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The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Dante Alighieri , David H. Higgins , C. H. Sisson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics) The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics) 4.7 out of 5 stars (28)
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Book Description

18 Jun 1998 Oxford World's Classics
A new blank verse translation of Dante's epic, complete with an authoritative Introduction, diagrams, maps, and notes.


Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (18 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192835025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192835024
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Described variously as the greatest poem of the European Middle Ages and, because of the author's evangelical purpose, the `fifth Gospel', the Divine Comedy is central to the culture of the west. The poem is a spiritual autobiography in the form of a journey - the poet travels from the dark circles of the Inferno, up the mountain of Purgatory, where Virgil, his guide leaves him to encounter Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise. Dante conceived the poem as the new epic of Christendom, and he creates a world in which reason and faith have transformed moral and social chaos into order.

Charles Sisson's blank verse translation is remarkable for its lucidity and vigour, and the Introduction, diagrams, maps, and notes by David Higgins provide the reader with invaluable guidance.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

What is amazing about Dante's language is the fluency, the plainness, the simplicity - the sheer approachability - of his words. The sheer formal mastery of the man is quite amazing. (Michael Glover, New Statesman & Society) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 6 Jun 2009
By L. Reid
Format:Paperback
This was a brilliant edition of the masterpiece and before buying it I was apprehensive that I wouldn't understand half of it but the translation is simple and there is a wealth of notes at the back for further understanding. Would recommend this to anyone interested in reading The Divine Comedy.
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126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive approach to Dante 30 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This has to be rated as one of the best and most approachable translations of the Divine Comedy available today. Mr Sisson has retained the true lyricism of Dante's original Italian verse as well as the sense of 'terza rima' so important in this work. I highly recommend this edition to students and to those first time explorers of Dante and his great poem. The notes are extensive and detailed, a great aid to the uninitiated. In three years of University study this edition has never let me down, It is always at my side.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
By G
Format:Paperback
After seeing movies and TV shows with references to The Divine Comedy, I thought it about time to see what all the fuss was about.

There are times when the pace of the poem slows. However this never distracts from the narrative epic adventure from hell to heaven via purgatory. It has stunning descriptive visuals and excellent social comment of the time.

This is a brilliant study of human morality and religion. However I would recommend a little study into ancient mythology and the bible to easier understand this book. Also having not studied the social history of the time I did find it best to read a canto at a time and then read the study notes for that canto to aid my understanding.

This is a once in a lifetime experience to be had by all.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine 16 Jan 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Midway life's journey I was made aware/that I had strayed into a dark forest..."

Those eerie words open the first cantica of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy," the legendary poem that takes its author through the eerie depths of hell, heaven and purgatory. It's a haunting, almost hallucinatory experience, full of the the metaphorical and supernatural horrors of the inferno, and joys of paradise.

The date is Good Friday of the year 1300, and Dante is lost in a creepy dark forest, being assaulted by a trio of beasts who symbolize his own sins. But suddenly he is rescued ("Not man; man I once was") by the legendary poet Virgil, who takes the despondent Dante under his wing -- and down into Hell.

But this isn't a straightforward hell of flames and dancing devils. Instead, it's a multi-tiered carnival of horrors, where different sins are punished with different means. Opportunists are forever stung by insects, the lustful are trapped in a storm, the greedy are forced to battle against each other, and the violent lie in a river of boiling blood, are transformed into thorn bushes, and are trapped on a volcanic desert.

Well, that was fun. But after passing through hell, Dante gets the guided tour of Purgatory, where the souls of the not-that-bad-but-not-pure-either get cleansed. He and Virgil emerge at the base of a vast mountain, and an angel orders him to "wash you those wounds within," then lets them in.

As Virgil and Dante climb the mountain, they observe the seven terraces that sinners stay on, representing the seven deadly sins -- the angry, the proud, the envious, the lazy, the greedy, the lustful and the gluttons. It's a one-way trip, and you don't even get to look back.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is certain that Dante's inferno is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, and though purgatory and paradise are not as brilliant, tending to drag in places, they are also well worth reading. This translation is excellent, keeping the rhythm of the orginal, as well as keeping meanings close to their originals. The notes in the back are also excellent, helpful and informative.
Most worthy of 5 stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly divine 26 Oct 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Midway life's journey I was made aware/that I had strayed into a dark forest..."

Those eerie words open the first cantica of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy," the legendary poem that takes its author through the eerie depths of hell, heaven and purgatory. It's a haunting, almost hallucinatory experience, full of the the metaphorical and supernatural horrors of the inferno, and joys of paradise.

The date is Good Friday of the year 1300, and Dante is lost in a creepy dark forest, being assaulted by a trio of beasts who symbolize his own sins. But suddenly he is rescued ("Not man; man I once was") by the legendary poet Virgil, who takes the despondent Dante under his wing -- and down into Hell.

But this isn't a straightforward hell of flames and dancing devils. Instead, it's a multi-tiered carnival of horrors, where different sins are punished with different means. Opportunists are forever stung by insects, the lustful are trapped in a storm, the greedy are forced to battle against each other, and the violent lie in a river of boiling blood, are transformed into thorn bushes, and are trapped on a volcanic desert.

Well, that was fun. But after passing through hell, Dante gets the guided tour of Purgatory, where the souls of the not-that-bad-but-not-pure-either get cleansed. He and Virgil emerge at the base of a vast mountain, and an angel orders him to "wash you those wounds within," then lets them in.

As Virgil and Dante climb the mountain, they observe the seven terraces that sinners stay on, representing the seven deadly sins -- the angry, the proud, the envious, the lazy, the greedy, the lustful and the gluttons. It's a one-way trip, and you don't even get to look back.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pristine
This came as a pristine copy. I have always meant to read it and have managed a whole first piece. I cannot say it is easy but it is interesting and part of literary history
Published 2 months ago by Emmabemma
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointed.
I was quite disappointed by the translation. I bought this for a friend who was interested in reading it, because it's one of my favorite poems. Read more
Published 3 months ago by franilmini
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, plain english translation of this highly innovative poem &...
Once I heard about The Divine Comedy, I was always intrigued by it's bold story and even more so after seeing Gustave Dore's illustrations for the poem. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sean
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I do not have much to say on this book except the fact that it is a classic. A definite must read...
Published 7 months ago by Ivanovic Ognjen
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
Excellent read, draws the reader in astoundingly. Recommend for fans of spiritual exploration of the human soul in the afterlife.
Published 12 months ago by Daniel Bowles
5.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Comedy
Dante is a wonderful work of fiction; a poem no less on evangelical purpose. Epic of Christendom

Recommend a great classic
Published 13 months ago by Carolyn Ruane
5.0 out of 5 stars Still resonant
Besides The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy is one of the few examples of the "Epic poem" that has reached mainstream culture. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Carol A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you!
Everything was like in the description thank you very much! The book is in perfect conditions and cant wait to start reading it
Published 16 months ago by Alejandro Roessink
5.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Comedy
Just as required. .Bought this for someone who read a book containing many references to the Divine Comedy and wanted to know more about it.
Published 18 months ago by Mary Whiffin
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent translation for those studying Dante
If you need to read this for your studies I would say that this is an excellent volume to buy. There is an extensive introduction which frames the work and gives it context, and... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
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