PurgatorioBook - 2003
"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