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Preview — The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
The Inferno (La Divina Commedia #1)
A faithful yet totally original contemporary spin on a classic, Dante's Inferno as interpreted by acclaimed artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders is a journey through a Hell that bears an eerie semblance to our own world. Birk, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as one of "realism's edgier, more visionary painters," offers extraordinarily nuanced and vivid illustration...more
Popular Answered Questions
I mean, yes, obviously the Comedy as a whole is religious in character. It certainly engages with themes of sin, penance, salvation and…moreNot really.
I mean, yes, obviously the Comedy as a whole is religious in character. It certainly engages with themes of sin, penance, salvation and redemption. But that's not all it is, and a lot of the stuff that shows up in it is arguably at odds with the advice Dante the Pilgrim gives his readers. So it's "about" religion and how to live a righteous life, but that's not all it is about.
The book is supremely political, although all the political figures in it are now historical figures, and some of them are really obscure if you don't already know a lot about late 13th/early 14th century Italian history. Many of the characters in Hell are people Dante personally disliked, or political opponents of his (Dante was a career politician in Florence, and when things went badly for his political party, he was exiled from the city and all his property was seized).
Others are people he didn't have anything against, but they were famous at the time for assorted sins--consider them the equivalent of Kim Kardashian and her sex tape. Is it a book about medieval Italian politics and pop culture? Sort of, but again, that's not all it is.
And then there's the whole thing with Beatrice, who was this woman that Dante had a crush on in real life before she died of the pox. Beatrice-the-character is an idealization of the real woman, Bice Donati, who never had any interest in him in real life. But in the poem, she loves him enough to dispatch a guide to take him through hell and into heaven. There's all sorts of emotional baggage at work there, some of it kinda creepy, some of it kinda sad. The Comedy is "about" this relationship, too
And there's Virgil, who was a real poet that Dante considered the beginning of the same literary tradition that he was writing in. Picking this guy to be Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory makes it a story about being an author, and also a story about literary influence.
Saying that the book is supposed to instruct the reader about how to lead a righteous life is . . . true, but also missing the point. Really great literature usually is about everything and nothing.
I mean, really, Dante tells you what it's about in the first lines.
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
che la diritta via era smaritta.
In the middle of the road of our life, I came back to myself in a dark forest, where the straight way was lost.
In the story, this is literally true--he starts out lost in a forest, literally and also figuratively. And then the rest of the book is about how he got out of the woods, again literally and also figuratively.(less)
Being that I am an atheist living in the "Bible Belt," I was certain that reading this would lead to some sort of goodreads tirade, which can at times feel about as good as vomiting up a sour stomach or...you know...doing other stuff
I actually have two separate defenses. First, let's conside ...more
i. LIMBO - A place of monotony, here the souls are punished to wander in restless existence while they moan helplessly in echoes between the ruins of a temple
ii. LUST - Surrounded by erotic representations, those overcome by lust are forced to watch and experience disgusting thin ...more
Dante’s Inferno was the first book I was assigned to read in my high school World Literature class. Back then I couldn’t get over how much the emotion of fear set the tone as I read each page. I recently revisited this classic. Rather than a more conventional review – after all, there really is nothing I can add as a way of critical commentary –- as a tribute to the great poet, I would like to share the below microfiction I wrote a number of years ago:
One balmy July evening at a seaside ...more
Beautifully written and emotionally draining. However, this isn't simply a tale of terror. It is a philosophical and, I suppose, historical work as well. (I learned interesting historical facts). Who among us are sinners? Who are the righteous ones? Are people and deeds simply right or wrong, go ...more
This is such an interesting book, though definitely very hard to get through. I think if I was able to read it in Italian it would be a little easier as it would actually be read like Dante intended, but it's still really cool to see all the concepts! This is such an influential piece of literature and is referenced SO MUCH in culture that it is really cool to have a basis for it. I think I may reread this in a different rhyming translation next time to see what th ...more
عشت مع كلمات دانتي ليلتي أمس .. وتأملته وهو يصف حال الفلاسفة والشعراء الذين نتغني بأعمالهم طوال عمرنا وهم في الجحيم
فقد كان مأواهم جميعاً في الجحيم
تخيل أن تجد سقراط وافلاطون وأرسطو وأبيقور وديموقريطس وهوميروس
واين سينا وابن رشد وكليوباترا وأخيل وكثير من الفلاسفة والشعراء والزعماء الذين تظل تقرأ لهم وعنهم طوال حياتك وقد أصبح مصيرهم جميعاً الجحيم !!
شئ غريب للغاية أن يتخيل شاعر إيطالي هذا المصير لكل هؤلاء
والأكثر غرابة أن يصف لنا حالهم وسط الأهواء والرياح والنار والهوة السحيقة المظلمة التي يعيشون ...more
وعندما وجدت أن الترجمة جيدة، وحواشيها مفصلة بشكل ممتاز، فعلمت أنها مسروقة، فتصفحت في ترجمة كاظم جهاد وجدت أن هذه النسخة بالفعل مسروقة منها بدون أي تغيير.
دار الألف كتاب لصوص لكن بشكل أرقى من بائعين الكتب الكوبي.
