- File Size: 3317 KB
- Print Length: 540 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: August 24, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00923K8N0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dante's Divine Comedy: A Retelling in Prose Kindle Edition
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Bruce's translation hit me like a ton of bricks! This allegory was the story of a 35-year-old man's midlife crisis, who dearly loved his hometown of Florence yet was shortly to be unfairly banished and never return home again, a man who saw religious and political figures openly engage in truly "sinful" and unethical behavior without any apparent consequences or censure, a man who experienced an adolescent "first love" and had never been able to resolve his loss from a mature perspective.
His guide for the first half of the journey was Virgil, a poet who lived just before the time of Christ, who helped him understand the difference between "crime" and "sin", repentance and denial of guilt, and the process of progressively understand that unrecognized sin keeps one so busy denying that he has made a mistake, but also failure to recognize the mistake as an opportunity given one to gain spiritual (and behavioral) maturity.
Virgil escorts him through Limbo, where he as a righteous unbeliever lives, the Inferno, where the unrepentant sinners reside, Purgatory, where the repentant souls strive to recognize how their sins have kept them from growing in maturity and faith, through the process of forgiving themselves, and to the edge of Paradise, where his beloved Beatrice becomes his guide into the realm where the redeemed and mature souls dwell in the presence of God.
It is told from a 12th century Italian-Christian perspective, but the allegory is magnificent. It is an allegorical and poetic description of a man who is coming-of-age within his own historical/political/religious world. As I read it, I could see my own life as it has progressed in awareness and maturation. My "World" is neither medieval nor Catholic, but the parallels in the process of grown in faith and maturation of behavior are outstanding.
The reason for giving this epic four and not five stars is due to the translation. In reading this translation, I could never figure out what were Dante's ideas and what were Mr. Bruce's ideas. Mr. Bruce continually added modern-day ideas to the translation. I wasn't interested in reading his ideas but Dante's.
Having said this, Mr. Bruce writes an easily readable translation and a good introduction to Dante and the thinkers of this time. This book is definitely worth your time.