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The Divine Comedy: Volume 2: Purgatory [Paperback]

By Dante Alighieri (Author), Mark Musa (Translator) & Mark Musa (Introduction by)
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Item description for The Divine Comedy: Volume 2: Purgatory by Dante Alighieri & Mark Musa...

Detailed notes accompany a modern English translation of Dante's epic poem about a spiritual pilgrim led by the ghost of Virgil through the circles of hell

Publishers Description
In the second volume of his definitive translation of The Divine Comedy, Mark Musa again brings his poetic sensitivity and skill as a translator and annotator to the difficult task of making Dante's masterpiece vital for English-speaking readers.

In Purgatory, Dante deals with the origins of sin as he struggles up the terraces of Mount Purgatory on his arduous journey towards God. In Musa's fine idiomatic translation - complete with prose introductions, bibliography and glossary - Dante comes alive as the universal poet - sublime, grim, intellectual, simple, humorous, tender and ecstatic.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin Classics
Pages   399
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 5, 1985
Publisher   Penguin Classics
Age  18
ISBN  0140444424  
ISBN13  9780140444421  

Availability  46 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 03:02.
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More About Dante Alighieri & Mark Musa

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. Considered Italy's greatest poet, this scion of a Florentine family mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) which is a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. Married to Gemma Donatic, Dante's political activism resulted in his being exiled from Florence to eventually settle in Ravenna. It is believed that The Divine Comedy comprised of three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso was written between 1308 and 1320. Dante Alighieri died in 1321."

Dante Alighieri has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Divine Comedy (Penguin Hardcover)
  2. Divine Comedy (Penguin Paperback)
  3. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  4. New York Review Books Classics
  5. Penguin Classics
  6. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  7. Purgatorio (Purgatory)

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > Italian > All Italian Books
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( A ) > Alighieri, Dante
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > Continental European
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Italian

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Divine Comedy: Volume 2: Purgatory?

Dante Musa Style  Jul 29, 2005
Mark Musa has produced an extremely readable translation of a text that at times can be next to inaccessible. As a non-Dante scholar, I have struggled with other translations. The notes accompanying each canto also are well done: thorough and very illuminating. Musa's deft pen has turned Purgatory into a pleasure.
Bit of a slog after Hell.  Jun 14, 2001
By its very title, 'The Divine comedy' announces its theological purpose. For those not so inclined, the 'Inferno' offered many subsidiary pleasures - compelling narrative drive (both in the adventure of two men descinding into hell, and in the stories of the people they meet); an overpowering visual sense, both in the grand design of Hell's geography and the plan of its punishments, and in the individual details of the sinner's torments; and the endearing characterisation of the heroes, Virgil the stern, noble guide, and Dante, the clumsy, gossipy Everyman.

'Purgatory' has fewer of these delights. Here, it is impossible to avoid the doctrine. Every vast visual set-piece (the Angel fighting off the snake in the Valley of the Princes; the Holy Pageant that stuns the Pilgrim in Eden, complete with griffin-drawn chariot; the masque involving violence to said chariot by eagles, foxes, seven-headed monsters and giants) are all so allegorically pre-determined, each feature a religious symbol, that they lack the dramatic force that would have made their images truly poetic.

The plan of Purgatory - the AntePurgatory where those who left repentance to the last moment must wait; the mountain itself, where seven terraces represent the Deadly Sins to be purged; the crowning Earthly Paradise, or Eden, the gateway to Heaven - bears no real comparison, for the reader, to Hell: one's sympathy naturally inclines towards the eternally damned, and one almost resents the complaints of the saved complaining of their discomforture. The stories told the Pilgrim are also of a lesser order - perhaps proving pure evil to be more (aesthetically) attractive than contrition.

There are some moments when genuine terror intrudes - the visions of violation and tempting lust dreamt by the Pilgrim; the baptism of fire he must pass before entering Eden; the show-trial with Beatrice; while tortuous similes and evocations of nature are framed in poetry of intricate beauty (see Borges remarkable essay on the infinite metaphor in Canto 1).

