The Divine Comedy

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He is the one who with his pen of many tails wraps around his enemies and throws them down the pit to the Circle that DA believes the chosen sinners deserve. Even if this spectacle horrifies his ingenuous Pilgrim. Lust is the least damaging while Treason, in particular political treason and the betrayal of friends, is the most despicable. In comparison even Lucifer, a rendition that remains faithful to the medieval tradition, is not much more than a grotesque, and not particularly hateful, monster. Politics continue in Purgatory. He is the one holding the Silver and Gold keys, and who claims to know the very intimate thought of those who had the luck to repent the instance just before dying.

He awards then the transit ticket to Paradise. Can we be surprised if some of the awardees had some relation to those figures who had welcomed DA during his exile? The Pilgrim, as the only human in Purgatory, can bid for more prayers to the still living relatives when he goes back to Earth. He can effect a change in the duration that any purging sinner is to spend in the transitional stage, the only one of the three realms in which the clock is ticking. Could one expect DA to finally drop the political discourse in Heaven? No, of course not. There it even acquires greater strength since the discourse is cloaked with a divine mantle.

In Paradiso it will be no other than Saint Peter himself who will denounce the path of degeneration that the Papacy had taken in recent years. Indeed, a secluded Apocalyptical attests that politics forms a triptych in Commedia. In agreement with the intricate framework of parallels, symmetries and balances in this work, DA devoted the three chapters 6 in each book to political diatribes. Apart from his relying on Ancient Auctoritas, DA also accorded the full weight of history to his views, and it is mostly in a couple of major pageants and in the Valley of the Kings that he exposes the political disaster that the withdrawal from the Italian peninsula by the Empire had on the various city states.

It was left to the corrupt papacy and to the corrupt smaller kingdoms to spread crime along the full Europe. His solution was clear. The papacy had to govern only religious matters, and he extolled the Emperor Henry VII to hold the political reins of Europe. This extremely complex work is also soaking in Christian Dogma.

And what is to me extraordinary about the immediate reception of Commedia , is that it was treated like Scripture. In his appeal to religious dogma DA was extraordinarily successful, even if some of his claims were shockingly daring. He modified or added realms to the Christian Cosmos, with the peculiar understanding of the Limbo to accommodate revered figures from Ancient Antiquity, or added the Pre-Purgatory for the unabsolved Rulers. He designed his own ranking of the Sins, both for Hell and Purgatory.

Not by chance did he place the discussion of Free Will at the very center of the work, in Canto 16 of Purgatory. But the most dangerous proposition, for him, was his vehement defense of the limitations of the Papacy on Earth. He started writing in just a few years after the Papal Bull of Unam Sanctam the very controversial claim of papal infallibility. What is most remarkable for literature addicts is how DA, the author, develops all these themes, and succeeds in weighing with the gravest authority his poetic treatise.

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And this he does through his masterful manipulation of the power of fiction and the sophisticated uses of voices. His humanity, and his being in the middle of the moral mess in which he has placed himself is the perfect mirror for the reader. But we can trust him to embody us because Virgil , the greatest Roman poet and chronologist of the foundation of Rome, will guide us. We can trust him also because Christian Divinity has selected him as the, temporary, guide. With his revealed identity he can say goodbye to the pagan guide who cannot, alas, have a place in Heaven.

Dante, however, will. The spoiler provided by our general culture has damaged the way we read the work. The astounding pretention of DA in assigning himself the powers in deciding who goes where in his system of divine retributions has been blurred to some naive readers. Some of them try to excuse Dante precisely because they have been entirely convinced by his acting puppet. The highly successful Dante the Pilgrim DP as a candid personality with the qualities of kindness, fear, anger and similar emotions, distracts our attention away from the real Dante, the Author.

