- Paperback: 928 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso edition (May 27, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451208633
- ISBN-13: 978-0451208637
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (728 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Divine Comedy (The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso) Paperback – May 27, 2003
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“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
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
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Top Customer Reviews
In addition to the direct translation, Musa provides an introductory summary to each canto, detailed notes following each canto, a glossary of names in the back of each volume, and an introductory essay for each volume. The introduction to "Volume 1: Inferno" gives a thorough introduction to Dante and to his other works as well as to the Inferno. Following the introduction is a translator's note. The introductions to "Purgatory" and "Paradise" do not go over the extra information presented in "Inferno". It is useful to read all three of Dante's canticles in the Musa translation to get a complete, consistent presentation of the work. Musa does make reference in his notes to one volume to ideas or people presented in the others.
The notes are vital for almost everyone. The references to Biblical, classical, and medieval personalities, myths, time systems, theology, and events come frequently. Few people are up on the ins and outs of Guelf vs. Ghibelline in medieval Italian politics. Musa makes it all as clear as it needs to be.
Musa's version of "Inferno" italicizes the introductory summary before each canticle and retains the detailed, interesting mappings of Hell used in the Sayers edition.
Dante's poem is central to Western civilization. Allowing for some poetic necessities, it pulls classical and medieval history into the framework of Christian theology to show how God's love powers the universe, how people can exercise free will, and how God can help and reward those who trust in Him. It is very easy for the reader to ask how he or she would fare in the afterlife and how to go about finding a better outcome. Some sins are punished severely [like traitors frozen near Lucifer in the ice of the Cocytus lake], and some sins have varying outcomes [E.g., there are some sodomites running on the burning sand of Lower Hell forever and some having their sins burned way in the last stage of Purgatory before going to Paradise.]. Some loves are more blessed than others too. There is much to reflect on. Dante the Pilgrim, drawn by his love for Beatrice gets the full experience.
Reading "The Divine Comedy" is valuable in any translation; Musa's flies along, bringing his audience along with understanding.
This review for "Inferno" applies to "Purgatory" and "Paradise" as well, since the productions are so comparable.