Mark Musa, like most American annotators, has not heeded the lessons of Charles Kinbote, and his commentary to 'Purgatory' is almost loopily overwritten. He is an amiable, enthusiastic and informative guide, and if his translating choices are sometimes questionable, he has the grace to offer other alternatives. His explanation of the purpose of each image or scene makes it easier to follow the poem with greater understanding (if not necessarily enjoyment). But because he concentrates on every line with such minute detail, he frequently misses the wider design, and so, when he is puzzled by lines that don't fit his view of the Comedy, he has a tendency to blame Dante rather than himself.

A Thoroughly Annotated Translation  Apr 21, 2001
This is the second volume of Alighieri Dante's classic Divine Comedy. It tells the tale of Dante's journey through Purgatory, led by his guide, Virgil. Having passed through the depths of Hell (the Inferno) in the first volume, Dante and Virgil ascend the mountain of Purgatory, passing its many allegorical characters and observing the penances they must fulfill. The Divine Comedy is a beautiful, epic poem that takes the reader through a wide emotional spectrum and many vivid, picturesque scenes from Dante's fictional afterlife.

This translation was wonderful. Each of the 33 Cantos (Chapters) is set up in this sequence: 1) a short summation by the translator, 2) the poem, and 3) notes on names, characters, and items referenced by Dante. The translator, Mark Musa, even explains in his notes when he has a differing interpretation of a word or phrase than other translators' have had.

Dante used so many references to Greek mythology and events that were common knowledge to educated people of the 13th-14th Century that this poem, without notes, is entirely esoteric and fully appreciated only by the most erudite modern-day readers. Mark Musa brings every reader up to par with his thorough, easily-read notes; thereby making this classic poem a very entertaining and profound experience.

Working Our Way Up  Jul 20, 2000
Inferno is the most famous of the trio of volumes of Dante's Divine Comedy. But don't stop there. Purgatory is a beautiful work, illustrating the rise of the human soul through Purgatory's nine ledges. I found it beautiful how the souls were not hurrying. They waited patiently, yet eagerly.

Musa's translation makes all the difference. The language is accessible, but not irreverent or vulgar. A routine I found helpful was to read the introduction to each canto, read the canto, then read all the notes, checking back to reinforce meanings or double check a name or place.

The Pilgrim's journey through this volume is heavily illustrative of God's grace, and yet the idea of each person's responsibilities to God are clear.

Don't stop reading after Inferno. These stirring translations by Musa make it possible to read, understand and love the whole Divine Comedy.

Dante's DIVINE COMEDY: JOURNEY TO JOY, by Kathryn Lindskoog, is a delight to read. This is definitely a reader-friendly retelling of Dante's Christian classic. The original DIVINE COMEDY was written in terza rima, a closely rhymed form of Italian poetry. This version is written in clear and flowing modern English prose, which at times is suggestive of poetry. The reader is given easy-to-follow footnotes, providing historical background and interpretation that make the book readily understandable and enjoyable.

The story can be understood on more than one level. On the literal level, this spiritual adventure first describes Dante's journey, led by the Roman poet Virgil, down through the nine circles of INFERNO, then up the mountain of PURGATORY. There, on PURGATORY's nine ledges, penitent souls move eagerly through repentance and penance, purifying themselves in the joyful knowledge that Paradise awaits them. As an allegory of the Christian experience, PURGATORY relates the pilgrimage of the human soul, homesick for heaven, struggling to be free of an unworthy past, and longing for fulfillment in God.

Dante envisions PURGATORY as a place of unearthly beauty, and here Kathryn Lindskoog's pleasing choice of language makes this book a delight for the reader. Her descriptive passages include such lovely phrases as: "a cliff so steep that nimble legs were useless," ... "a mountain mist...through which you could see only as moles do..." " and fine silver, crimson cloth, ... freshly cracked emeralds - all these colors would look dull next to the grass and flowers in that valley, just as less is always overcome by more." The true glory of Purgatory lies in the sense of eagerness, hope, and anticipation that Dante discovers in the souls he encounters on his journey of spiritual preparation. The book closes with the words, "now I was pure and prepared to rise to the stars."


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