The Pilgrim is an alibi mechanism for his creator. He shows pity for the people DA condemns. He can go beyond the Terrace of Pride , in which the rather proud DA may be still spending some of his time. And he becomes the anointed messenger from the Heavens to deliver to us what DA is writing. His brilliant dramatization with innumerable personages constitutes the choir of a ventriloquist. In the sophisticated Narrative technique, the handling of time is also magisterial.

Apart from the symbolic unfolding of the action during Holy Week of the year , and the references to eternal cosmic time, it is the numerous voices of this clever ventriloquist who continually foretell what is to happen to the sinners. Some of these were not yet dead at the time of the pilgrimage, but had already passed away when DA was writing his poem. He died three years later.

But there is also the shocking case of the soul that is already in penance while his body is still living on earth. This personality died even after Dante. Finally it is DP himself, once he has entered Heaven, who engages in this foretelling, and of course, it had to be in his warning to the Popes that were about to be in power in the years after the voyage of the Commedia , reminding them to stay out of politics and to forget material wealth.

He passes them with flying colors, because DP acknowledges that his knowledge is based on the Holy Text. And it is also with Text, and DA was very well versed in exploiting its four levels of interpretation Literal, allegorical, moral and anagogical , that is, with this new poetry that Dante Aliguieri is proposing a plan for his, and our, salvation. Because after such a heavenly Graduation who can deny the Commedia its status as Prophetic and Scriptural?

May be we saw it coming, when the still anonymous Pilgrim posited himself, at the very beginning of the poem, as the 6th greatest poet after the likes of Homer, Ovid, Virgil etc. So, may be it is not by chance that his identity as Dante is revealed until Virgil is used and expensed. But if DA has been exploiting his abilities as ventriloquist, it is with his own voice as a poet that he makes a presence in Commedia. Having reached the Empirium of the poem, we can stop and think about where Dante Alighieri has taken us.

Because, even if not eternal salvation, he has delivered us a most extraordinary feat of literature that we cannot but qualify as divine. Furthermore, he has done so in a newly coined language, to which he added some words of his own invention, and, most outstanding of all, he positioned the Author at the very center of that literary White Rose of fiction.

But before that, it had a long life. View all 67 comments. Reading the Divine Comedy at seventeen was, for me, to see the world sub specie aeternitatis. Writing it, in the 14th Century, was not considered okay either. So Dante was banished for life from Florence. In the Comedy eternal flame is the just deserts of corrupt conformity. And they, like it or not, always have the final say. And what they say, goes! So reading this literary landmark for the first time, when I was seventeen, marked the inauguration of a colossal climacteric in my life. What we have to do to find it is pacify our dark impulses, work out our emotional trauma with diligence and awareness, and then aspire to reach the gates of Real and Lasting Happiness in the crown of our emotions and intellect - Faith.

In the Unforgiving Face of the World. That sums it up: Hell. And Paradise. And it all takes place right here on the face of this unforgiving planet. Sink or swim! The cthonic tempest of the Inferno is just too intense! But Dante did it. So, while enduring his cruel vision in the daily life of ruthlessly divided Florence, he kept his rational cool throughout. It speaks volumes of his character. By the next summer I had graduated to a library loan of the much less bulky-sized John Ciardi translation, in a limited edition with abstract modernistic illustrations.

At university, it was the must-own tiny Everyman Library dual-language edition, with its graceful Pre-Raphaelite line drawings - very easy to stick into my shirt pocket going to and from lectures So, as well as the print edition pictured above - another excellent translation - THAT is the story of my life View all 9 comments.

Plumbing the crucible of happenstance. I should also mention that 3 years ago I had never cracked Dante's Divine Comedy. Now, I am finishing the Divine Comedy for the 3rd time. I've read Pinsky's translation of the Inferno. I've read Ciardi. It gives the Divine Comedy the verbal energy and the poetry that makes inferior translations a slog and makes Dante so damn difficult to translate well.

