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Dante's Purgatory [Divine Comedy]Translanted. The Collected Works of Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy, Book One. Translated By The Rev. The Banquet Mobi Classics. De Monarchia Illustrated Edition. Dante's Paradise [Divine Comedy]Translanted. Divine Comedy, Norton's Translation, Purgatory.
The Divine Comedy, Complete. A New Verse Translation. Epic Poems Zongo Classics. But the question remains, what do I make of the book itself, divorced from its reputation? How do I, reading TDC in translation in the 21st century, approach it in a way that is respectful but also honest?
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The short answer is no. In the nine months I spent with Dante, I almost never felt myself moved in the way I am when I read Shakespeare, or any number of other authors with smaller reputations but large places in my heart. I enjoyed TDC, I engaged with it, I was rarely bored--but my response was also almost entirely intellectual, not emotional. With a few exceptions the final few cantos, when we finally see the Empyrean and God himself, were beautiful , my reaction to Dante differed little from my reaction to an interesting work of scholarly nonfiction.
When my reading for the day was finished, my impulse was to research the symbolism I had missed, not to reflect on the majesty of what I had just read. But before you burn me at the literary stake am I mixing metaphors? What makes TDC so great, and how can I acknowledge its greatness while still admitting that it left me a bit cold?
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That's very complex stuff. It's also pretty much impossible to imitate in English without compromising the meaning though a few translators, most notably Robert Pinsky, have tried. That maybe wasn't so much a problem in T. Eliot's day, when you were hardly considered literate if you didn't possess a working knowledge of three or four or five European languages--you could just read it in the original Italian.
Most translations are considered good if they nail even one of these. Of great Costanza this is the effulgence, Who from the second wind of Suabia Brought forth the third and latest puissance. I also hear good things about the Dorothy Sayers version, and the aforementioned Robert Pinsky. But all this leads to another Big Question: Can a translation ever be anything more than a pale reflection of the original?
And if so, what does that mean for those of us reading it? I wish I could say. Every sin and virtue, and every subset thereof traitors to their kindred, to their country, to their guests, to their lords… , has a cast of characters to illustrate it, drawn from classical mythology, secular and religious history, and contemporary Italian life. The Symbolism In addition to the straightforward literal reading, TDC also includes several very deliberate layers of symbolism.
There is virtually nothing in the poem that is not imbued with allegorical significance.
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Literally any number referenced or utilized anywhere? Definitely representative of something. The punishments and tasks allotted each sinner in hell and purgatory? Better believe they were meticulously devised for ultimate thematic relevance. One of the cantos includes a throwaway reference to some rope that Dante and Virgil use to descend a cliff, and the Sparknotes for that canto make much of the fact that the rope might actually, against the odds, be just a rope.
How Far Should I Read? In a literary age so dominated by the series, where people line up at midnight for the latest installment of Harry Potter and threaten George R. Martin for writing too slowly, it seems bizarre that anyone would be satisfied simply reading the first part of a trilogy and then moving on to other things. I assumed and still assume, with some provisions that it must be morbid curiosity: There is a discernible difference between Inferno and the other two installments, and it's not just that Inferno has all the blood and gore. The journey from Hell to Heaven, as Dante envisions it, is also a journey from the carnal to the spiritual--from the tangible, in other words, to the abstract--and this is reflected as much in the writing as in the action on the page.
Inferno is relatively straightforward and visceral: As we progress to our more enlightened state, however, we lose not only the fun karmic justice of Inferno there are no virtue-specific rewards in Paradise, because eternity in the presence of God is reward enough , but we also shift modes from the descriptive to the philosophical. With no more Sisyphean torments to gawk at, Dante takes to grilling the heavenly host for answers to the big theological disputes of his day.
While Dante no doubt enjoyed giving a saintly mouthpiece to his own religious opinions, it's not hard to see why this stuff is less popular than Inferno 's litany of tortures. I don't think you have to be an uncultured heathen to admit that lengthy verse discussions of Aquinian theology are less fun to read about than the flatterers in Hell writhing around in a lake of excrement.
