Dante was a high-ranking career politician in Florence, and was subsequently exiled from there, stripped of his property and forced to flee for his life. He was an intensely political man, extremely well educated, and he was nursing grudges that show up in the poem. He makes a lot of references to political events that most modern readers won't understand.
And also, he spends a lot of time talking about medieval Roman Catholic theology, applying it to the story at hand. Again, modern readers tend to have trouble. The best way to ensure a good experience with this poem is for you to choose a translation that is intended to be readable, with good notes on the text. I cut my teeth on the poem with the translation by Mark Musa, which you can find in The Portable Dante.
It has fairly good explanatory notes. A more recent, and possibly better choice, especially if you like parallel text translations, is the Inferno translation by Durling and Martinez, which has excellent notes. It's easily my favorite of those that are commonly available, and I have had glowing reviews of it from friends who wanted an accessible introduction to the poem.
Is this book supposed to lead us on a better path to God so we don't end up in Hell? Each little vignette reveals something …more The Divine Comedy which is not just the Inferno -- read all three parts! Each little vignette reveals something important about the human mind. There is poetic justice in each punishment. The Purgatorio shows people struggling to grow up and stop being infantile sinners.
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Start your review of Inferno The Divine Comedy 1. Jump on it! Being that I am an atheist living in the "Bible Belt," I was certain that reading this would lead to some sort of goodreads tirade, which can at times feel about as good as vomiting up a sour stomach or For such a holy shitfuck, he had quite the murky mind. And don't be surprised if he zaps you with the occasional rotting pustule or maggot-infested knife wound. I was going to be threatened with nasty, rotting, coldsore-herpee-mange-pits all over my body that George W.
Bush and Paris Hilton are going to take turns pouring their boiling-hot-diarrhea-snot into. Dante, you sick bastard! So onward I galloped, discerning through all the filthy language that: A I am, in fact, going to hell. C The Dalai Lama, too, is going to hell. He'll punish you for not worshiping Him before you even know who He is!!! If there was ever a better use for "WTF?
That's like your mom smacking you in the mouth for getting pregnant while you're still a virgin, or like wanting to ban a book that you haven't even seen in real life yet! Every evolutionary step forward up to the first Homosapien Christian is a batch of poor bastards that has been ferried across the River Styx. I mean seriously Apparently, the wholly omniscient creator forgot to put them on the guest list. Ain't that some shit? One specific gripe about the story I'm not digging this whole "emasculated devil" thing.
I mean, wallowing in your own filth freezing your ass off with bitch-tears in your eyes at all times? This is the malevolent force that the Christians live in constant fear of, seriously? It's a non-stop temptation to be like HIM?
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Come on, everybody knows the devil is confusingly sexy and he likes to smoke fancy cigars and drink brandy and wear fine suits and tell hilarious jokes. How else is he supposed to charm us away from the true path? Keep up, Dante Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.
The river will not allow U to get with, Mr. I just don't know What made you forget that I was raw? Farmers What!!! I'm ready we're ready!!! I think I'm gonna bomb a town get down!! View all 81 comments. It is widely considered the preeminent work in Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church, by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language.
It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. I recently revisited this classic. At the very end of the pier, beyond the Wild Mouse and giant Ferris wheel, there was a new roller coaster that looked pretty frightening. Not only did the tracks have steep climbs and amazing plunges but there was an opening in the boardwalk where the roller coaster took its passengers under the pier.
Hector looked over at the spot in the boardwalk from which the train would eventually reemerge. He waited and waited. This was taking much more time than he though.
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Hector crouched down to hear the shrieks and howls more clearly. Waves of heat rising from the spaces between the wooden boards of the boardwalk burned his face.
After several uneasy moments he stood back up and watched as the roller coaster finally rolled through the cavernous opening in the boardwalk and stopped near the line. One terrified passenger unbuckled herself and climbed out. She walked past, eyes downcast, and Hector could both see and smell her hair was singed. When the old man nodded, she pulled Hector by the hand to the front of the roller coaster and strapped him in next to her.
As the roller coaster began moving, Hector tried to console himself with the grim fact that everyone on the preceding ride did at least come back alive. View all 54 comments. One of the great classics that everyone should attempt reading once. For Walking Dead fans, had there been no Dante, there could never have been a Kirkman. There is incredible violence and suffering it is Hell after all , but the relationship between Virgil and Dante is a beautiful one that evolves as their descend lower and lower.
I read both the John Ciardi translation in verse rhyming for the first and third lines in each stanza trying to keep to Dante's syllable structure and John One of the great classics that everyone should attempt reading once. I read both the John Ciardi translation in verse rhyming for the first and third lines in each stanza trying to keep to Dante's syllable structure and John M Sinclair's prose translation which also includes the original on the left pages.
Both are highly commendable and have great notes and footnotes. It also moves between dreaming and reality "I went astray The forboding of the "dark wood" is a perfect introduction to the description of hell that awaits us. Even the fact that he strayed from the "straight road" seems to presage the curvy, circular path he will take through hell's many circles. This is one of my favorite openings and chills me a bit whenever I reread it. If I were to see this book at a painting, the first one that comes to mind is Guernica by Picasso where the suffering is so painfully evident - albeit in black and white perhaps echoing the black text on the white page.
The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Hell, Volume 06
The implicit condemnation of the perpetrators and the overall feeling of suffering in Inferno as in Guernica is overwhelming. I suppose I could also choose from one of Otto Dix's paintings or Bosch's but the very first that I thought of was Picasso. View all 13 comments. Since it's Good Friday, and thus exactly years since Dante's pilgrim descended into the underworld, I thought it would be an auspicious moment to tell people about the project I've been pursuing together with Dr Sabina Sestigiani, an Italian lecturer at Swinburne University in Melbourne.
Dante's poem is celebrated as one of the treasures of world literature - but it is not very accessible, being written in archaic Italian. Although there are translations, and even these are wonderful, a tran Since it's Good Friday, and thus exactly years since Dante's pilgrim descended into the underworld, I thought it would be an auspicious moment to tell people about the project I've been pursuing together with Dr Sabina Sestigiani, an Italian lecturer at Swinburne University in Melbourne. Although there are translations, and even these are wonderful, a translation of a poem can never be more than a shadow of the original.
Eliot famously advised people just to dive in and start reading. It worked for Eliot, and you feel that in principle it must be the right approach.
All the same, most readers find it a daunting prospect. We wondered if there was any way to make the voyage easier. Using the CALL platform we've developed at Geneva University, Sabina and I have been putting together a first version of what a electronic poetry appreciation assistant might look like. If you have a headset and you're on Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Explorer - I'm afraid we don't yet have it available for mobile devices - try going here. Log in as 'guest' no password required and click 'Allow' on the popup to let the app access your microphone.
You should now be on a screen that looks like this: On the right, there's a scrollable pane with the first 30 lines of the Inferno in slightly modernised Italian orthography. You can hover your mouse over any line to see it in Longfellow's English translation - we chose Longfellow since he's both a great poet in his own right and translates very literally.