A mediocre translation might capture the stripes but lose the tiger. Clive James pulled off a master translation of one of the greatest works of art in any medium -- ever. The Divine Comedy is so divine I pass the redundancy that we can bring some of Dante's narration to our day, without necessarily dividing our moments in stages, and we do not even have to die to see the stages we have passed. Nowadays humanity, so sordid and unmasked, acts, treating one another personally, as if it had a particular Heaven of false power, knowing that it actually lives a real Hell.

Worse still is not to reach out to the next, pushing them to innumerable Purgatorys at once, offe The Divine Comedy is so divine I pass the redundancy that we can bring some of Dante's narration to our day, without necessarily dividing our moments in stages, and we do not even have to die to see the stages we have passed. Worse still is not to reach out to the next, pushing them to innumerable Purgatorys at once, offering no other choice. The owners of power gaining millions and millions, pretend to have mercy on suffering humanity, continuing with their shenanigans and lies, wanting the humiliated citizen to believe he is in Heaven, because they are still alive.

These greedy people whom we know very well, live a true and particular Hell, in the dispute of who can do more. The poor, suffering workers are already in Purgatory. Until, from time to time they feed a false hope that one day they will live in the Heaven of the mighty, causing a paraphernalia among the many greedy miserable ones, who is taking life, pushing and trampling those who try to pass before them, because many are in a hurry, and believe they can get out of Purgatory and reach the Infernal Heaven of illusion and social inequality.

View all 11 comments. I propose an extra level in the Inferno for procrastinators and abandoners. I was planning to write a novel where three protagonists commit suicide and end up in Scottish Hell. Since overcrowding has plagued the old Scottish Hell HQ, the protagonists are forced to queue up for weeks on end before arriving at the building for processing.

Upon their arrival, their sins are assessed by an administrator to determine which circle of Hell is appropriate for them. But due to cutbacks and financial inst I propose an extra level in the Inferno for procrastinators and abandoners. But due to cutbacks and financial instabilities, the three suicides are deemed unfit for service in Hell and are returned to their bodies. Back on Earth, the three characters return to their miserable lives, which they want to leave immediately.


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But before they commit suicide again, they have to break free from their mousy personalities and commit sins grievous enough to secure them a decent place in Hell. As the characters commit petty thefts and minor infelicities, the sin requirements to Hell become tougher and tougher, and they are repeatedly returned to their bodies. They spend their lives building up to larger and larger sins, constantly being returned to their bodies as the world around them becomes increasingly more depraved and violent.

I started this book but lost impetus halfway through. I was convinced this idea was derivative of other works the Hell-as-bureaucracy has certainly popped up in British satire and lost heart. I also lost heart halfway through the Inferno section of this, despite the translation being very fluent and readable. So I am going to the tenth circle, for the procrastinating bolter. I did read the graphic novel version: partial redemption? View all 23 comments. Justice the founder of my fabric moved: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I shall endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here. One of the greatest epic poems to have been written, ever. The book is divided into three books, Inferno, meaning hell; Purgatorio, meaning purgatory; and Paradiso, meaning heaven. My favourite has always been Inferno, but Paradiso is highly underrated, as underrated as this brilliant work can possibly be. This poem mixes religion and science, everything from the most basic Christian Dogma to early Islamic astronomy, with a lot of his political views mixed in.

At the time this work was being written, Dante was living in exile, he uses this work as a way to show his enemies and what he thought not only of figures of his time, but of historical figures in general, including Plato, Aesop, Alejandro Magno, Mary as well as legendary people, such as Abel, Diana, and Isaac. If one does not wish to read this simply because it is a long poem, read it for the historical view, so many interesting characters for history buffs. My favourite thing perhaps, was how he used his work to slam the people that harmed him, including Pope Boniface VIII, the man who exiled him.

I have a horrible sense of humour. View all 15 comments. I finished it! Someone, bring me my medal I am, however, a reader who wants to read "all of teh books" and I appreciate vivid imagery and interesting human interactions in fiction. I tackled the recent Clive James version of Dante's Divine Comedy--no footnotes or canto introductions here--because I just wanted to let the story wash over I finished it!

