Dante’s Divine Comedy Vol. 1: Inferno – A Short Review

The first book of 2016 that I have finished reading is the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Inferno.

The edition I read is translated by Mark Musa & published by Penguin Classics.

Musa’s blank verse translation makes the epic poem flow effortlessly, & his commentary makes it easy to understand.

The beauty & horror of Dante’s vision has left a huge impression on me.  Graphic descriptions of sinners being punished in various levels of hell left me feeling shocked & horrified.

For example, Canto 28 begins:

“Who could, even in the simplest kind of prose

describe in full the scene of blood & wounds

that I saw now-no matter how hard he tried!”

That is a rather tame quote from the Inferno, but it is a great example of how the reader is left in anticipation of the horrors to come.

I recommend this translation of the Inferno to anyone like me who has never read Dante or The Divine Comedy before.

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