Dante, Paradiso

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Here is what you've heard about the Divine Comedy: the Inferno, with its poignantly vivid tortures and its cacophony of wicked voices, is the most entertaining canticle, beloved of various and sundry; the Purgatorio, with its wistful focus on the lives and ambitions of poets and its … Continue reading Dante, Paradiso

Dante, Purgatorio

Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Allen Mandelbaum begins his introduction to his wonderful translation thusly:   For the Virgil of Dante's Purgatorio, "love is the seed in you of every virtue/and of all acts deserving punishment" (XVII, 104-105). To find one same source for all good and all evil is … Continue reading Dante, Purgatorio

Dante, Inferno

Inferno by Dante Alighieri My rating: 5 of 5 stars You know the story: a man in the middle of life is lost in a shadowy forest of ignorance and error, his path to wisdom blocked by impassable beasts. Then he is saved by the shade of the great poet, Virgil, sent to rescue the … Continue reading Dante, Inferno

Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa My rating: 5 of 5 stars Guiseppe di Lampedusa's 1958 historical novel is best known for a line of dialogue that encapsulates its magnificent political cynicism: "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." The line is spoken by Tancredi, an impoverished … Continue reading Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

Dante, Purgatorio

The Divine Comedy II: Purgatory by Dante Alighieri My rating: 5 of 5 stars I'm specifically talking about the Dorothy L. Sayers translation here. In her preface, Sayers notes that this is the most loved of the Divine Comedy's canticles. It is the most human, many commentators say, since it alone takes place within the … Continue reading Dante, Purgatorio