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The Divine Comedy

(La Divina Commedia #1-3)

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  104,194 ratings  ·  3,410 reviews
The Divine Comedy describes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and
...more
Hardcover, 798 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Everyman's Library (first published 1320)
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Joo Hani I've read a few and can now say that the Robert Durling and Ronald Martinez version is the authoritative Divine Comedy.

The facing Italian / English,…more
I've read a few and can now say that the Robert Durling and Ronald Martinez version is the authoritative Divine Comedy.

The facing Italian / English, the endnotes, the inter cantica essays - everything about it helps you to understand the Comedy in a way that is never overbearing or intimidating. (less)
Leon Stephens The most important thing to know is that all translations are bad in comparison with the original, so the best thing is to study Italian. Failing…moreThe most important thing to know is that all translations are bad in comparison with the original, so the best thing is to study Italian. Failing that, I would recommend mine as the least bad. It's bilingual, in three volumes, available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/pluramon. It took me 36 years to complete it. To read a sample, click on the title and then on the word Preview under the enlarged cover photo that will then appear. (less)

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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
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Lisa
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I once thought I'd write an essay on how long it takes a serious author (of fiction or nonfiction) before he or she inevitably quotes Dante. If I were to write a novel myself (this is a hypothetical grammatical construction!), I'd probably manage about a page before I'd exclaim that I am lost, and middle-aged, and in the middle of a dark forest. I'd try to kill off annoying acquaintances and punish them severely for their lack of admiration for me and my creativity (not to mention my sarcasm and ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Divina Commedia = Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia #1-3), Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy is a long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work in Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped
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Manny
I attempt to rewrite the Divine Comedy

In the middle of the journey of my life
I came across a man named Trump
Who seemed bent on causing much strife

O! how he was an unpleasant, fleshy lump!
Like some hobgoblin of the child's imagination
Or a thing that in the night goes bump.

But in spite of lengthy cogitation
I find I have produced fewer words
Than members of the crowd at an inauguration

I've doubtless disappointed the Dante nerds
And before long may well concede defeat
My plan, I admit, was strictly
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Jeffrey Keeten
”THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY,
THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL PAIN,
THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST.
JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER;
MY MAKER WAS DIVINE AUTHORITY,
THE HIGHEST WISDOM, AND THE PRIMAL LOVE.
BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT ETERNAL THINGS
WERE MADE, AND I ENDURE ETERNALLY.
ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE.”


 photo Divine Comedy Satan Botticelli_zpsggfyple5.jpg
Botticelli’s vision of Satan. There are 92 illustrations by Botticelli, inspired by The Divine Comedy, of which this edition contains a selection.

I read
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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
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Fergus
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the Divine Comedy at seventeen was, for me, to see the world sub specie aeternitatis. Apparently that’s not okay in the World’s eyes. Writing it, in the 14th Century, was not considered okay either.

So Dante was banished for life from Florence.

In the Comedy eternal flame is the just deserts of corrupt conformity. That doesn’t seem quite right in the eyes of the comfortably politically correct, back then as now. And they, like it or not, always have the final say. And what they say, goes!
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Darwin8u
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, aere-perennius
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
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Luís C.
The Divine Comedy is so divine (I pass the redundancy) that we can bring some of Dante's narration to our day, without necessarily dividing our moments in stages, and we do not even have to die to see the stages we have passed. Nowadays humanity, so sordid and unmasked, acts, treating one another personally, as if it had a particular Heaven of false power, knowing that it actually lives a real Hell. Worse still is not to reach out to the next, pushing them to innumerable Purgatorys at once, ...more
Liz Janet
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
“Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”


There is no much one can say about this marvelous poem that has not been said before. One of the greatest epic poems to have been written,
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MJ Nicholls
Aug 02, 2012 marked it as sampled  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
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James Capp
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Steven Walle
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best epic poems ever! I highly recommend everyone reads this, Homer's works, and Virgil's works. This was a great translation and a wonder forward and glossery.
5 huge stars!
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Diamond
HBalikov
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am back reading another version of The Divine Comedy. This translation by Australian poet Clive James is the most lyrical that I have read. It is as if I was reading it for the first time and with all that joy of discovery.

