Book - 2003
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Bernard Knox praised Robert and Jean Hollander's translation of The Inferno this way: "For the student of Dante, this book is not only an indispensable guide, it is also an intellectual feast." Similar lavish praise will surely grace this new translation of "Purgatorio."

"Purgatorio" is the second installment in Dante's Divine Comedy. It relates in thirty-three cantos the poet's progress, still with Virgil as his guide, up the mountain of purgatory, where souls must wait to expiate their sins on Earth before they enter heaven. As hell has circles, Purgatory has terraces, one above the other, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. In each an appropriate type of penance is practiced, and the spirit ascending the mountain must cleanse itself of each sin of which it was guilty.

Robert and Jean Hollander's verse translation with facing-page Italian offers the dual virtues of maximum fidelity to Dante's text with the poetic feeling necessary to give the English reader a sense of the work's poetic greatness in Italian. And since Robert Hollander's achievement as a Dante scholar are unsurpassed in the English-speaking world and he is a master teacher, the introduction and commentaries that accompany each canto offer superb guidance in essential matters of comprehension and interpretation. On every count, then, this edition of "Purgatorio" is a literary and scholarly translation likely to be the one that survives for the greatest period in the new millenni

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2003.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385496995
Branch Call Number: 851.1 DANTE AL
Characteristics: xxiv, 742 pages ; 25 cm.


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theorbys May 07, 2013

My Italian is limited, but from what I could see Merwin did not take many liberties with the text, and while I do not find the translation very poetic per se, it does present Dante clearly and directly. The Divine Comedy, all of the books, is one of the master texts of Western literature and deserves to be read by any and everyone who is serious about literature.

Jan 03, 2011

The translation was decent. However the best part was the fact that translator put the original Italian next to the translation.

It was fun and amazing to see the Terza Rima versing that Dante created and used for his Commedia. - Firework


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