Penn State

Sherry L. Roush - Associate Professor of Italian, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise

Author: Dante Alighieri, edited & translated by Robert M. Durling

Book Description:

Some books entertain; some educate; still others, like Dante's masterpiece, do both while they inspire. This book, which presents a vision of hell, purgatory, and heaven, changed the lives of Michelangelo, Franz Liszt, James Joyce, Galileo, and countless others in all fields of study and all walks of life. Of course, reading this book in the original Italian is alone worth learning the "bella lingua." But there are lots of fine English translations available, from the highly poetic (Longfellow, Ciardi, Pinsky) to the currently colloquial (by my fellow Californians Sandow Birk, Marcus Sanders, and Marcia Tanner, for instance); Durling's is the best of the bunch. Read on, but--WARNING--Dante will change the way you think forever.

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