This review is based on the first book of this trilogy.

"Had I the bitter, grating rhymes to fit
This grim hole on which all the other rocks
Bear down, I’d do a better job of it
When pressing out my thought’s sap.
But what blocks
The flow is just that:
my soft, childish
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Jon Nakapalau
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, favorites
I must confess that so much was beyond my comprehension; but I think that is the mark of a great work of art...it allows you to take what you can from it from where you are. I was so happy when I finished this book!
Brent Weeks
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dante? Awesome! I’ve always wanted Brent to review a game from the Devil May Cry series! Which one did you play?

Er… well, let me explain. I wanted a space with my new website design to talk about video games—I love them. But I also want to, from time to time, engage with other media. “What I’m Playing?” fits in a shorter space than “What form of media is Brent playing or reading or watching, and what particular title currently, and what is his take on that?”

So, uh, really this sidebar is “Brent’
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Marvin
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written for the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament

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

Folks, heres 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
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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,
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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
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Teresa
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Ciardi's humor and was appreciative of his honesty whenever he used a rhyme-forced addition, as well as the instance or two when he asked the reader to forgive his less-than-perfect
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Debra
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This was my second attempt to read "The Divine Comedy". The first time, I did not care for the English translation of the book I had selected. I found Mandelbaum's translation in this book to be more readable. Another plus of reading this translation, is this book had wonderful Botticelli illustrations of Dante. I thought the illustrations really enhanced my reading experience as they helped me visualize several of the scenes in the book.

This was not a book that I could read fast,
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samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
While a little hard to read at times but this is still a classic and a good read.
poncho
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can one say about The Divine Comedy that hasn't been said? An analysis? Many scholars have already done that — and quite outstandingly, I must say, to a degree that I would never achieve. A funny meta review of sorts? It's already been done. So I guess it's like Solomon said and there's no new thing under the sun about this masterpiece: it needs no explanations about its grandeur and it does itself justice.

My only remaining words would be an endorsement upon this edition published by Oxford
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Solomon
Sep 24, 2007 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Henry Martin
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been slowly chewing my way through this one for a while. There are already so many reviews that what I have to add seems unimportant.

In crux - the writing is wonderful, the theme relevant today as much as when it was written (minus the contemporary Florentine politics, which are noted throughout the work) and the journey of soul towards transcendence all-encompassing.

It's not an easy work to read, but then again, none of the great ones are. Should everyone read it? Everyone should at
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Shyam
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Everything it is to be a human being is brought to form and consequence within a single structure that makes The Divine Comedy the most massive metaphor of western culture." —From the Introduction

"Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood . . ."

—Inferno, Canto I, 1-3

I first heard those words from Don Draper in the trailer for the opening episode of Mad Men*'s sixth Season, when it first aired in 2013 . . .

Fast forward 4 years.

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Ben
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Alan
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nel mezzo del cammin del nostra vita/ Mi ritrovai per una universita oscura/ Che la diritta via era smarita// Ahi quant a dir' qual'era... In the middle of my life, I found myself in a snowy waste, -28 F real temperature, not wind chill, driving my pregnant wife to St Joseph's Hospital for the birth of our first child Emily, now a lawyer in Milano. Difficult to say, una cosa dura, but not really... After all, I was in a snowy waste, not Dante's invented Inferno. In order to deliver my child, my ...more
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3,434 followers
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

Other books in the series

La Divina Commedia (3 books)
  • Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1)
  • Purgatorio (La Divina Commedia #2)
  • Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3)
“All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” 702 likes
“The more a thing is perfect, the more it feels pleasure and pain.” 561 likes
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