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The Divine Comedy

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Description

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)

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 15, 2013 – Do we really need yet another translation of Dante s world-famous journey through the three parts of the Catholic afterlife? We might, if the translator is both as eminent, and as skillful, as Clive James: the Australian-born, London-based TV personality, cultural critic, poet and memoirist (Opal Sunset) is one of the most recognizable writers in Britain. James s own poetry has been fluent, moving, sometimes funny, but it would not augur the kind of fire his Dante displays. Over decades (in part as an homage to his Dante-scholar wife, Prue Shaw), James has worked to turn Dante s Italian, with its signature three-part rhymes, into clean English pentameter quatrains, and to produce a Dante that could eschew footnotes, by incorporating everything modern readers needed to know into the verse from the mythological anti-heroes of Hell through the Florentine politics, medieval astronomy, and theology of Heaven. Sometimes these lines are sharply beautiful too: souls in Purgatory had their eyelids stitched with iron wire/ Like untamed falcons. Even in Heaven, notoriously hard to animate, James keeps things clear and easy to follow, if at times pedestrian in his language: I want to fill your bare mind with a blaze/ Of living light that sparkles in your eyes, says Dante s Beatrice, and if the individual phrases do not always sparkle, it is a wonder to see the light cast by the whole.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful

Dante's work is one of the most powerful pieces of literature ever written and it deserves to be read in a translation that can do it justice. This is that translation.

Though journeys into the afterlife are common in literature, no one captures the experience like Dante. Riveting and beautiful, Dante explores much of the human condition. It is (as T.S. Eliot famously observed) only rivaled by Shakespeare in its impact on literature and culture.

Need improvement

Translation is good and the notes are helpful
Although, some cantos are missing. It says "encoding error"

Pretty good.

Not bad if you're looking for something light.

The Divine Comedy
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Classics
  • Published: Aug 01, 1954
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 928 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings