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

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  63,221 ratings  ·  1,840 reviews
This single volume, blank verse translation of The Divine Comedy includes an introduction, maps of Dante's Italy, Hell, Purgatory, Geocentric Universe, and political panorama of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century, diagrams and notes providing the reader with invaluable guidance. Described as the "fifth gospel" because of its evangelical purpose, this spiritual aut ...more
Paperback, 741 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1321)
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Manny
"You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another truth."

- Niels Bohr

I was thinking about Dante the other day and wondering how one could approach him from the angle of a GoodReads review. One of the obvious problems is that he lived a long time ago, and many of the cultural referents have changed. You're constantly having to think "Well, nowadays what he's saying would correspond to THAT". It isn't so bad in Hell, when there is plent
...more
Kalliope




THE DARING, somewhat COMIC, and also DIVINE, INVENTIO


It is very difficult not to be lured by the highly intelligent craft of Durante degli Aliguieri (DA). 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 Auth
...more
Rabindranauth
I'm a big fan of fantasy. I've read across a fair amount of fictional genres in general, and nothing captures my imagination, my sense of wonder like fantasy does. And in many ways, The Divine Comedy is one of the most incredible fantasy novels I've ever read.

I've always been curious about this book, in a pedestrian sort of manner. I’m not a self-stylized intellectual or an academic, and I’ve never had to study this book for college or for a project or anything of the sort. I approached this wit
...more
Fahima Jaffar
أرجأتُ الشروعَ في قراءةِ هذا السِفر المذهلِ طويلاً. كعادتي/كعادتنا كنتُ ألتمسُ لهذا التكاسل المتطاولِ عذراً .. أملاً في اقتناصِ فرصةٍ مناسبةٍ أو مزاجٍ رائقٍ أو صباحٍ ماطرٍ أو أمسيةٍ شاعِرة. وَلم أدركَ أن أعذاراً كهذه لا تليقِ بغيرِ الأعمال العابرة الصغيرة.. تلكَ التي نجترُّ أحداثها بتململِ قطّةٍ متطلَّبة. أمّا إنجازٌ كـ"الكوميديا" لا تملكُ عندهُ إلا أن تنفكَّ قهراً من عوالمك الرتيبة لتقعَ في ثراءِ عوالمه الآسرةِ وكثافتها وتباينها المدهشين. سيهبط بكَ دانتي من غفلةِ "اليمابيسِ" إلى منازلِ الجحيم. ...more
MJ Nicholls
Aug 04, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as sampled
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 ...more
James Capp
I first read this poem four years ago as part of a dare. And by “dare,” I mean a professor listed it on the syllabus and I had to read it and then write papers about it. The next summer, I wanted to read it again on account of the graphic imagery of Inferno and Purgatorio. The punishments/reparations are mindblowing, scary, and beautiful. Everyone should at the very least skim Inferno. Particularly in Inferno, the political references are funny and provocative, and the historical significance of ...more
Marvin
Written for the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament

(sung to the tune of "Minnie The Moocher")

Folks, here´s a story about Winnie the Pooh-cher
He was a chubby Pooh-chie-koocher
He was fat and loved his honey
but he was sweet and his heart was sunny

(chorus)
Hunny-Hunny-Hunny-hi
Hundee-hundee-hunndee-ho
Pigletee-pigletee-hee
Tiggery-Tiggery--Ho

He met a dude whose name was Virgil
who hung around in hellish circles.
He took the bear to hell for a match
where he planned to kick Pooh's ass.

{chorus)

Pooh saw
...more
Teresa
How in the World (or Inferno or Purgatorio or Paradiso) am I supposed to review this work?

I could review the edition and translator, though I have nothing else to compare them against. Ciardi's notes at the end of each canto are always illuminating, sometimes funny and occasionally self-deprecating. I chuckled at his humor (sharing those particular notes with my husband) and was appreciative of Ciardi's honesty whenever he used a rhyme-forced addition, as well as the instance or two when he ask
...more
Manny
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Divine Comedy versus 1984

Gabriel, Michael and Raphael
Celestial Architects
Eternity

Dear Mr. 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 Purg
...more
Wendy
I finished it! Someone, bring me my medal...

the Inferno is Hieronymus Bosch with words
the Inferno is Hieronymus Bosch with words

A few caveats to this review: I am not a theologian, philosopher, medieval historian, Dante expert, nor astrologist. 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
...more
Caris
By the time I entered twelfth grade, I knew that public school had failed me. I don’t know what your high school was like, but mine was fermented shit on a stick.

I’ve always loved reading. In English class, whenever we started a new unit, I was thrilled. Because that meant we were going to read a new book. Never mind that the books were pretty much guaranteed to suck ass, the allure of an unread text is just too much for me.

Inferno was no disappointment, even then. This poetic vision of Hell ha
...more
Ben
I have travelled a goodly distance since I last read the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, and what a long strange trip its been. So, it was with an introspective bit of drollness that I embarked on this reread.

I was fascinated with Inferno as a teenager and between Dante Alighieri and Robert Smith/Rimbaud it is, frankly, nothing short of a miracle that I didn't put enough reasons together to wind-up as a fleshy tree with harpies perched in my branches somewhere in the lower circles of hell--if
...more
Solomon
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...it is disturbing to think that people used to believe a lot of this silliness...oh, and that s ...more
Sue
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
...more
Kalliope
I just read the introduction of this edition. It is not very long and very good and with an excellent discussion on the difficulties of translating the terza rima into English.

I particularly enjoyed the discussion of the structure of the Commedia as a cathedral.

I shall read Dante's text in a different edition.

And I have about at least two more introductions from other editions.
Whitaker
Nov 10, 2011 Whitaker marked it as celebrity-death-match  ·  review of another edition
For CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH PURPOSES ONLY: The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh versus The Divine Comedy

*More doggerel than verse, but for what it's worth...


I. Inferno

Into a dark and gloomy wood
Strolled the little bear and his friends.
They found a cave and by it stood
And wondered if it did descend
To hell or rise to paradise.
Would this match see them sacrificed?

The circles had been so designed
To damn the souls who lived in sin.
And each were thus to zones consigned
To suffer punishment wit
...more
Darwin8u
Plumbing the crucible of happenstance.

I should give a quick intro and say that I rarely EVER, EVER re-read a book. 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. I've flirted with Mandelbaum and danced with Hollander, but from Canto 1 of Inferno/Hell to Canto XXXIII of Paradiso/Heaven, I can't say I've read a better version than the Clive Jam
...more
David
Dante's Divine Comedy is the story of the soul’s journey from the depths of despair to pure enlightenment, and you don't have to be a Catholic or even religious to be awed and inspired by it. If you ignore all the academic dust that has settled on this astounding creation over the seven hundred years since it was written, and imagine it more as an adventure movie with better special effects than The Matrix and with a deeper message than The Seventh Seal, you'll set off on a journey across space ...more
Antonomasia
[Clive James translation]

At the mid-point of the path through life, I found
Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way
Ahead was blotted out. The keening sound
I still make shows how hard it is to say
How harsh and bitter that place felt to me—
Merely to think of it renews the fear—
So bad that death by only a degree
Could possibly be worse. As you shall hear,
It led to good things too, eventually,
But there and then I saw no sign of those,
And can’t say even now how I had come
To be there, stunned a
...more
ايمان
الجزء الأول من الكوميديا الالهية:دانتي انطلق من مفهوم الجحيم في الميثولوجيا الاغريقية و التصور المسيحي بمعنى ان الجحيم يوجد في العالم السفلي تحت الأرض....تبدأ الرحلة بدخول دانتي غابة سوداء قادته الى مدخل الجحيم ليبدأ رحله تستمر عبر تسع دوائر و اربعة و ثلاثون نشيدا يقوده فيها ملهمه الأول فرجيل صاحب الانياذة..فيبدأ دانتي رحلة تشبه لحد كبير الأساطير و المعتقدات المسيحية هناك مزج غريب بين ماهو ديني ووثني في الشخصيات و انواع العذابات..تصنيف المعذبين تأثر فيه دانتي بكتاب ارسطو في الأخلاق فنجد اغلب الم ...more
·Karen·
Nov 12, 2011 ·Karen· marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Celebrity Death Match Final

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh versus The Divine Comedy


Cue aerial shot of two women walking in a green leafy park. One shouts up to the camera that appears to be hovering about fifteen feet above her head

SUE: Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! And welcome to the grand final of The Great British Bake-off!

Camera swoops down to eye-level. We see these two:

[image error]

MEL: Yes, the Great British Bake-off has taken us on an incredible journey over the past eight
...more
Carmo Santos
It was the best of books, it was the worst of books.

Obra literária do sec XIV e uma das mais famosas da história da literatura .Há cerca de setecentos anos que é publicado sucessivamente, o que faz deste, um dos livros mais lidos de sempre.
Dividido em três partes, a Divina Comédia é composta pelo Inferno, Purgatório e Paraíso, e relata a viagem imaginária de Dante feita através dos mesmos.
De leitura bastante difícil - o livro foi escrito por volta de 1200/1300, numa linguagem que viria mais tard
...more
Russell
T. S. Eliot: "Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them, there is no third."

Dante's magnus opus exceeds my weak grasp to illuminate. If you are part of the Western world, you have been colored by this book, whether you have read it or not. So many authors have drawn upon the imagery from Dante's work, and used so many ideas from him. Not to mention how Dante took poetry to new heights and new places, using common tongue from his part of Italy instead Latin, he weaves in the poet
...more
Andrea Patrick
A few weeks ago someone asked a crowd of people if any had read the Divine Comedy. I was among several that raised their hands (okay so I was cheating, because I was in the middle of it, not finished, but that's beside the point). Then he asked which of us had actually understood it. I was surprised at that. Maybe that guy was reading a poor translation or a bad edition. This is an Everyman's Library edition, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, who won a National Book Award for his translation of Vi ...more
janet
Speaking of Dante, Erich Auerbach stated, "we come to the conclusion that this man used language to discover the world anew." (Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, 183)

Psychological development of subjects in literature is far from the exclusive technique of the novel because authors like Dante were exploring it long before Cervantes. Though the Divine Comedy is a didactic poem, composed between 1308-1320, perhaps most recognized for Dante's creation of mortal terror as
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:
Blake Ritson, David Warner and John Hurt star in Stephen Wyatt's dramatisation of Dante's epic poem - the story of one man's incredible journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

In Episode 1: Inferno, the thirty-five year old Dante (Blake Ritson) finds himself in the middle of a dark wood, in extreme personal and spiritual crisis. But hope of rescue appears i
...more
Erik
For Celebrity Death Match

Big Brother: Where are we now O'Brien? I remember giving the order to launch missiles against East Asia, or was it Madagascar?

O'Brien: Oceania is at War with East Asia, Oceania has always been at war with East Asia

Big Brother: Don't be such a toady. Shut up! What's it say on the door here:

per me si va ne la citta dolente...

I guess I shouldn't have banned Italian all those years ago.

per me se va ne l'etterno dolore

sounds familiar...

O'Brien: 2+2=5. A boot stomping on a hum
...more
Petra
I am reading a translation by C.H. Sisson.

I'm finished. Hallelujah!
All in all, I liked this work. I don't pretend or assume that I "got" it. There's a lot that went zinging over my head but I got enough to get the gist of it, and I'm happy with that.
There is beauty and thought in every Canto, from Inferno to Paradise. The amount of thought that Dante must have put into this idea and the amount of organizing it must have required to fix the hierarchies and levels must have been astounding and t
...more
Amanda
I know John Ciardi has gotten some criticism for taking certain creative libteries with Dante's original text, but as Robert Frost said, "Poetry is what gets lost in translation." I do not speak Italian and probably never will in my lifetime, but I still wanted to experience the incredible piece of literature that is The Divine Comedy. That said, being an English speaker, I immensely enjoyed and appreciated this translation. Ciardi gives lengthy explanations as to how he attempted to recreate th ...more
Patrice
Didn't finish. Just wanted to get out of Hell!

Went back to Hell. Had to finish.

Encased in medieval symbolism and topical references is a whole lot of eternal truth.
I found it fairly easy to plug in modern sinners of each type.
Political corruption, sexual incontinence, deceitful clergy, nothing new under the sun.
For some reason I found this not only validating but reassuring in a strange way.
We are so time-bound, thinking that civilization is in decline and nothing
has ever been this bad before.
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dante, Beatrice, and Virgil 10 71 Dec 16, 2014 09:23PM  
Divine Comedy + D...: Art in and Inspired by the Commedia 76 72 Jul 15, 2014 09:43PM  
Divine Comedy + D...: Translations: The Divine Comedy 86 247 Jun 05, 2014 12:35PM  
Catholicism vs Greek Mythology 16 184 May 19, 2014 10:58AM  
Divine Comedy + D...: * 24 Feb. to 02 March: Inferno XXII-XXVIII 46 55 May 15, 2014 03:41AM  
Divine Comedy + D...: * 05-11 May: Paradiso XXII-XXVIII 26 22 May 13, 2014 10:13PM  
Divine Comedy + D...: * 28 April to 04 May: Paradiso XV-XXI 16 16 May 05, 2014 05:56AM  
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5031312
Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante (May 14/June 13 1265 – September 13/14, 1321), is one of the greatest poets in the Italian language; with the comic story-teller Boccaccio and the poet Petrarch, he forms the classic trio of Italian authors. Dante Alighieri was born in the city-state Florence in 1265. He first saw the woman, or rather the child, who was to become the poetic love of his life when he ...more
More about Dante Alighieri...
Inferno (The Divine Comedy, #1) Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy, #2) Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3) Vita Nuova The Portable Dante

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“All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” 380 likes
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