I had read this many years ago and have reread it a few times. I’m aware most have labeled this book’s genre as Italian Poetry, but it never really felt like that, personally. Every time I pick this book up I get in this excited mood as if something great is about to happen, and ultimately that continues throughout my reading of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. I’m not sure if that’s a natural reaction or a common one, but that’s how I get with stories of this nature.
The illustrations were always so beautiful, but they were only an addition to the beautiful writing and storytelling of Dante. It became a book that made me wonder ‘if this is how it really is where would those I know fall in the three above listed places?’
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.