I tackled the recent Clive James version of Dante's Divine Comedy--no footnotes or canto introductions here--because I just wanted to let the story wash over me, to see how much I could "get" on my own without knowing why Dante's father's baker's frenemy's ex-lover's dog-handler was sitting upside-down in the burning pitch in Hell.

And when it comes to vivid imagery, the Inferno delivers. Surprisingly to me , the Purgatorio was also fairly easy to follow, as Dante and Virgil continue up a ceaseless barren slope past the singing, self-flagellating sinners who do their time for various sins and, each time an angel wipes an ash-mark from their foreheads, become one level closer to heaven. From reading the inferno in high school I had recalled Dante as a sniveling, swooning sissy--but on this re-read found myself very much liking his sensitivity and sense of empathy, especially to many of the sinners in hell well, as long as they are classical figures.

If he knows them, he's more likely to go stomp on their heads. Guide Virgil has to chastise him numerous times to keep him from getting understandably emotionally mired in the horrors he witnesses. My favorite parts, besides perhaps the insult-throwing trident-wielding demons, were the back-and-forths between Dante and Virgil. Sadly, though, Virgil is barred from entering heaven, and in the third book Paradiso we are stuck with the so-nauseatingly-lovely-and-perfect-that-you-just-want-to-smack-her Beatrice. Regardless of this new guide, I found Dante's heaven as impenetrable as listening to someone describe an acid-trip.

It struck me as a sort of renaissance-era Yellow Submarine complete with its own Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds though the incessant choral music wasn't quite as catchy. Watch it! If I notice a problem, I will fix it! Should be working now, anyway. Feb 26, James Capp rated it it was amazing.

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I first read this poem four years ago as part of a dare. The next summer, I wanted to read it again on account of the graphic imagery of Inferno and Purgatorio. Everyone should at the very least skim Inferno. Particularly in Inferno, the political references are funny and provocative, and the historical significance of I first read this poem four years ago as part of a dare. Particularly in Inferno, the political references are funny and provocative, and the historical significance of this epic poem is right up there with the Bible and Paradise Lost for me.

Paradiso is far more abstract and sappy than the other books. But yeah, this is my favorite book. It makes me want to visit Italy. It makes me want to write something worth reading! View all 6 comments. Nov 11, Steven Walle rated it it was amazing. This is one of the best epic poems ever! I highly recommend everyone reads this, Homer's works, and Virgil's works. This was a great translation and a wonder forward and glossery. Enjoy and Be Blessed. View 2 comments. I am back reading another version of The Divine Comedy. This translation by Australian poet Clive James is the most lyrical that I have read.

It is as if I was reading it for the first time and with all that joy of discovery. This review is based on the first book of this trilogy. But what blocks The flow is just that: my soft, childish tongu I am back reading another version of The Divine Comedy. But what blocks The flow is just that: my soft, childish tongue. I thought All heat down here was quenched. So they will cease…" View all 13 comments. Sep 18, Jon athan Nakapalau rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , favorites. I must confess that so much was beyond my comprehension; but I think that is the mark of a great work of art I was so happy when I finished this book!

Which one did you play? Er… well, let me explain. I wanted a space with my new website design to talk about video games—I love them. But I also want to, from time to time, engage with other media. Miserable not because I hated Dante. I read the Dorothy Sayers translation in terza rima, and I loved much of it.

The misery came from the class: Freshman Honors English, semester 1. This was my introduction to college. One semester, one class: 4, pages of reading. Little known fact: that kid punched me in the face once. Is still, I assume! But I digress. Every student in Honors English had a B or lower. B- here. Our professor was a poet. No further explanation needed, right? The end of the semester was fast approaching. It was an assignment that would later save my soul.

