Inferno by James Nactwey
“Through me is the way to the sorrowful city.
Through me is the way to join the lost people."
By James Nachtwey
Douglas Cruickshank says:
Inferno, by photojournalist James Nachtwey, is big (11 by 15 inches, two-and-a-quarter inches thick), heavy and covered in black cloth, costs $125 and contains 382 large, vivid and extraordinary black-and-white photographs on its 480 pages. And it's not pretty. Indeed, it's a guided tour of hell, or at least the past 10 years of hell as it's been played out in places like Romania, Somalia, India, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Zaire, Chechnya and Kosovo.
The book opens with this epigraph from Dante's "Inferno": "Through me is the way to the sorrowful city. Through me is the way to join the lost people." And then, following a short, elegant introduction by Luc Sante, off we go, into the Inferno, accompanying Nachtwey on his nightmare mission. It's heartbreakingly bad stuff and grotesquely exquisite, too.