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The Inferno

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This is in my list of my top three favorite novels ever.

I am not catholic or any kind of christian in the denotative sense; however, I enjoy this literary artwork for it's fantastic inclusion of literary elements.

John Ciardi's translation of this novel is what I have read. The poetic flow and rhyme scheme is pleasing to me.

What captures me the most about this book is Dante's use of imagery and symbolism. His descriptions of what is contained in each circle of hell provides me with a vivid mental image of the horrors he is trying to project. The symbolic meaning of what occurs in each level of hell being so finely tuned that the punishment is perfectly fitted to the crime, so to speak, makes me sigh in reverence for his genius.

Has anyone else read this book or any of the other parts of Dante's Divine Comedy? What do you think of these masterpieces?

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Novel??!?? It's not a novel, it's a poem!

I like the Laurence Binyon translation, published in "The Portable Dante." Its footnotes do help to make some of the historical references clearer. And the translation follows Dante's own rhyme pattern.

The "Divine Comedy" was a great favorite of Michelangelo's. It also inspired some marvelous drawings by the Renaissance artist Botticelli. More recently, the poet T.S. Eliot remarked that he could tell it was a great poem, even before he learned Italian, simply by the sheer sound of the words themselves.

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