Imagine thirty sweating honors class freshmen, some of whom had scholarships riding on their GPA, others—far more importantly—had their entire self-worth riding on their GPA. All of us faced Thanksgiving Break with the shame of a B. There were three weeks from Thanksgiving until finals, when the assignment was due. Three weeks in the inferno—or, if one paced oneself correctly, one would only spend one week in Inferno, one in Purgatorio, and the last in Paradiso.

Oh, let me tell you, how those freshmen rejoiced their way through Paradiso. Well, maybe the final canto. Want to see a textbook definition of subclinical triggering? On to the review. Okay, fine. One thing in particular struck me repeatedly about Dante, reading him now as a year-old fantasy writer, versus reading him as an year-old college freshman, and I mean so oft-repeated I felt like my face belonged to a P. The sheer audacity. Dante was writing the work without which he would be forgotten by most everyone except Italian lit majors.

He deserves it, but he jumps into that place like that kid challenging Mario Andretti to a quick couple laps for pink slips. But not only that.

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He, a Christian if one who finds himself lost along the Way in the dark wood of middle age , readily consigns foes and even acquaintances—some not yet dead, if I remember correctly—to Hell. Plus, not judging at all gets me thrown out of way fewer parties. Totally burning in Hell, right now. Look at the evil he did! Check this example out: that evil pope who himself is burning in hell?

Think like Godfather 3. The kicker? Evil Popey makes him go back! He did evil stuff! That courtier guy is heading for heaven—except the demons later tricked him into committing suicide by demons, a sin for which the pope apparently forgot to preemptively forgive him for. This whole episode is listed as proof that the pope was evil: he used his authority to pervert eternal justice.

No one gets to use a loophole to escape God! If your doctrine lets people fool God, your doctrine is wack, yo. He was actually the bad chap, and not nearly as wonderful as you make him out to be. Virgil meant his epic to be studied and admired by audiences high and low, and he meant to define his Romans as the best of the best. Sing it for me sometime. You guys thought small. Some guy on a boat? Some other pious guy on a different boat who lost a war to the first guy? Seriously, love your stuff, I even own the b-sides of your pastoral poetry.

In music? Dante also sets about to reconcile, or at least appropriate, the gods and monsters of antiquity—though sometimes not very successfully. You can tell me, buddy, I understand. You got stuck on that one part and were like, How can I get Dante and Virgil out of this one?

Oh, I know! A big ass dragon flies up out of the pit, scares the bejeepers out of them, and then totally lets them become the Dragonriders of Burn and head on down further! What do you learn about the power of hope or forgiveness when Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader? I had to look it up again. I was honestly proud of myself for merely remembering the word. The anagogical is a level of spiritual interpretation. This is when the work captures something that is eternally true.

In a Platonic sense, it would be when you step out of the cave and instead of looking at shadows on the wall of thing that are True, you look at the things themselves. Supernal: being of, or coming from, on high. You know this is the only way to get there. You therefore know they jumped through this curtain. Well, at least not everyone who jumps through gets a thermite sun-tan.

Thus, the anagogic lesson is that belief is, ultimately, an act of the will. Or, in the common phrase of which this scene may be the origin, one must take a Leap of Faith.

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And apparently his poetry is pretty good? The Sayers translation I read in college was way more beautiful than the Clive James version I listened to this time. Sorry, Clive, personal preference. Now, I should probably address the world-building, too, seeing how world-building is something fantasy writers ought to know something about. Yes, hecklers in the back, I hear you. Now run along and play. With scissors. On the one hand, this world-building is ingenious.

Anyone know if he borrowed most of this, or invented most of it? It all hangs together, literally and symbolically and morally. Satan is at the center of gravity? Like, literally? How scary is a guy with buried head-down with his butt in the air like a North Dakotan bike rack? Sorry, old Montanan North Dakota joke there. But when you think further, well, hell has inverted values, so after you come past him at the center of gravity, and into a vast crater—he left a giant crater when he was thrown out of heaven.