Most readers, it seems, would rather forgo the heady philosophizing of Paradiso altogether, and publishers are glad to oblige: The Final Verdict This review is more than long enough already, so I'll cut to the chase. I'm afraid I've made Dante's masterpiece out to be a thoroughly unpleasant reading experience: That wasn't my intention note the four-star rating , but I do hope that in the process I've at least gotten at something worth getting at. The Divine Comedy is a great work of literature; it's hard to see how anyone could dispute that.
But it is also a difficult work of literature, and many of the factors that make it so difficult are the very same factors that make it so great. I think that's okay. I think it's good to grapple with literature that challenges us. I think it's good to engage with art at an intellectual level, even if we don't always feel it on an emotional one.
And maybe that gut-level stuff isn't always what matters most after all. I'm glad to have read Dante, and I hope to continue to wrestle with his Comedy for the rest of my reading life. Maybe someday it'll find its way to my heart; in the meantime, I'm happy to hold it in my mind.
Beatriz es una petarda. From Paradiso, Canto I found this work to be a bit of a slog, though. Particularly after the medical edibles. Dore's illustrations are absolutely sensational, though, and essential to the reading of this work. And another star for Dore's work, for a 4-star rating. And now, snack time! View all 6 comments. Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and his culture. It appears to be that according to the tenets of The Inferno, practically anything can win a person a ticket to hell—really, anything, from deliberately enacting simple basic human urges to having been born in the wrong time period.
Love is one of the greatest virtues according to Christian philosophy, and it is thanks to love that the human species is not yet extinct. However, abstinence does not guarantee heaven either. The great Socrates, virtuous though he was, did not escape the grip of hell simply for having had been born in the wrong time period and unknowingly worshiping the wrong deities.
Verily, how unfortunate it is to be him! To have abstained from all bodily pleasures and needs in the erroneous assumption that he was saving his soul, only for it to turn out that he was damned from the minute he was conceived. So much for his celibacy and anorexic tendencies. Alas—but he did not.
A person who is undergoing such extreme suffering as to desire death ought to reserve the right to take his or her own life. Granted that it is a cowardly thing to do, and rather outrageous for a person to put an end to a life that is already so short as it is. Nevertheless, if the person peacefully and quietly commits the suicide without inflicting physical pain on others should not have to pay with an eternity of anguish.
Life is a beautiful mystery and it is difficult to understand why somebody would go out of their way to put an end to it; still, there are other pleasures in life that people seemingly do not engage in, and it is also hard to understand why they repress themselves from enjoying life, but nobody puts those people in hell for not embracing their human condition—unless, of course, they were born in the wrong place and the wrong time. Therefore, why should the suicidal have to pay?
Abstaining from love, nourishment, anger, and other inherently human things is already antithetical to life itself. Certainly the least favorite parts of many Animal Planet viewers are those in which tender, innocent bunnies are attacked and eaten by awful, voracious wolves and tigers.
The truth is that the tigers and wolves are as innocent as the bunnies, it is just that they are naturally predators and they need to survive somehow. It is in their nature. Humans have such strange ways in fancying that they are somehow above animals, but the truth is that humans share in this nature, they just have a harder time accepting it and have a million ways of euphemizing ancient stories.
Religions and cultural mores change constantly with the turn of every generation… the rules that dominate the animal kingdom have pretty much remained constant since the beginning of life. Logically speaking, what is more just and reliable…. Heaven and hell exist simultaneously on earth. Good things and bad things both happen to good and bad people because that is life—it is a series of high waves and low waves independent of outside factors. Consequences are only a result of human-formulated laws that vary by time period and culture, but time stops for nobody and the waves will continue their rhythm regardless of anything else.
Nov 02, Joaco rated it really liked it Shelves: So much has been written about The Divine Comedy that it feels pretentious to add my review to the list. However, it is such a great book that I needed to get it off my chest. As with any epic, you have several threads of analysis you can choose from: I really cannot choose one because I am not qualified in any of them but one thing is clear, Dante's erudition is overwhelming throughout the book. Proof of this is the lyrical style he chose the Dolce Stil N So much has been written about The Divine Comedy that it feels pretentious to add my review to the list.
