The Devine Comedy: Paradise Hardcover – 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Funny however how many reviews and appreciations exist about his first two volumes, and Inferno & Purgatorio generally, but not so for Paradiso: do I suspect that not many reach the end of Dante's supernatural journey? And yet, it's a wonderful Paradise that we encounter in the verses of this cantica.
Many first time readers of the Inferno must have finished it in a few sittings; the Purgatorio continues the narrative interest. It can likewise be read quickly, in a few days, in the knowledge that the reader will return to master the identities of some of the characters, or puzzle out some of the more obscure points. The third section od the Divine Comedy is different. The Paradiso is a work of prodigious originality, where the effects achieved may be found in other artistic forms (i.e., painting and music, to name two), but not often in literature. Why?
Because Dante is going to achieve what the 4th Gospel said it was impossible -- at the end of this cantica he will see God, or at the very least, as words and vision fail, he will have come as close to seeing God as anyone else in literature. In fact, the Paradise is the boldest work of Western literature, since, if it achieves its effect, it will have ceased to be an imaginary narrative and will have led the reader to the vision experienced by the pilgrim-poet. Its aim is nothing less than to enable us to see God.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you, like me, are intimidated by Dante but are interested in these great works of Western Literature, you now have an accessible translation of the Divine Comedy. Musa's translation communicates the divinity of the events in the story on an understandable level. The Divine Comedy colored my perception of religion and helped me to a new understanding of the harmony of responsibility and grace. The work also educates the reader in an enriching way about the belief system of the middle ages.
Don't miss this book and don't read any other translation.
As it turns out, Mark Musa's translation of Inferno is fantastic. Each chapter begins with a very brief but informative synopsis, followed by the prose, then finally capped off my Musa's notes on the text. Musa's notes give backgroud on all of the characters and situations that take place throughout the story. These notes are a MUST for any newcomer to Dante and classical literature in general. So, not only is there the original text in English for us non-Italian speakers, but there are notes to increase the readers comprehension.
Dante is guided by the author of the Aeneid, Virgil. Virgil takes Dante through the Nine Levels of Hell to show him the pain and suffering of all those who do not love and follow God. Dante learns a great deal on this journey as does the reader.
Mark Musa's translation of Dante is smooth, entertaining, and very informative. Anyone interested in Christianity, Hell, famous Greeks, and classical literature should definitely indulge themselves as this translation is not overwhelming in the slightest. Five stars across the board.