Of course he did!

The Divine Comedy

Of course he is! And so on. Audiobooks go WAY back.


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  • Or something. But it works… for the artists and the map-geeks, who fan art the hell out of it. What garbage. Oh, self-confidence. All this! Look at all that! At the SAME time! All that, and then… Dante flinches. Dante gets daunted. Do you know how Satan addresses the first non-traitor to visit Satan since he was thrown out of Heaven? But nope. Satan says nothing. It was all a trap. Now you can rot with the worst of them. I am literally going to eat your idiot face for eternity! No last minute rescue by an angel. Even when Dante grabs onto his hairy ass and climbs around him through the center of the universe where gravity reverses itself and climbs out to go to Mt Purgatory, literally past his butthole.

    And climbing…Past. Weaksauce, Ali D! Lotta buildup to go limp at the finish! Great literature of this magnitude will always inspire defenders. But just because something is great in He took the bear to hell for a match where he planned to kick Pooh's ass. Pooh said, "Hey this isn't funny! And I don't see one ounce of honey. This is hell not "Dancing with the Stars. Where people pay for their mortal sins And I wonder Pooh, where your sins' been.

    For he knew hoarding honey was Greed And he wasn't the most energetic bloke "Oh dear! Sloth's a sin! Is there no hope? When Beatrice descended and his win was history. Beatrice squealed like a schoolgirl in joy. A little Pooh Toy!. Yea Win, Yea Win. With apologies to Cab Calloway View all 4 comments.

    O'Brien, Thank you for your response to our recent tender. After due deliberation, we must regretfully inform you that we have decided not to implement your interesting plan for restructuring and downsizing the afterlife.

    Our accounting department confirms your statement that it would be more cost-effective only to retain Hell and wind up operations in Purgatory and Paradise. This would, however, directly conflict with our mission statement, which involves offering the chance of salvation to each and every soul. Our senior counsel, based on numerous precedents, contests your claim that this is in principle equivalent with "a boot grinding a human face, forever". We appreciate your ingenious compromise suggestion that the "integrated afterlife experience", as you describe it, could be administered by a board chaired by the late Pope Boniface VIII, and accept that this offer was made in good faith.

    None the less, our feeling is that Signor Boniface is not in all respects a suitable person to fill this role. The above notwithstanding, we are agreeable to implementing several of the specific points listed in Appendix C which concern improvements to the current structure of Hell. In particular, we will shortly be commencing an upgrade programme according to which the jaws of His Infernal Majesty will be substantially expanded.

    We are pleased to inform you that the work will be completed well before your own demise, according to our records scheduled for April 19, , and we have already reserved a place for you next to Signor Cassius. Yours sincerely, Gabriel I am so glad for the Divine Comedy and Decameron group for providing the structure and encouragement which provided the impetus for my finally reading this classic! I am also very pleased that I decided to read John Ciardi's translation as his synopsis and notes added immeasurably to my reading.

    While personally I found Dante's travel's through Hell occasionally difficult, the Purgatorio and Paradiso except for the first few scholarly cantos flowed with beautiful poetry. And through it all, Da I am so glad for the Divine Comedy and Decameron group for providing the structure and encouragement which provided the impetus for my finally reading this classic! And through it all, Dante maintained his amazing, and consistent, vision.

    No wonder this has stood the test of time. View all 12 comments. I could review the edition and translator, though I have nothing else to compare them against.

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    Ciardi's notes at the end of each canto are always illuminating, sometimes funny and occasionally self-deprecating. I chuckled at Ciardi's humor and was appreciative of his honesty whenever he used a rhyme-forced addition, as well as the instance or two when he asked the reader to forgive his less-than-perfect po How in the World or Inferno or Purgatorio or Paradiso am I supposed to review this work? I chuckled at Ciardi's humor and was appreciative of his honesty whenever he used a rhyme-forced addition, as well as the instance or two when he asked the reader to forgive his less-than-perfect poetry.

