Amanda's Reviews > The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
5856299
's review
Jul 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics
Read in July, 2011

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 the poetry of Dante's text as well as preserve the original intent, which I believe he was able to do. Further, each Canto begins with a brief summary of what is going on, and ends with extensive notes on who the political figures were, other literary works that were referenced, places in Italy, etc. I really do believe that this translation goes above and beyond helping the 21st-century English-speaking reader to fully appreciate Dante's masterpiece. Now, as to the work itself, I really feel that there is nothing I can add to this work's stellar reputation. I will say, however, that I found it enchanting, beautiful, and thought-provoking at every turn. 895 pages later, the journey through The Divine Comedy was well worth every hour.
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Divine Comedy.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by sr (new) - rated it 1 star

sr You're kidding right? His translation was the most unreadable piece of "poetry" I have yet encountered. Not only does Mr. Ciardi have no conception of rhythm or of meter even his feeble attempt at rhyming was utterly lost in the distortions of the English language. You are much to kind and forgiving of such a pretentious translator (have you read the note on translation?).


Amanda If I were kidding, I would not have written the review.

Peter wrote: "You're kidding right? His translation was the most unreadable piece of "poetry" I have yet encountered. Not only does Mr. Ciardi have no conception of rhythm or of meter even his feeble attempt at ..."


back to top