The Portable Dante

9780142437544My first time reading Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ (earlier this year) was in Mark Musa’s three-volume edition (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise), with exhaustive notes and introductory material. I enjoyed that very much and I learned a lot from the notes, but I felt that my reading had often been interrupted by them, and I had not enjoyed the poetry as much as I might.

So I was glad to get ‘The Portable Dante’ – the same translation, but in a stripped-down one-volume edition, with the complete ‘Divine Comedy’ but the bare minimum of notes. And, as a bonus, the ‘Vita Nuova’ at the end, Dante’s prose-and-verse story of his love for Beatrice. I have now read the whole book and thoroughly enjoyed this re-read. If I go back to Dante again, this will be the edition I use.

As for the Divine Comedy itself, I won’t even begin to attempt to describe it; it’s far above my feeble praise. If you want to find out more, I highly recommend the reflections of the late Joe Walker, who first got me interested in Dante. But even more, I recommend reading the book for yourself.

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Published by

Tim Chesterton

Family man; pastor of St. Margaret's Anglican Church on Ellerslie Road, Edmonton; storyteller; traditional folk musician and occasional songwriter. Email me at timchesterton at outlook dot com.

2 thoughts on “The Portable Dante”

  1. Great tip, Tim. With a dizzying number of versions available, it’s good to have a recommendation!

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