Proof of this is the lyrical style he chose the Dolce Stil Novo in his Tuscan dialect- which would later become the modern Italian- the classical writers he paid homage to mostly Ovid and Virgil , philosophy following the scholastic of the time which were based on Aristotle's work , politics providing a great analysis on the state of the Empire and the Papacy , and so on. All of this, obviously, set on a backdrop of Roman Catholic power politics on the Italian peninsula.
This last point I believe is one the most important, because the catholic aspect of the book is sometimes lost in translation. Not because of technical aspects, but because of culture.
Having been raised as a catholic, having a "good" Pope or the importance of the Papacy returning to its roots providing for the poor instead of being a religion immersed in wealth are issues still being debated. In addition to his erudition, The Divine Comedy excels in its descriptions.
Whether he is feeling pity at a friend found in the lower levels of the Inferno, or elated at finally setting his eyes on Beatrice, you can almost see what Dante is seeing. The emotions described are also excellent, I could empathize with the character's feelings of dread, fear, anger, contrition, happiness, just to name a few. His guides Virgil and then Beatrice and for a few Cantos Bernard of Clairvaux were also perfect for each instance, Virgil being the personification of reason to avoid the fiery animals which had lost Dante in the forest and to endure the purging of his sins, and Beatrice being the personification of Divine Grace culminating her teaching giving him one last smile before turning to adore God in one of the final tercets.
I can totally understand why Florence would repent on its treatment to her biggest poet and build a tomb to receive his remains, even though it remains empty. Don't ask what happened for two-thirds of the book. The first part, Inferno, was very interesting and although it was difficult to read, it was not so difficult that one could not understand it. The next parts, Purgatorio and Paradiso, were just so boring. On the other side, I challenge anyone to read "The Ancestor's Tale" to the end, and not, at least for a moment, entertain the idea that Dawkins is in actual fact a deeply religious man.
He admits as much himself: As noted, both Dante and Dawkins are extremely unhappy with the way mainstream religion is being organized. The other characteristic that unites them for me is this passionate love for science. One has to remember that, for Dante, Ptolomaic astronomy was state of the art stuff, and the details of the angelic hierarchy were a topic of vital importance; of course he cross-examines the hosts of the blessed to find out more.
These days, I imagine he would be trying to get inside information on what happened during the Big Bang before spontaneous symmetry breaking occurred, whether or not the Higgs particle really exists, and how evolution produced human intelligence. For Dante, there didn't seem to be any opposition between religious faith and science - they were part of the same thing. I do wonder what he would have thought if he had been able to learn that many leading religious figures, even in the early 21st century, reject a large part of science as being somehow unreligious.
It's wrong to spend your life dispassionately trying to understand God's Universe? I can see him getting quite angry about this, and deciding to rearrange the seating a little down in Hell. I keep thinking that there's a book someone ought to write called "Five Atheists You'll Meet in Heaven". Please let me know when it comes out; I'll buy a copy at once. Obviously we wouldn't have the old geocentric model of the Universe - it would be bang up to date.
I think there is now far more material for an ambitious poet to work with than there was in the 14th century. For example, when we get to the Heaven of the Galaxy, I imagine him using this wonderful fact that all the heavy elements are made in supernova explosions. Then when we get to the Heaven of the Cosmos, we find that the light from the "Let there be light" moment at the beginning of Creation is still around - it's just cooled to 2. But it's not completely uniform, as the quantum fluctuations left over from the period when the Universe was the size of an atomic nucleus are the beginnings of the galaxies created on the second day.
Finally, we reach the Heaven of the Multiverse, and find that we are just one of many different universes. It was necessary to create all of them, so that random processes could make sure that a very small number would end up being able to support life. How impious to assume that God would only be able to create one Universe, and have to tweak all the constants Himself! View all 54 comments. I once thought I'd write an essay on how long it takes a serious author of fiction or nonfiction before he or she inevitably quotes Dante.
