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The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's…
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The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics) (edition 2008)

by Dante Alighieri, David H. Higgins (Editor), C. H. Sisson (Translator)

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12,17196207 (4.12)1 / 125
Member:thewingnutrva
Title:The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
Authors:Dante Alighieri
Other authors:David H. Higgins (Editor), C. H. Sisson (Translator)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2008), Paperback, 752 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:poetry, classic literature

Work details

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

  1. 51
    The Doré Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy by Gustave Doré (rvdm61)
  2. 21
    Primum mobile : Dantes Jenseitsreise und die moderne Kosmologie by Bruno Binggeli (vreeland)
    vreeland: Bruno Binggeli verbindet Dantes Grosses Werk mit der modernen Astrophysik und macht sich in und mit der Lektüre der Göttlichen Komödie und den darin enthaltenen mittelalterlichen Jenseitsvorstellungen auf die Suche nach dem "Big Bang" - dem Urknall. Paradies und Superraum, Gnadenwahl und Quantenphysik, Hölle und Schwarze Löcher: Mittelalter und Moderne passen sehr viel besser zusammen als man glaubt. Binggeli ist Physiker und Galaxienforscher an der Universität Basel; die wissenschaftliche Akribie, mit der er die Göttliche Komödie mit aktuellen Forschungsergebnissen in Relation bringt, schafft für beide Seiten reizvolle neue Perspektiven und Ansätze des Verstehens.… (more)
  3. 22
    Ochii Beatricei : cum arăta cu adevărat lumea lui Dante? by Horia-Roman Patapievici (gyges77)
  4. 11
    Dante in Love by A. N. Wilson (DLSmithies)
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English (78)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (4)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I feel the important thing to keep in mind with this text is the title. As is explicated in the preface, for the ancients a “comedy” was a satire – not quite the equivalent of what we see a comedy to be today. As a religious or philosophical text, it leaves much to be wanting. The philosophy is convoluted, and for as much as Dante proclaims his absolute faith, he takes so many liberties within his portrayal of all three levels that at times leaves him downright heretical.

As such, what is of significance is the cultural circumstances around this book. It serves more as a look into the state of the church in the 14th century, and the pervading corruption throughout the Middle Ages. One need only look towards the characters and their places within the journey to see just how much more this book has to do with satirizing the predominant figures of his time. It is due to this that I give it such a high rating. It is of course of historical and literary merit, but overall, unless you are someone looking for a broader look into Dante’s time, the story itself will be lacking for one who approaches it from either side: the skeptical or the faithful.
( )
  PhilSroka | Apr 12, 2016 |
Dante earns props for competing (via my car's CD system) with real estate phone calls, bad-economy ennui, my ADD caliber attention span, and more. That I got anything at all from my 2-month slog through Hell, Purgatory and Paradiso is testament to this epic's power.

I can't compete with Ben R.'s review. The best thing about his review: it makes me want to listen to the CD again. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I've been lost in the forest before. The worst that has ever happened to me was a bit of confusion and a late supper.

When Dante got lost ...

"Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear."

(Inferno, I:1-6)

Instead of making it home for dinner, he took an epic journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven. He begins in fear, he ends in love:

"The Love which moves the sun and the other stars" (Paradiso, XXXIII:145).

I've been meaning to read this classic for years. When I saw Barnes & Noble's beautiful leather-bound edition, I couldn't resist.

Reading it was a challenge. It's not every day you read a Nineteenth century English translation of a Fourteenth Century Italian text in verse! With the help of a dictionary app and SparkNotes, I fell into the rhythm of the poem and began to understand it. Reading the text aloud (even muttering the cadence under my breath) helped immensely.

I'm not qualified to comment on the literary merit of this classic, or the translation. I'll keep my comments to theological issues.

*** Go to Hell! ***

Dante wrote his masterpiece in exile. He found himself on the wrong side of political power and was banished from his home in Florence on trumped-up charges (xi).

The Germans have a word, schadenfreude, which refers to the joy taken at someone else's misfortune. It's not a very flattering quality, but one Dante seems to enjoy. When he arrived in the sixth circle of hell, he wandered around tombs that held heretics who were tortured.

"Upon a sudden issued forth this sound
From out one of the tombs; wherefore I pressed,
Fearing, a little nearer to my Leader.

And unto me he said: "Turn thee; what dost thou?
Behold there Farinata who has risen;
From the waist upwards wholly shalt thous see him."

(Inferno X:28-33)

The character from the crypt was none other than Farinata, his real life political enemy. What do you do with a political enemy from earth? Stick him in your literary hell! This is where an annotated text is very helpful (unless you're up-to-date with the people of Fourteenth Century Florence).

Unfortunately, Dante's pattern for dealing with some of his enemies has been followed many times in church history. Instead of doing the hard work of loving your enemy, it's easier to just demonize him.

*** Highway to Hell ***

My edition of The Divine Comedy is filled with illustrations from Gustave Doré. These illustrations taught me something: hell is far more exciting and interesting than heaven. Inferno is far more frequently and graphically illustrated than Paradiso.

