Apr 14, 2017

The Divine Comedy

Trio of Bunny-Slipper Greatness

By Dante Alighieri
Italian, 1320
Epic Poetry, Adventure, Romance, Philosophy

Main Attractions

Dante Alighieri

1. Easy to Read, Pretty Language  
2. Systematic Layout
3. No Prior Knowledge Necessary
4. Can Re-Read 1000s of Times
5. Feels Like a Masterpiece
6. Filled with Intense Insight
7. Lots of References to Skip Over
8. Inspired Lots of Literature
9. Each Book Can Stand Alone
10. Heaven: A Discussion of Soul





Postcard 




Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Han Jeon Shik
Alone, each book contains greatness: wisdom, characters, references, variety of word choice and it’s own mood.  Together, it forms into a map of the cosmos and make up of the human soul.  It outlines and in detail, describes the layout of the 3 levels of the spiritual realm: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.  You don’t need to be religious or part of the Christian community to appreciate this masterpiece.  Some knowledge of Catholicism could help but isn’t necessary at all.  That knowledge could deepen your appreciation for Dante’s skill in how he includes it.  

Epic, Variety and Feast for the Senses place it solidly as Han Jeon Shik.

Why Visit Here
Because of the sheer greatness of each book, I’ll do a complete mini review of each one:


  • Inferno: Roll Call of the Fallen   
  • Purgatorio: Earthly Trappings
  • Paradiso: Light's Freedom


Destination Summary

Virgil, the Ancient Greek Poet guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory.  They are on a quest to find Beatrice, Dante’s love interest.  In Paradise, Beatrice guides Dante up to God.  That’s it!

What makes it so special is the layers of philosophy and insight. Dante painstakingly describes each aspect of this trio and makes it come to life for all of the sense.

Off the Beaten Path

A Video of Gustave Dore’s Illustrations for the Divine Comedy.  It’s accompanied with mellow Chamber Music (sounds a bit churchy, but still pretty)  Seeing the illustrations shouldn’t be spoilery because without the text, it’s impossible to know what’s going on!  



Travel Advisory

Grotesque descriptions in the Inferno.  But nothing you can’t handle!

Packing List

Gustave Dore’s Illustrations 
✓ A Translation that speaks to you.  I went with Kirkpatrick for a 1st reading
✓ A Bookmark, 1-3 Cantos per day is a great pace to soak up the goodness.
✓ Internet Connection to share bursts of mental gems of inspiration! 

Recommended Resources
Alternate Books
Faust Part 1 & 2 By Goethe (1808) - A lighthearted philosophical journey but with the Devil as Faust’s guide.
✓ Paradise Lost By John Milton (1667) - Epic poem about human’s fall from grace.
✓ Aeneid By Virgil (19 BCE) - Virgil was Dante’s guide and was heavily celebrated in the Divine Comedy

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