If I were to write a novel myself this is a hypothetical grammatical construction! I'd try to kill off annoying acquaintances and punish them severely for their lack of admiration for me and my creativity not to mention my sarcasm and I once thought I'd write an essay on how long it takes a serious author of fiction or nonfiction before he or she inevitably quotes Dante. I'd try to kill off annoying acquaintances and punish them severely for their lack of admiration for me and my creativity not to mention my sarcasm and irony!!
Dante fulfilled all his and my! However, not all parts of the poem were equally appealing to me. I found myself loving Inferno, liking Purgatorio, and not quite identifying with Paradiso at all. I always wondered why that is, and concluded that humans are much better at depicting hell than heaven, chaos than order, dystopia than utopia.
Tema 1: Biografía de Dante Alighieri y La divina comedia by Tomer Guy on Prezi
Reason being, in my not very important opinion: Paradiso is nice, but uninteresting, sort of. I doubt if there ever was a better advertisement for a rollercoaster adventure! I am still lost in that dark forest of middle age, trying to make sense of life, and Dante comes to mind more and more often, in the same way Orwell's does: It just struck me that every wall in the world has created that kind of "mental division". The typical representatives of "upper hell", consumed by the everyday sins of wanting most of everything for themselves without being bothered by others, usually keep their "moral upper hand" by accusing the "other side of the wall" of worse crimes, such as the "wrong religion", violence, and treason.
The funny or sad thing is that it works both ways.
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You can turn hell upside down and have the same results: No wonder Inferno is a timeless classic: View all 62 comments. And may be it is not a coincidence that he was the exact contemporary of Giotto , his fellow Florentine. For if Giotto planted the seed for a pictorial representation of the world in which man, at the center, and through a window, delivers to us a naturalistic depiction of divine stories, Dante also used his writing to posit himself as the Author who through his fictional persona or Alter-Ego , gives us the viewpoint to contemplate the full cosmos.
His cosmos, but for us to share. DA was exiled in and led a peripatetic life, outside Florence, until his death in He wrote the Commedia during the exile, from and finished it in time. By masterfully welding the fact and mythologized fiction of the world of Antiquity, he cloths himself with the full robes of Auctoritas, and presents us the complex development of European politics during the thirteenth century. He summons his views repeatedly either by the succession of visits to the traitors or in fully developed historical pageants. In this Inferno DA is the very Minos. 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.
And this he does through his masterful manipulation of the power of fiction and the sophisticated uses of voices. For a start, there is the protagonist: 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.
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. Several other poets also populate the triptychal poem: 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.
I attempt to rewrite the Divine Comedy In the middle of the journey of my life I came across a man named Trump Who seemed bent on causing much strife O! Like some hobgoblin of the child's imagination Or a thing that in the night goes bump. But in spite of lengthy cogitation I find I have produced fewer words Than members of the crowd at an inauguration I've doubtless disappointed the Dante nerds And before long may well concede defeat My plan, I admit, was strictly fo I attempt to rewrite the Divine Comedy In the middle of the journey of my life I came across a man named Trump Who seemed bent on causing much strife O!
But in spite of lengthy cogitation I find I have produced fewer words Than members of the crowd at an inauguration I've doubtless disappointed the Dante nerds And before long may well concede defeat My plan, I admit, was strictly for the birds Alas! Success will not these efforts greet I am totally running out of steam And will soon be mocked by some misspelled tweet I had despaired. Then last night, in a dream I heard a voice say, "Manny, just have some fun. Go on, I tell you, it'll be a scream. Recount the tale of Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
I beg, please tell. I am currently interviewing muses] View all 37 comments. Divina Commedia is a long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. It is widely considered the preeminent work in Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
View all 3 comments. Mucha gente lee La Divina Comedia interesada solamente por el Infierno, y no es para menos. Dante describe los siete pecados capitales de forma tan maravillosa Un viaje maravilloso y un libro muy Aclaro algo: Un viaje maravilloso y un libro muy denso para leer. Son de esas que hacen bien para el ejercicio de la mente. 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. 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.