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thisisasituation's avatar

Have you read The Divine Comedy?

Asked by thisisasituation (50points) May 3rd, 2010

What opinions do you have of this piece of literature?

Also, what translation did you read?

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11 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

I’m not sure which translation I read, but it was a pretty good one.

I love the Divine Comedy. Purgatory and Paradise are pretty boring, but Inferno kicks exponential ass. I like how Dante effectively consolidates Classical and Christian philosophy into one unique world view. Good stuff.

Discrumt's avatar

I read it in English. I think you lose a few of the finer points due to the translation. I think it was good, and I think it did a rather good job on painting a picture in the readers mind.

IBERnineD's avatar

I read it my freshman year of high school, bought my first copy my junior year of high school. Loved it, for some reason it all spoke to me, but I have always been into the whole, religious process and what happens after we die stuff, although I’m not religious myself.

Anywho, the best translation would have to be Mandelbaum’s, without a doubt.

absalom's avatar

I’ve read only the Inferno (ninth grade), but of course it was fantastic. Dante is one of the greatest ever.

The translation was John Ciardi’s and it was the Signet Classic edition and the on the cover was a nice painting by William Blake of Vergil and Dante at the gate of Hell. It’s the only one I’ve read so I can’t comment on its quality or compare it to other translations.

My opinion is that it’s a beautiful allegory of Dante’s/Christ’s transcendence (and ascension) as achieved through poetry.

stardust's avatar

Not yet, but I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I should do during the summer.

anartist's avatar

Not all of it. Just Inferno.

grumpyfish's avatar

I read the W.S Merwin English translation of Purgatorio—it’s amazing.

His goal was to keep the feel of the poetry the same, rather than trying to get all of the words across. It’s also published facing the original Italian. That is, on the lefthand side, you have the Italian, on the righthand side, you have the English.

roundsquare's avatar

Read it in high school. Not all of it, mostly inferno and a few parts of purgatorio and paradiso.

The best part was when someone put a sign on the door on finals day saying “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.”

mrentropy's avatar

I haven’t read it, but I have read “Silverlock” by John Myers Myers. And part of “Escape From Hell” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Jeruba's avatar

Just the Inferno, in college, and it was so long ago that I just remember a few episodes and impressions but nothing about the translation.

As a note of interest, Jodi Picoult’s novel The Tenth Circle uses the Divine Comedy as a kind of thematic model. I didn’t consider the novel a success (I rated it a C-minus), but it was an interesting parallel, complete with comic-book illustrations because one of the main characters is a comic book artist.

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