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The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Volume 2: Purgatorio Oxford University Press USA Dante Alighieri


3rd December 2012 Literature & Fiction 11 Comments

The second volume of Oxford’s new Divine Comedy presents the Italian text of the Purgatorio and, on facing pages, a new prose translation. Continuing the story of the poet’s journey through the medieval Other World under the guidance of the Roman poet Virgil, the Purgatorio culminates in the regaining of the Garden of Eden and the reunion there with the poet’s long-lost love Beatrice. This new edition of the Italian text takes recent critical editions into account, and Durling’s prose translation, like that of the Inferno, is unprecedented in its accuracy, eloquence, and closeness to Dante’s syntax.
Martinez’ and Durling’s notes are designed for the first-time reader of the poem but include a wealth of new material unavailable elsewhere. The extensive notes on each canto include innovative sections sketching the close relation to passages–often similarly numbered cantos–in the Inferno. Fifteen short essays explore special topics and controversial issues, including Dante’s debts to Virgil and Ovid, his radical political views, his original conceptions of homosexuality, of moral growth, and of eschatology. As in the Inferno, there is an extensive bibliography and four useful indexes.
Robert Turner’s illustrations include maps, diagrams of Purgatory and the cosmos, and line drawings of objects and places mentioned in the poem.

“In this new translation, Durling tries to be as concrete as possible, producing a version that is more fluent and accurate than the versions of Mandelbaum and Musa…. Highly recommended.”–Library Journal

Text: English, Italian –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

“In this new translation, Durling tries to be as concrete as possible, producing a version that is more fluent and accurate than the versions of Mandelbaum and Musa…. Highly recommended.”–Library Journal

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Volume 2: Purgatorio










  • 11 responses to "The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Volume 2: Purgatorio Oxford University Press USA Dante Alighieri"

  • Rob Madrid
    7:33 on December 3rd, 2012
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    I found this edition of Dante’s most famous book of the Divine Comedy to be excellent in all respects. The translation seemed excedingly accurate — as an Italian prof. I was working almost exclusively from the original — in a modern, clean style. Here the attempt is not to replicate the hendecasyllabic verse or the “third rhyming” (“terza rima”).
    More successful still are the notes that follow each canto, replete with explications of historical and theological references or simply of difficult lines. Not to be discounted too is the introduction which admits to not being exhaustive but is powerfully pithy and a nice springboard from which to attack the text.
    Dr. Joseph A. DiLuzio

  • Kathryn Soloff
    9:35 on December 3rd, 2012
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    Unbelieveable!!! This book was without a doubt one of the best and most amazing books in Western Literature. This part of the Divine Comedy was incredible, especially when you consider that Dante almost completely invented the image of Purgatory!! Some people say that after they read the Inferno that this part is not quite so good. I have to disagree. I found this part of the Comedy to be just as gripping and amazing as the Inferno. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE TO READ AT ALL!!!!!

  • Mary L. Thompson
    15:43 on December 3rd, 2012
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    Dante’s Divine Comedy is a strange puzzle to sort out. I feel it was written for highly personal reasons. One that is evident is his love of Virgil and the Homeric Greek epics. He also crafted this poem as a cathartic release, as a means to slander his enemies. And man, if the measure of a man is his enemies (choose them carefully) then Dante is quite the fellow. Don’t read Divine Comedy as poetry, get the whole picture as it is more fascinating than fiction.

    That’s what makes this edition so handy, you’re tempted to read it as epic poem but this edition offers all the contextual clues you need from reliable experts.

    I need to read this one again, damn…

  • yadda
    17:39 on December 3rd, 2012
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    Volume 1: Inferno is the best title of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He presents a great look into the history of renaissance Italy around the 14th century. Robert M. Durling translates the old Italian in a simplistic yet powerful manner which allows anyone familiar with the language to understand. There are excellent notes at the end of every chapter to help reiterate the points and what they meant in that era. Also, keep a bible handy because several references come directly from the old text.

  • Gabriella Sannino
    20:57 on December 3rd, 2012
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    This is one of the best traslations of the Inferno that i have been able to find. It is easy to understand and certainly not convoluted as many other versions are. In addition this version offers the italian text which is a nice addition. Finally, the notes and commentary povided in this book are amazing and perfect for use in the classroom or just6 for general enjoyment.

  • to marian
    1:53 on December 4th, 2012
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    I absolutely love this book! The English translations and the notes at the end of each Canto are incredibly helpful.

  • Casper
    4:21 on December 4th, 2012
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    Durling and Martinez’s translation is by far the most literal and most comprehensive of Dante’s Divine Comedy. For those encountering the text for the first time, or those who are intimately acquainted with the text will find this translation to be the best as well. The Introduction, Footnotes to each Canto, and the Additional Notes (mini-essays) are also a fantastic addition to the work.

  • Zaheer Fazal
    17:06 on December 4th, 2012
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    This book was my constant companion through humanities studies. The notes are clear and concise without being abstract, and having the Italian to English page by page gave the flavor of the original verses while rendering the translation nearly as graceful. For anyone wanting to take a trip to hell and back with Dante, this version provides plenty of contemporary signposts along the way.

  • go-alone
    19:10 on December 4th, 2012
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    Dante’s *Il Commedia* is the greatest thing ever written. Robert Durling’s translation is the best ever, preserving the wit, the pungency, the seriousness, the humor, and the drama. It will never be bested.

    This is the first volume of the most important work you will ever own. Buy it now and shake your head with amazement as you read it, as you will not be able to put its glory into words.

  • John Fragrant Stewart
    23:48 on December 4th, 2012
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    This edition of the Inferno is by far the best English translation available for the serious student of Dante. No absurd attempt to emulate the poetic style is made here, it’s strictly prose. Moreover, it’s clear, easy to read prose. Remember, it was written in the vernacular, and therefore should be read in the simplest vernacular available to the English speaking reader.

  • Peg Baron
    21:36 on December 5th, 2012
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    This translation was a major disappointment. It claims to be highly literal and accurate, regardless of any awkwardness resulting in the English translation. Well it does manage to be awkward but not accurate. Word choice is often capricious and occasionally downright wrong. The notes, however, are excellent. They reflect the latest in Dante scholarship.

    But the notes to the Hollander translation are even better and the translation is faithful and a much smoother read.

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