The Divine Comedy

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Knopf, 1995 - Fiction - 798 pages
2166 Reviews

The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.

Mandelbaum's astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.

This Everyman's edition-containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso-includes an introduction by Nobel Prize--winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

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The imagery is amazing and the plot is so original. - Goodreads
College lit. Hard to read. - Goodreads
Amazing depiction of the afterlife.... - Goodreads
Greatest piece of writing after the Bible. - Goodreads
I found this book very difficult to read. - Goodreads
great mental visuals. - Goodreads
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Dante is lost in the forest of indecision, when his angel, Beatrice, summons the Greek poet Virgil to guide him through Hell and Purgatory to Heaven. Beatrice then guides Dante to the presence of God.
Wonderfully written poem that set the stage for many future poems/novellas/novels. Many of his ideas have found their way into pop-culture ("Abandon hope, all ye who enter here"). Incredibly difficult rhyming sequence was used. 100 total cantos. Each book ended with "the stars".

Review: The Divine Comedy (The Divine Comedy #1-3)

User Review  - Scott Webster - Goodreads

The Divine Comedy is a dramatic, poetic adventure through Hell's 9 circles, the literal stairway to Heaven (Purgatory) and finally, "Paradiso", or commonly known as Heaven. The one thing I'd have to ... Read full review


Notes to Introduction 3 3
The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri

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About the author (1995)

Dante Alighieri, born in Florence, Italy, c. 1265, is considered one of the world's greatest poets. His use of the Florentine dialect established it as the basis for modern Italian. His late medieval epic, The Divine Comedy, was above all inspired, as was all his poetry, by his unrequited love for Beatrice, a woman he may have seen only from afar. He died in 1321, having completed his great work, yet an exile from his native city. 

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