الكوميديا الإلهية ملحمة شعرية من أشهر ...more
An excellent translation--even better than John Ciardi. Like Ciardi, Pinsky is a real poet and makes Dante the poet come alive. His verse has muscularity and force, and his decision to use half-rhyme is an excellent one, since it allows us to attend to the narrative undistracted.
(All citations from the Inferno are from the Longfellow translation.)
Paw in paw we come
Pooh and the Bouncer
To lay this review in your lap.
Give us one of those sultry little smiles
and say you're surprised!
Say you can't get over it!
Say it's just what you've always wanted
and it's even more fun than a day at the spa
(because, let's face it,
I couldn' ...more
سر در دوزخ
کمدی الهی، شاهکار "دانته" شاعر ایتالیایی، شرح سفر خیالی او از دوزخ به برزخ و سپس به بهشت است. دانته در توصیف طبقات دوزخ و بهشت، از تلفیقی از الهیات مسیحی و اساطیر رومی و تخیل خویش بهره برده است.
معشوق او، "بئاتریس" که ساکن بهشت است، یکی از ارواح را (روح "ویرژیل"، شاعر رومی) می فرستد تا دانته را راهنمایی کرده، از دوزخ نجات دهد و به بهشت برساند. برای این سفر، دانته باید از طبقات دوزخ یک به یک پایین برود و از میان ارواح معذب بگذرد تا در ...more
(I didn't read the main text of this one, but I think I will read the English half at some point.)
This one has chronology, introduction, map of Italy, plan of Hell plus commentaries and notes at the end. The main text itself is shown with Italian text on the left side, English on the right side. Commentaries include many comments on the linguistic details that I don't remember the paperback Penguin version having. There is al ...more
1. To finally figure out the difference between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Dante was a Guelph.
2. To discover why Constantine made his famous donation.
3. To learn some new and ingenious ways to torture your enemies. Dante is very imaginative in this regard.
4. To find out what happened to Potiphar's wife, Mohammed, Ulysses, Atilla the Hun, Cleopatra, and Helen of Troy. We meet them all in The Inferno.
I recommend Dorothy Sayers' translation because of the exce ...more
تعكس هذه اللوحه الرائعه اضطرابات الوضع السياسي والديني في تلك الفتره ,
وسيطرة الكنيسه وفسادها انذاك لذا نرى دانتي يترنح بين الشاعر العاطفي الميال الى الرحمه وبين رجل الدين المتعصب
الذي يحكم على من اعتنق دين غير المسيحيه بالعقاب في الجحيم , حتى وان كان نبيا -قبل او بعد المسيح- فهو يواجه هذا المصير.
وهاهو يرمي خصومه الذين عاصروه - وحتى من لم يعاصرهم لك ...more
Inferno is part one of the Divine Comedy Series where Dante Alighieri puts across his version of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven of course based on the Christian perception along with the addition of Greek Mythology.
Dante is lead on by his dear friend Virgilius through the Inferno and Purgatory, further Beatrice comes forward to lead him through the Paradise .
Dante has divided the hell in 9 circles with further subdivisions and all the sinners namely Heretics, Gluttonous, violent ones, Flatterers an ...more
I really liked this book because it was just so interesting to learn all the different levels of hell, whose in each, and what the punishment is for every sin.
Here’s all the levels:
Here is a good map of all the people there:
1st Circle of Hell: Limbo
Second Circle of Hell: Lust
Third Circle of Hell: Gluttony
Fourth Circle of Hell: Greed
Fifth Circle of Hell: Wrath
Sixth Circle of Hell: Heresy
Seventh Circle of Hell: Violence
Eight Circle of Hell: Fraud
Ninth Circle of Hell: Treachery
Well I’m not sinning ...more
I wish I could honestly check off 5 stars and say that my eyes were opened. That I really felt transformed by having read this classic of literature and that I will make it point to re-read it every year on the anniversary of my having discovered the error of my ways in not reading it at age 5.
But I can' ...more
Hell is a place full of marvels and Dante has taught us well. Can't wait.
The Mandelbaum edition is great - no attempt to write in rhyme scheme but still very poetic. Notes are good but I would recommend reading something before hand that gives sense of Dante and medieval thought. May write more if I can turn the world off.
I always felt The Inferno contained the best ...more
3 stars for this edition and translation by Clive James
[Full disclosure: I received this book as an advanced reading copy through a Goodreads giveaway]
This was my second time through Dante and it's just as fascinating and compelling this time around. I was planning on doing a full review (since I realized that I hadn't done one before!) but I think I'm going to hold off -- in large part because I wound up being a bit disappointed by Clive James' translation and edition. ...more
The Publisher Says: This widely praised version of Dante's masterpiece, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets, is more idiomatic and approachable than its many predecessors. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Pinsky employs slant rhyme and near rhyme to preserve Dante's terza rima form without distorting the flow of English idiom. The result is a clear and vigorous translation that is also unique, stude ...more
And this is the problem with Inferno: Dante’s an asshole. In the poem he’s guided through hell, and later through Purgatory and then Paradise, by Virgil, whom you remember as the author of the Aeneid. There are some terrifically imaginative punishme ...more
Dante, in his capacity as the narrator, appears initially to leave much to be desired. We note ab initio, for instance, his inability to make full disclosure of the “forest dark” in which the journey commences: “But of the good to treat, which there I found, Speak will I of the other things I saw there” (Canto I); ...more