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Thread: Purgatorio a Let Down

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    Purgatorio a Let Down

    Note: The thread title is supposed to read "Paradiso a Let Down." My mistake.

    I'm continuing this conversation from another thread (the list the books you read this year thread), where the following conversation has started, and since not everyone sees that thread, I thought I'd make this so maybe we can get input on some of the Dante scholars we have on this board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drkshadow03 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi
    7. Inferno by Dante -- 9/10. I love hell, so I loved this. A must read if there ever was one.
    8. Purgatorio by Dante -- 8/10. Not as enjoyable a read as Inferno.

    13. Paradiso by Dante -- 7/10. Just couldn't get into it. The 7 is mostly for the beautiful language. I like the dark imagery of hell--the light and exuberant imagery of heaven does not interest me.
    You know, I'm reading through the Divine Comedy and I also am struggling through the Paradiso. I admire its depth, the beauty of the language (when I can actually keep my attention span on the work), and even the way it compliments the previous parts so that it all functions as one organic work and everything made deeper by the relationship between the three, but man, I just find myself bored and struggling to prevent my mind from wandering.
    Yeah, I felt pretty much the exact same way. It's beautifully written, and probably "deeper" than the first two parts, but it just didn't grab me. It was almost like, okay, he's in heaven, so now what? We get to hear about how wonderful it is for 33 cantos? I really don't care--after Dante left Purgatory, his journey was over for me.

    It kind of reminded me of the end of the third Lord of the Rings movie, where Sam and Frodo are sitting on Mount Doom having just destroyed the ring, and Frodo says that wonderful line, "I'm glad to be hear with you Samwise Gamgee, at the end of all thing," and the screen fades, it you think, "Man, what a perfect ending." And then it comes back, and the fellowship reunites, and you think, "Okay, not as good of an ending as it could have been, but still good," and then it does this like four more times, and by the end you're ready to get up and go. That's how it felt to me, anyways.
    Last edited by Mutatis-Mutandis; 08-20-2011 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
    For me, Inferno was captivating; Purgatory was duller but still good; Paradise was very deep, and beautiful, but a bit overly riddled with Dante's own political and religious ideas. Also, I have trouble with the concept of perfection.

  3. #3
    Remember though that the whole point of the commedia is that everything reflects the order of God. Paradiso is that order and you are supposed to feel safe reading it.

  4. #4
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poetry Princess View Post
    Remember though that the whole point of the commedia is that everything reflects the order of God. Paradiso is that order and you are supposed to feel safe reading it.
    I can agree with you on this one.

    My experience with The Comedia (as I missed the the original thread I'll jump in now) is much like my experience with Paradise Lost. I am sure I am not the only one. Also, I know there is an inherit connection between the two texts.

    Inferno is like Milton's Satan. It's captivating, intriguing, and fun. Paradiso is like God, beautiful but kind of boring. But when you start picking it apart, you begin to see the sublime nature of Paradiso/Milton's God. I defer to John Dennis on this one, the beauty of Paradiso lies in its unattainable state. That perfection that seems boring at first becomes fascinating when you realize that it is an imagined perfection, a world hidden behind glass, and you are reading it from the perspective of one who longs to break through the glass but can't.

    Also, on a side note, I have been told several times that Paradiso, more than the other two, is damaged in translation.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  5. #5
    I'm trying to memorize the commedia in the Italian and I agree that much of Paradiso's beauty is lost in translation.
    I love the quote about paradise lost. I haven't read anything by that critic so I'll have to look him up.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    It kind of reminded me of the end of the third Lord of the Rings movie, where Sam and Frodo are sitting on Mount Doom having just destroyed the ring, and Frodo says that wonderful line, "I'm glad to be hear with you Samwise Gamgee, at the end of all thing," and the screen fades, it you think, "Man, what a perfect ending." And then it comes back, and the fellowship reunites, and you think, "Okay, not as good of an ending as it could have been, but still good," and then it does this like four more times, and by the end you're ready to get up and go. That's how it felt to me, anyways.

    It could be worse... you could have the teddy-bears picnic at the end of Star Wars Return of the Jedi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    It kind of reminded me of the end of the third Lord of the Rings movie, where Sam and Frodo are sitting on Mount Doom having just destroyed the ring, and Frodo says that wonderful line, "I'm glad to be hear with you Samwise Gamgee, at the end of all thing," and the screen fades, it you think, "Man, what a perfect ending." And then it comes back, and the fellowship reunites, and you think, "Okay, not as good of an ending as it could have been, but still good," and then it does this like four more times, and by the end you're ready to get up and go. That's how it felt to me, anyways.

    It could be worse... you could have the teddy-bears picnic at the end of Star Wars Return of the Jedi.
    I love that ending, even if it is completely ridiculous. I guess it's a nostalgic thing. No amount of nostalgia can make up for the horrid travesties of Epsiodes I and II.

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