Teaser Tuesday: Dante’s Purgatory (Esolen)

Like those driven on by the whips and reigns of Mount Purgatory, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.Lent has returned, and with it my annual re-read of Dante’s Divine Comedy. For this, my 11th re-read, I’m embarking on a new (to me) translation by Anthony Esolen – a gift from my wife.

You know you’ve found the right person when they buy you your fourth fifth different translation of the same book.


The Goodreads Blurb:

Written in the fourteenth century by Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest epic poem of all time—presenting Dante’s brilliant vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise.

In this second and perhaps most imaginative part of his masterwork, Dante struggles up the terraces of Mount Purgatory, still guided by Virgil, in a continuation of his difficult ascent to purity.

Anthony Esolen’s acclaimed translation of Inferno, Princeton professor James Richardson said, “follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. It is living writing.”

This edition of Purgatory includes an appendix of key sources and extensive endnotes—an invaluable guide for both general readers and students.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to the end of Canto 4 on page 45:

I'll wait outside, unless I'm helped by prayer
arising from a heart that dwells in grace.
What good's the rest, which Heaven will not hear? 

Esolen purgatory cover

I’m still reading The Penguin Book of the Undead and will post a review sometime in the near future.

I’ll write a review of the entire Esolen translation when I’ve completed the whole of the Comedy.

What are you reading today?


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