Apr. 4th, 2011

 Title: The Divine Comedy
By: Dante Alighieri
Translated by: Burton Raffel

So, here's the thing about The Divine Comedy: it's deep.

I'm not sure there's a much simplier way of putting it than that, but let me expand on this to tell you why I think that. It was written in the early period of the Renaissance, the back of the book telling me that Dante wrote this before his death in 1321. So not only am I reading something that's translated from Italian, I'm reading something that's translated from Renaissance Italian, which I think makes a difference. Not only that but it's poetry, and according to my communication reading, poetry takes longer to gain satisfaction from than prose.

I guess what all of this is leading up to is me admitting that I did not get much of this. I mean, I guess I followed the story well enough (I mean, it's a pretty famous story), and some of the moments were very tender and heartwarming (after they get out of hell, that is). That being said, there is a lot to this story, and I read all three parts as one, so it's a little difficult for me to understand it all, especially since I know that the story was actually very clearly portrayed (even though Dante stops to talk to pretty much everyone he meets along the way, making for a fairly substantial road trip).

I am deffinately not saying to not read the Divine Comedy. Read it, it really is good.But I think the key here is slow it down, and break it up. Reading them as three sepereate books I think really would have helped me in the end.

All that being said, here are some of my favorite lines from this version:

"Here is where you can't afford to be lazy,"
My Master said. "Lying in feather beds
Or under quilts, no one conquers fame...

He ran away, not saying another word.
And then a centaur appeared, raging mad,
Shouting: "Where is he? WHere's that unripe turd?"

The snake's hind paws, twisted together, distorted
Themselves and became the thing that men conceal,
And in turn the wrtch's penis became two feet.

But human curses cannot dig a grave
Too deep for Eternal Love to find and save us,
As long as hope can blosson with any green.

A little background for this next line: Dante is talking to a man named Statius, who wrote an incomplete Achilleid. Virgil has been acting as Dante's guide so far and is standing right next to him.

"To have been alive and walked on the eart when Virgil
Did--O, and if I could, I'd give up
Another astral year before my ascent!"

Over all: it's worth a read
But See for yourself: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri 

About to start Reading: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: superwomen in Modern Mythology by Jennifer K. Stuller
You know, I think something is a little wrong with me, when I get excited because they put out the class schedules for next semester. stuff happens, that's life )

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