The Comedy of Dante Alighieri, the Florentine: Purgatory

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Penguin, 1949 - Poetry - 388 pages
Dante (1265-1321) is one of the greatest of Italian poets, and his 'Divine Comedy' is the finest of all Christian allegories. To the consternation of his more academic admirers, who believed Latin to be the only proper language for dignified verse, Dante wrote his Comedy in colloquial Italian, wanting it to be a poem for the common reader. Taking two threads of a story that everybody knew and loved - the story of a vision of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, and the story of the lover who has to brave the Underworld to find his lost lady - he combined them into a great allegory of the soul’s search for God. He made it swift, exciting and topical, lavishing upon it all his learning and wit, all his tenderness, humour and enthusiasm, and all his poetry. In 'Purgatory', which is according to Dorothy L. Sayers the ‘tenderest, most subtle and most human section of the Comedy’, Dante struggles up the slopes of Mount Purgatory on the second stage of his journey towards God.

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User Review  - TheIdleWoman - LibraryThing

The Sinclair translation, as ever, is superb, and the notes and introductions continue to be very useful. Dante emerges after the trials of Inferno and climbs the mount of Purgatory with Virgil ... Read full review

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User Review  - lissabeth21 - LibraryThing

Perhaps after reading Inferno I picked up Dante's voice and rhythm, but Purgatorio seemed much less dense and not as confusing. Each circle was quite straight forward and the fewer incidents of name dropping was helpful in realizing the essence of each layer of repentance. Read full review


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About the author (1949)

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He was married when he was around twenty to Gemma Donati and had four children. He met Beatrice, who was to be his muse, in 1274, and when she died in 1290 he sought distraction in philosophy and theology, and wrote La Vita Nuova. He worked on the Divine Comedy from 1308 until near the time of his death in Ravenna in 1321.Dorothy L. Sayers wrote novels, poetry, and translated Dante for the Penguin Classics. She died in 1957. Barbara Reynolds was Lecturer in Italian at Cambridge University and subsequently Reader in Italian Studies at Nottingham, and Honorary Reader at Warwick. She has written books, both on Italian authors and on Dorothy L. Sayers.

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