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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Purgatorio (Bantam Classics) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (December 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055321344X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213447
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

"Tough and supple, tender and violent . . . vigorous, vernacular . . . Mandelbaum's Dante will stand high among modern translations."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Lovers of the English language will be delighted by this eloquently accomplished enterprise."
--Book Review Digest

From the Publisher

This splendid verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum provides an entirely fresh experience of Dante's great poem of penance and hope. As Dante ascends the Mount of Purgatory toward the Earthly Paradise and his beloved Beatrice, through "that second kingdom in which the human soul is cleansed of sin," all the passion and suffering, poetry and philosophy are rendered with the immediacy of a poet of our own age. With extensive notes and commentary prepared especially for this edition.

"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.

"Tough and supple, tender and violent . . . vigorous, vernacular . . . Mandelbaum's Dante will stand high among modern translations."--The Christian Science Monitor


More About the Author

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 in Florence. His family, of minor nobility, was not wealthy nor especially distinguished; his mother died when he was a child, his father before 1283. At about the age of 20 he married Gemma Donati, by whom he had three children. Little is known of Dante's formal education-it is likely to have included study with the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the Franciscans in Florence, and at the university in Bologna. In 1295 he entered Florentine politics and in the summer of 1300 he became one of the six governing Priors of Florence. In 1301, the political situation forced Dante and his party into exile. For the rest of his life he wandered through Italy, perhaps studied at Paris, while depending for refuge on the generosity of various nobles. He continued to write and at some point late in life he took asylum in Ravenna where he completed the Divine Commedia and died, much honoured, in 1321.

Customer Reviews

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Similar to the Inferno, Dante is accompanied by his guide, the great poet, Virgil.
Mike Bohinick
As in his translation of INFERNO, Mandelbaum provides a beautiful and highly readable translation of Dante.
Robert Moore
Often overlooked as the middle story, Purgatorio is, in its own rights, a classic.
Matt Benecke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy VINE VOICE on August 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are two things that set this edition of Dante's
Purgatorio apart. The first is the evocative 1982 translation
by Allen Mandelbaum. The Italian government itself has
showered prizes on Mandelbaum and indeed, from an Italian
perspective this is also the best translation available. It
has a fidelity to the Italian that is all the more jealously
guarded because, for modern Italian speakers, Dante's
14th contury language is not so remote.

The second is that the original Italian text is supplied
side by side with the translation. For the student of Italian
or any non-native speaker, this is an arrangement that
facilitates the appreciation of the lyricism of the original
because you are not distracted by the only slightly archaic
language.

Mandelbaum's notes are illuminating and the illustrations by
Barry Moser are inventive and evocative masterpieces.

When the Italian comedian Robert Benigni visited the U.S.
to accept his Oscars for La Vita e Bella, the story was that
the only person he wanted to meet was the famed Dantista,
Allen Mandelbaum.

--Lynn Hoffman, author of THE NEW SHORT COURSE IN WINE and
the novel bang BANG. ISBN 9781601640005
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt Benecke on June 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second of three books that compose the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri's "Purgatorio" is a continuation of his epic Cantos. Having seen Satan with their own eyes, Dante and Virgil once again breathe fresh air as they surface through an opening in a cliff. Their adventure then carries them to the mountain island of Purgatory where Dante hears tales of woe and sees some familiar faces, all the while drawing nearer to his beloved Beatrice.

Often overlooked as the middle story, Purgatorio is, in its own rights, a classic. It would be my recommendation, however, to read it in order so as not to confuse yourself and to miss out on any of the important events that occur.

What makes this edition so special is the wonderful translation done by Allen Mandelbaum. The notes that are provided make understanding not only the language but the plot and its nuances much easier and consequently much more enjoyable. This is easily the best version on the market today for the casual reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"To course across more kindly waters now/my talent's little vessel lifts her sails/leaving behind herself a sea so cruel..."

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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By Ghostgum on February 9, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a catholic. I do not believe in purgatory, & I'm not sure I believe in hell. I've already paid for my mistakes in this life several lifetimes over. I am not Italian either, so I have to take it on faith that this translation is true to the original manuscript. In case I don't want to, the original is printed alongside it, which is a mark of confidence on someone's part. Anyway, who cannot enjoy magnificence, & an act of supreme imagination? It is fabulous poetry inviting you to a realm of experience impossible to reach otherwise - unless you are dead & Catholic!
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