    He's both thorough and entertaining. Use any adjective you'd like and it's bound to fit at least one part of Dante's work: condemnatory, fearful and exuberant; horrific, trepidatious and jubilant; political, personal and universal: there's really no point in my going on, especially now that I've used three sets of three. I'd love to know what kind of person Dante became after finishing this work. He had to be changed in the course of its writing; it would be sad and too human of him to think otherwise.

    View all 14 comments. Aug 13, samantha books-are-my-life20 rated it really liked it. While a little hard to read at times but this is still a classic and a good read. What can one say about The Divine Comedy that hasn't been said? An analysis? Many scholars have already done that — and quite outstandingly, I must say, to a degree that I would never achieve. A funny meta review of sorts?

    It's already been done. So I guess it's like Solomon said and there's no new thing under the sun about this masterpiece: it needs no explanations about its grandeur and it does itself justice. My only remaining words would be an endorsement upon this edition published by Oxford What can one say about The Divine Comedy that hasn't been said? My only remaining words would be an endorsement upon this edition published by Oxford University Press, translated by C. Regardless of the translation's unpopularity, it's absolutely well done, in blank verse, and the explanatory notes were completely helpful for me, since even though I knew many of the works to which Dante makes reference throughout the cantos such as Ovid's Metamorphoses or Virgil's Aeneid or even The Bible , there were many other authors, political and pontifical personages, and works that I didn't.

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    The Divine Comedy

    Furthermore, Dante, besides his undeniable mastery as a poet, was also somewhat of an astronomer, a theologian, a philosopher; so some of his verses can be quite obscure without proper guidance. For me, this edition provided me with everything I needed to know in a paged section of explanatory notes. As I read a canto, I read the corresponding notes: a technique I took from one of Borges's stories. Then as I moved forward in the book I understood that Dante was a virtuoso in poetry, but as I read the notes and came to understand some lines that seemed as nothing more than metaphors that were part of the poem, I knew every single one of them is there for a reason, written by an author who was a genius indeed.

    Sep 24, Solomon rated it liked it. Sure--why not write a trite, pithy review of one of the great works of Western Literature? Fuck it! Yes, it's beautifully poetic, but Dante is also intolerably self-righteous and hilariously bitter in it, skewering, roasting, and tearing to pieces quite literally his detractors, enemies, and some people that he maybe just didn't like much.

    The tortures are sometimes hilarious and in no way biblical Although surely most modern Catholics excepting, perhaps, the Appenines don't think that the herds of Satan's chattel are so swollen with old Italian aristocracy. I'd be mad too. I think I'd probably cut a Vanni Fucci figure in hell The losers falling into line and cowering under the black pitch might as well grow some balls Are you allowed to use naughty words on Goodreads? Everything it is to be a human being is brought to form and consequence within a single structure that makes The Divine Comedy the most massive metaphor of western culture.

    Fast forward 4 years. I' Everything it is to be a human being is brought to form and consequence within a single structure that makes The Divine Comedy the most massive metaphor of western culture.

    When I finally decided to, I had that rendering of the first Canto in mind that I had heard on Mad Men, but I didn't know if it actually existed, or if someone on the show had taken an artistic liberty and changed an existing translation. I began comparing: I found Longfellow hard to follow; Mendelbaum flat. Finally, I came across Ciardi's translation.

    I loved it. Not just the opening of the first Canto, but the whole of the first Canto, and some other parts that I compared. For me, it strikes a perfect balance between readability and poetic melody. I was lucky. But my own wings were not enough for this, Had it not been that then my mind there smote A flash of lightning , wherein came its wish. Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy: But now was turning my desire and will, Even as a wheel that equally is moved,. The Love which moves the sun and the other stars. Wikipedia has an article about: Divine Comedy. Wikisource has original text related to: Divine Comedy.

    Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The Divine Comedy. Category : Epic poetry. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read Edit View history.