimart, and him of Spain,
  Ferrau, he finds, with Sacripant and more;
  Who ever toiling, like himself, in vain
  Above, that building, and beneath explore,
  And as they wander, curse with one accord
 . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am in love with this book, and I have no idea why everybody isn't reading it all the time. It is a massively fun tale dealing with the exploits of the knights of Charlemagne. It moves incredibly quickly, seamlessly weaves together dozens of terrific stories, and gives the reader all the fulfill...more

Classic of world literature. Renaissance Proto-feminism, dizzying irony, labyrinths of interwoven parallel plotting, and very funny: what more could you want from a this ponderous multi-volume work of an iconoclastic poetic genius? Here one sees the beginning of the breakdown of the rigid classic...more

[2 novembre 2012]
Appena comprata questa edizione Bur mi dicevo: ma perché in una collezione di classici con nuovi commenti ristampano questo di Emilio Bigi che compie proprio ora trent'anni? Ora che lo sto leggendo capisco il perché.

[5 settembre 2017]
Una delle cose che non sopporto è quando dicon...more

Ο κεντρικός άξονας του έργου αφορά στην πολιορκία του Παρισιού από τους Μαυριτανούς και τους Σαρακηνούς. Ο χριστιανός βασιλιάς Καρλομάγνος έχει να αντιμετωπίσει τον Αφρικανό Αγκραμάντ και τους Μαυριτανούς συμμάχους του, που έρχονται από την Ισπανία. Δεν είναι όμως αυτό το μόνο θέμα που κυριαρχεί...more


A colui che di fantasy va ghiotto
è offerto questo mio consiglio scaltro:
di gettar gli young adults giù di sotto,
che fotocopia sono l'un dell'altro,
e leggere il Furioso in un sol botto,
di fantasia stracolmo e in più, peraltro,
di fate e negromanti sì ripieno
da risultargli certo...more

A few years ago when I read Irving Stone's amazing work The Agony And The Ecstasy about the life of Michelangelo, the poet Ludovico Ariosto was mentioned somewhere as being a dinner guest of the Pope of the day. With my typical curiosity, I wondered if Ariosto was a real person (he was); what did...more

I read Orlando Furioso many years ago, but I still remember the good feeling as I went through Ludovico Ariosto's pages. A fantastic and unusual parody of chivalry.
“Nature made him, and then broke the mold.”

“Ah, how I rue that what I could have done I did not do!” Highly recommended!

Perhaps it speaks more to the age I live in than that of the author, but I'm always surprised to find a reasonable, rational mind on the other end of the pen. Though Ariosto's unusual work is full of prejudice and idealism, it is constantly shifting, so that now one side seems right, and now the...more

If I told you that you should read an early sixteenth century Italian verse epic whose primary themes are courtly love and chivalry, would you do it? What if I told you there's a new translation which abridges the massive original to a mere 700 pages? Too good to be true?

I know what you're thinki...more

Why is this epic not better known? Sure, there are ample academic texts written about it, its importance to later literature is widely acknowledged, and I've read more than one reference to it in the works of other great authors, but the vast majority of readers have never even heard of Orlando F...more

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