The Divine Comedy, Vol II; Purgatory – Reviewed

This is the second volume of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; Purgatory, in this case translated by author and scholar Mark Musa (Penguin Classics).

Having thoroughly enjoyed volume one; Inferno, I had hoped that Purgatory would stand up to my rather high expectations.  In story I suppose it did, our pilgrim and his guide climb the mountain of purgatory, traversing the seven terraces of cardinal sin; wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.  I did find it a bit odd that these seven sins would be cleansed through purgatory, rather than punished in hell, but who am I to question the master poet of Italy?

This translation though, was somewhat disappointing.  Rather, it was Musa’s input that brought this version down.  The translation notes were thorough to the point of tedium, and being inserted after every canto they caused the story to become much too fragmented to be enjoyable.

If I were to take this path again I would choose a different translation, but all in all, I am richer for having endured.

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