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The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri, Clive James
The Divine Comedy
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Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation—decades in the making—gives us the entire epic as a single,... show more
Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation—decades in the making—gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively readable lyric poem. Written in the early fourteenth century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed. Divided into three books—Hell, Purgatory and Heaven—the poem’s allegorical vision of the afterlife portrays the poet’s spiritual crisis in terms of his own contemporary history, in a text of such vivid life and variety that modern readers will find themselves astounded in a hundred different ways. And indeed the structure of this massive single song is divided into a hundred songs, or cantos, each of which is a separate poetic miracle. But unifying them all is the impetus of the Italian verse: a verbal energy that Clive James has now brought into English. In his introductory essay, James says that the twin secrets of Dante are texture and impetus. All the packed detail must be there, but the thing must move. It should go from start to finish with an unflagging rhythm. In the original, the basic form is the terza rima, a measure hard to write in English without showing the strain of reaching once too often for a rhyme. In this translation, the basic form is the quatrain. The result, uncannily, is the same easy-seeming flow, a wonderful momentum that propels the reader along the pilgrim’s path from Hell to Heaven, from despair to revelation. To help ensure that no scholastic puzzles get in the road of appreciation, James has also adopted the bold policy of incorporating key points from the scholarship into the text: uploading them from the footnotes, as it were, and making them part of the narrative, where they can help to make things clear. For its range of emotion alone, Clive James’s poetic rendering of The Divine Comedy would be without precedent. But it is also singled out by its sheer readability. The result is the epic as a page-turner, a work that will influence the way we read Dante in English for generations to come.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780871404480 (0871404486)
Publisher: Liveright
Pages no: 560
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Tolle Lege!.
Tolle Lege!. rated it
3.0 The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy)
Without the summaries at the beginning of the chapters I would have been completely lost. I'm going to leave smart books of fiction to smart people. The book felt like when I read the Bible. I'm completely out of my depth when I read complex fiction. (I'm sure it's a five star book for smart peo...
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents rated it
3.0 The Divine Comedy
I know. I know. Everyone gives this 5 stars. It's one of the great books of all time. Etc, etc. Sorry, I did not like it. The problem is definitely with me instead of the book. I've just been preached at so much in my life by people who were religious fakes that when I start seeing or hearing a l...
Lisa (Harmony)
Lisa (Harmony) rated it
5.0 Divine Comedy
I find this among the most amazing works I've ever read--despite that the work is essentially Christian Allegory and I'm an atheist. First and foremost for its structure. Recently I read Moby Dick and though it had powerful passages I found it self-indulgent and bloated and devoutly wished an editor...
In laywoman's terms
In laywoman's terms rated it
2.0 La Divina Comedia
Hmm. Okay, let's see. I tried reading this book some ten years ago and I found it horrendously boring, and I had the illustrated edition. I decided to give it a go again now 'cause it's one of those books you have to read at some point if your life as a reader. It was enjoyable at the beginning, it ...
Monkeypanic
Monkeypanic rated it
5.0 The Divine Comedy (Oxford World's Classics)
CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH REVIEW*(* entertainment purposes only) Dante’s Divine Comedy v. The Complete Winnie the PoohAfter his wife went to bed, and the house got dark and quiet, that seemed to be the best time for thinking. Naturally, every moment was precious, and he wanted to spend the time he had le...
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