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The Divine Comedy Volume II: Purgatory (Penguin Classics): Purgatory v. 2 Paperback – 30 May 1985

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • The Divine Comedy Volume II: Purgatory (Penguin Classics): Purgatory v. 2
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  • The Divine Comedy: Paradise: Paradise v. 3 (Classics)
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  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno: Inferno v. 1 (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (30 May 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140444424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140444421
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The English Dante of choice." -Hugh Kenner
"Exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths." -Robert Fagles, Princeton University
"A marvel of fidelity to the original, of sobriety, and truly, of inspired poetry." -Henri Peyre, Yale University

The English Dante of choice. Hugh Kenner
Exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths. Robert Fagles, Princeton University
A marvel of fidelity to the original, of sobriety, and truly, of inspired poetry. Henri Peyre, Yale University"

About the Author

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice,including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.


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Format: Paperback
In the second installment of the Divine Commedy we follow Dante as he strugles up the mountain of purgatory on his way to the Earthly Paradise and his beloved Beatrice. Accompanied by the ever faithful Virgil he passes various sinners on the way to the top and we get to see the brutal punishments they undergo as they atone for their sins. I enjoyed this book as much as the Inferno - if anything the punishments are even harsher and, as ever, Mark Musa's inspired translation and helpful notes make it a pleasure to read. Bring on Paradise.
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IMO, Mark Musa does the best translation of Dante. I read Dorothy Sayers' version and it was purgatory (sticking to rhyming couplets, iambic pentameter and a bizarre Provencal-to-Burns Scottish stanza). Musa keeps the meter but doesn't tie up with rhyming, nor going for medieval English as another translator decided. More accurate and, importantly, accessible as a result. Accompanying notes on the figures appearing in each chapter very helpful.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
Format: Paperback
"And I shall sing about that second realm/where man's soul goes to purify itself/and become worthy to ascend to heaven..."

Having finished his tour of hell and its residents, Dante Alighieri turns his attention to a more cheerful (if less juicy) supernatural realm. "Purgatorio" is less famous than its predecessor, but it's still a beautiful piece of work that explores the mindset not of the damned, but of sinners who are undergoing a divine cleansing -- beautiful, hopeful and a little sad.

Outside of Hell, Dante and Virgil encounter a small boat piloted by an angel and filled with human souls -- and unlike the damned, they're eager to find "the mountain." And as Hell had circles of damnation, Purgatory has terraces that the redeemable souls climb on their way towards Heaven, and none of the people there will leave their terrace until they are cleansed.

And the sins that are cleansed here are the seven deadly ones: the proud, the envious, the wrathful, the greedy, the lazy, the gluttonous, and the lustful. But as Dante moves slowly through the terraces, he finds himself gaining a new tour guide as he approaches Heaven...

I'll say this openly: the second part of the "Divine Comedy" is simply not as deliciously entertaining as "Inferno" -- it was kind of fun to see Dante skewering the corrupt people of his time, and describing the sort of grotesque punishments they merited. But while not as fun, "Purgatorio" is a more transcendent, hopeful kind of story since all the souls there will eventually be cleansed and make their way to Heaven.
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Easy to read translation.
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lovely
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