This attitude—the idea that heaven is boring and hell is exciting—is still around. Perhaps AC/DC popularized it the best:

"Ain't nothin' that I'd rather do
Goin' down
Party time
My friends are gonna be there too
I'm on the highway to hell"

Dante's hell is full of all sorts of interesting (if sadistic) tortures. Some people are burned alive, some turn into trees whose limbs are pecked at by Harpies, some are boiled alive in a river of blood, some are shat upon. Literally. Poop falls from the sky. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with Dante!

If you squint, you can read this torture as divine justice in the light of God's holiness. Realistically, it's another sad example of schadenfreude. Someone needs to go back in time and give him a copy of VanBalthasar's Dare We Hope?

*** Disembodied Heaven & the Impassable Deity ***

I always knew that I disagreed with Dante's view of hell. I was surprised by how much I disagreed with his heaven—and his Trinity!

Dante's God is an Aristotelian construct mediated by Aquinas:

"O grace abundant, by which I presumed
To fix my sight upon the Light Eternal,
So that the seeing I consumed therein!

...

Substance, and accident, and their operations,
All infused together in such wise
That what I speak of is one simple light.

...

Withing the deep and luminous substance
Of the High Light appeared to me three circles,
Of threefold color and of one dimension,"

(Paradiso XXXIII:82-84, 88-90, 115-117)

God, for Dante, is an immovable point of perfect light. Three circles symbolize the Trinity, with three different coloured lights. All manifold colours emanate from this point. The heavenly spheres (the planets), all rotate around this point as do the various levels of heavenly worshipers. There is nothing to do in heaven but to be consumed in contemplation.

That sounds spiritual, but it's nowhere near biblical. Biblical metaphors include a throne with a blood-stained lamb. Biblical metaphors speak of a river with trees of life lining the banks. Dante's God is a philosophical idea. I'll stick with the Holy One of Israel who breathed his breath into this dust and called it good.

Dante's Divine Comedy is a challenging and interesting work to read. Just don't confuse literature with theology. ( )
  StephenBarkley | Feb 4, 2016 |
Even after listening to an entire course on this book, I still had a hard time enjoying it. This time at least it made some sense from a historical standpoint. I had read the Inferno before and found it better this time, but I cannot agree with the professor of the course that I listened to when he said that The Divine Comedy is a greater work than all of Shakespeare's work combined. That, as far as I'm concerned, is blasphemy!!! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Even after listening to an entire course on this book, I still had a hard time enjoying it. This time at least it made some sense from a historical standpoint. I had read the Inferno before and found it better this time, but I cannot agree with the professor of the course that I listened to when he said that The Divine Comedy is a greater work than all of Shakespeare's work combined. That, as far as I'm concerned, is blasphemy!!! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (263 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alighieri, Danteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amari-Parker, AnnaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amelung, Petersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Melville BestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Armour, PeterNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bahner, WernerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barcelo, MiquelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beer, A. deEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickersteth, Geoffrey L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeken, H.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botticelli, SandroIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cary, Henry FrancisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiavacci Leonardi, Anna MariaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cialona, IkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciardi, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corey, MelindaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davico Bonino, GuidoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dooren, Frans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flaxman, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fletcher, Jefferson ButlerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galassi, JonathanTranslator (Introduction)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, Edmund G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hertz, Wilhelm GustavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higgins, David H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kops, ChristinusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landino, CristoforoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leino, EinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Livingston, ArthurIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Longfellow, Henry WadsworthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luciani, GérardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelbaum, AllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montale, EugenioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, Charles EliotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paton, Sir Joseph NoelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perriccioli, AlessandraCommentaar verzorgt doorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pfleiderer, RudolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhilalethesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polacco, L.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poma, CarlaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rheinfelder, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savino, GiancarloCommentaar verzorgt doorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sayers, DorothyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheck, FranzGraphische Bearbeitungsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinclair, John D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singleton, Charles S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C HTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sokop, Hans WernerTranslator deutsche Terzinenfassungsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Streckfuß, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaara, ElinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandelli, GiuseppeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verstegen, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villaroel, GiuseppeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weigel, HansIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, Lawrence GrantTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijdeveld, GerardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witte, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmermann, Wolf D.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
First words
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita / mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, / chè la diritta via era smarrita.
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Quotations
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
. . .quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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facsimile of Venice Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana Codex It. IX,276 (=6902)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451208633, Paperback)


Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the infinite torment of Hell, up the arduous slopes of Purgatory, and on to the glorious realm of Paradise—the sphere of universal harmony and eternal salvation.

10 illustrations


@HolyHaha I have to climb a mountain now? You got to be kidding me. Is this a joke? Who the hell came up with story? VIIIRRRGGGILLLLLLLLLLL!

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:28 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

"'The Divine Comedy' 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. Allen Mandelbaum's astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece 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." ***"An epic poem in which the poet describes his spiritual journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise -- guided first by the poet Virgil and then by his beloved Beatrice -- which results in a purification of his religious faith."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 22 descriptions

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Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140440062, 0140440461, 0142437220, 0140441050, 0140444432, 0140444424

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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