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The Divine Comedy

by Dante Alighieri

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Divine Comedy (omnibus)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,070143224 (4.11)1 / 189
The classic story of a man who endures the torment of Hell and Purgatory in his quest to reach Paradise.
  1. 62
    The Doré Illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy by Gustave Doré (rvdm61)
  2. 30
    The Figure of Beatrice by Charles Williams (jsburbidge)
  3. 21
    Dante in Love by A. N. Wilson (DLSmithies)
  4. 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)

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English (103)  Spanish (21)  Dutch (4)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
The introductory notes were fascinating. They gave a lucid explanation of the difficulty of translation and got me excited about a book with a translation that has the thrill of the original Italian, and keeps the action going throughout the book.

However, in the body of the translation, there are no paragraph divisions. I found it very difficult to keep track of who is speaking. That was frustrating, and made the reading a slog as I tried to understand it. I only made it through the first canto.

For a sanity check, I compared with some translations available online. All of them have paragraph breaks.
(Courtney Langdon, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Elliot Norton, A. S. Kline, H. F. Cary)

The lack of paragraph breaks makes it nearly unreadable. I created a new exclusive shelf for this book: never-finished.

The edition that I read was an "Advance Reading Copy." Perhaps the final published edition will be better. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
I got the urge to read La Divinia Comedia while listening to the audiobook: Mysteries of the Middle Ages. He described the language as so convincingly beautiful (terza rima) that I wanted to read or listen to it in Latin even though I don't know Latin. I found a recording by Librivox that I downloaded and listened to.

My wife though it was silly to listen to it in a language that I don't know. As I began to listen to it, I felt like I only knew perhaps a dozen words in Latin. But as I strove to understand what I was hearing, I have recognized enough words that my recognition vocabulary seems more like 100 words.

I also downloaded a PDF of a bilingual version, but sit at my home computer so little any more that I have hardly looked at it.

About the Librivox recording. (Not this edition, but the Librivox edition does not seem to be in here.)
This recording is 12.3 hours long in 19 segments recorded by various readers. Not only are the segments recorded by different people with different voices and emphasis, but being a technical person, I found interesting the sound of the different acoustics and recording equipment that the readers used. One could complain about a few things, but the diversity of readers added to my enjoyment.

It has been a fascinating experience, so much so that I am thinking of listening to it again.
( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Dante’s famous The Divine Comedy lies at the intersection of art and theology. I love artful renditions of theology. Further, it is known as the best work of poetry ever to grace the language of Italian. Therefore, I decided to look for a good translation. I’ve enjoyed Longfellow’s poetry in the past, and when I saw that he undertook an adaptation, I chose to give it a go.

Unfortunately, Longfellow seemed to stick a little too close to the Latin roots of the original Italian. Many English words seemed to represent Latinized English rather than modern Anglo English. Dante wrote in the vernacular, not in Latin, the language of scholars. The result? This translation seems to consistently choose words that confuse the reader more than convey to her/him the spirit of Dante’s language. The artfulness of Dante’s original is maintained, especially in consistent alliterations. However, entirely gone is Dante’s appeal to the people.

The vivid, memorable scenes of the Inferno are lost in Longfellow’s poetic sophistication. Having read widely in history, I’m quite used to archaic writing. This work, however, takes archaisms to a new standard. Entire sentences are rendered in a Victorian manner that is based on classical languages instead of common English. The result deludes rather than enlightens. Again, this was not Dante’s intent.

Yes, Longfellow was a professor of Italian at Harvard. Yes, he is an acclaimed poet, one of the best that America has ever produced. This work does not bring the best outcome from his skill. He appeals to a highbrow readership whose style was more in vogue during his century. It’s out of touch with modern sentiment, and it’s out of touch with Dante’s appeal to the masses. Dante may guide us from Hades through purgatory and into paradise; unfortunately, Longfellow’s ethereal language does not convey the beauty of the original, and as such he leaves us in the hell of ignorance instead of the heavenly bliss of true knowledge.

If you want to experience Dante’s beautiful imagery, try another translation. There exist plenty that do the trick. Longfellow’s translation requires a nearby dictionary and plenty of stamina. ( )
  scottjpearson | Apr 12, 2020 |
Read - listened to - about a quarter of it... and it's just not that good. Little pace, few great vistas, few worthwhile interactions. Good to say you've read it (which I can't say), but not worth it.
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
3 v. Reprint. Orig. publ. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1939 ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (861 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
Barbi, Silvio AdrastoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barcelo, MiquelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beer, A. deEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benton, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickersteth, Geoffrey L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeken, H.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botticelli, SandroIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlyle, John AitkenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cary, Henry FrancisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casella, MarioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casini, TommasoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiavacci Leonardi, Anna MariaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cialona, IkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciardi, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corey, MelindaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crespo, ÁngelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davico Bonino, GuidoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dooren, Frans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eidesheim, JulieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flasch, KurtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flaxman, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fletcher, Jefferson ButlerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galassi, JonathanTranslator (Introduction)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, Edmund G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandgent, Charles HallIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hertz, Wilhelm GustavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higgins, David H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirkpatrick, RobinTranslatorsecondary 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
Momigliano, AttilioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montale, EugenioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moura, Vasco GraçaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, Charles EliotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oelsner, HermannEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Okey, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasquini, EmilioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paton, Sir Joseph NoelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perriccioli, AlessandraCommentaar verzorgt doorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petrocchi, GiorgioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pfleiderer, RudolfEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhilalethesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polacco, L.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poma, CarlaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quaglio, Antonio EnzoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rheinfelder, HansAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanguineti, FedericoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savino, GiancarloCommentaar verzorgt doorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sayers, Dorothy L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheck, FranzGraphische Bearbeitungsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scialom, MarcTranslatorsecondary 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
Wicksteed, CarlyleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijdeveld, GerardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, Ernest H.Bibliographysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witte, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmermann, Wolf D.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
. . .quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante.
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Book description
Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, 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.
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W.W. Norton

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