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The Devine Comedy: Paradise Hardcover – 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 639 pages
  • Publisher: Del Prado (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 848372846X
  • ISBN-13: 978-8483728468
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,028,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...and Love surely was part of Professor Musa's great endeavour in translating the whole Comedy into English: his passion for Dante emanates from every single translated verse and endnote.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I understood the grace and beauty 18 July 2000
By Stacey M Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The pilgrim's journey continues to heaven.
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.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult text, rendered well 28 July 2003
By Brett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am not a professional Dante scholar, and in fact, speak no Italian at all, so my judgement as to the accuracy of the translation is suspect. That said, Musa does an admirable job of helping the reader understand this very difficult final third of the Divine Comedy. Of the three sections of the Comedy, my feeling is that Paradise is the least interesting, though it would be a shame to read the first two parts and neglect the third, since they all are integral to understanding what Dante was trying to accomplish. But the characters in Paradise are all literally perfect and sinless, and there is not nearly as much of interest as in the other books. There is a lot of symbolism involving what shapes the saints stand in and the like, but its all rather trying and sometimes monotonous, to me anyway. Musa is a good guide though. The translation smartly abandons any hope of recreating Rima Terza, and goes with a straight blank verse rendering. The translation is subtle and effective, even when the poem itself is slow and tedious. Despite my beliefs about Paradise, both history and personal experience tell me that Divine Comedy is an important and fulfilling part of the Western Canon that should not go neglected. I have no problem recommending Musa's version of Paradise.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine Comedy : Paradise 4 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this translation of paradise, Mark Musa exhibits the same sensitivity to language and knowledge of translation that enabled his versions of the Inferno and Purgatory to caputure the vibrant powers of Dantes poetry. Thats what it says on the back of the book and boy you couldnt have said it better than that. This book is by far better than the first and a perfect sequel to the secound translation. Mark Musa puts Dante's complex poetry into plain english so that even a common student like myself can understand. I think anyone who likes Dantes interpretations about life will love this addition to his work.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Informative, Scary Story 22 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My interest in classic literature did not arise until recently. I read many reviews which indicated that people with this such interest absolutely MUST read Dante's Inferno. With that hefty weight upon my "newbie" shoulders I decided to undergo the journey that so many others have made over the last 700 years.
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that many have missed for various reasons 20 April 2014
By Congenital Nomad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After giving up on this volume of The Divine Comeday several times in my younger years, I decided to give the work another try. I thought maybe maturity would make it manageable this time. That did help, but the real key to my finishing and benefiting from my experience with Paradise this timewas the inspired translation by Mark Musa. Mr. Musa obviously thought it more important for readers to understand what Dante meant, rather than just providing a word-for-word rendition of the original text, which was after all written in medieval Italian. He also provides plentiful notes and longer explanatory passages. I would recommend this edition to all who are interested in unpacking this monument of medieval literature to stimulate their own thinking about human destiny even in this modern age.
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