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A Shorter Comedy : The Divine Comedy of Dante Aligheiri (abridged)

By Philcox, Derek, Dr.

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Book Id: WPLBN0002828718
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 1.38 MB
Reproduction Date: 2013

Title: A Shorter Comedy : The Divine Comedy of Dante Aligheiri (abridged)  
Author: Philcox, Derek, Dr.
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Dante Aligheiri, Spirituality
Collections: Philosophy, Cosmology, Authors Community, Psychology, Literature, Language, Law, Education, History
Publication Date:
Publisher: Derek Philcox
Member Page: Andy Thesen


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Philcox, Dr, B. D. (n.d.). A Shorter Comedy : The Divine Comedy of Dante Aligheiri (abridged). Retrieved from

Description The author has completed his own translation of the Divine Comedy and finds that it is still hard for readers to manage the whole text. He has extracted what he feels is the main spiritual thread and worked with key passages. He has then given the original Italian alongside his translation into English and provided a narrative thread and annotations for clarity. Included in this edition is a talk he gave to the Summer School at the University of Cape Town Summer School on Misunderstanding Dante.

Summary The purpose of this abridged version of the Divine Comedy is to enable you to reach the final chapters, an intention most readers have when they commence the Inferno. Many do not achieve it, at least on first attempt, and the reasons are obvious. The narrative is complex and threads are so easily lost in the pursuit of arcane mysteries and historical overload that the poet’s amazing synthesis of universal order, medieval cosmology, and a star studded cast elude the new reader. To avoid this I illustrate only a single theme, the spiritual journey of the author. I believe the Comedy is autobiographical, the tale of a transformation from a state of depression due to religious doubt, anxiety and gloom (the “dark wood” with which the Inferno opens), to a state of hope, and ultimately of joy. It is thus, I believe the story of a “conversion”, in the sense used by William James in Varieties of Religious Experience 1. I have selected lines and stanzas directly from the Comedy to tell the story in Dante’s own words and joined these by short passages of prose to preserve continuity of the selected passages. I have used Dante’s own words as much as possible so that you have an opportunity to become acquainted with his poetry as well as learning some Italian. You will need only to learn modern Italian pronunciation to be able to make great progress in both.

Excerpt INFERNO V They enter the second circle, the first of Hell proper, which encloses less space, (chemenloco cinghia), than the previous one, but has so much greater pain, (tantopiùdolor). Minos, thejudge, guards the entrance, examines all the souls who are to enter and indicates to them to which circle they will descend.  Cosi discesi delcerchio primaio   And so I left the first, and to the second  giùnel secondo, chemen lococinghia   circle went below, where girth is less,  etanto più dolor,che pugne aguaio.   but greater are the howls and moans of woe.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents Misunderstanding Dante Inferno Purgatorio Paradiso


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