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Synopsis

The second volume of Oxford's new Divine Comedy presents the Italian text of the Purgatorio and, on facing pages, a new prose translation. Continuing the story of the poet's journey through the medieval Other World under the guidance of the Roman poet Virgil, the Purgatorio culminates in the regaining of the Garden of Eden and the reunion there with the poet's long-lost love Beatrice. This new edition of the Italian text takes recent critical editions into account, and Durling's prose translation, like that of the Inferno, is unprecedented in its accuracy, eloquence, and closeness to Dante's syntax. Martinez' and Durling's notes are designed for the first-time reader of the poem but include a wealth of new material unavailable elsewhere. The extensive notes on each canto include innovative sections sketching the close relation to passages--often similarly numbered cantos--in the Inferno. Fifteen short essays explore special topics and controversial issues, including Dante's debts to Virgil and Ovid, his radical political views, his original conceptions of homosexuality, of moral growth, and of eschatology. As in the Inferno, there is an extensive bibliography and four useful indexes. Robert Turner's illustrations include maps, diagrams of Purgatory and the cosmos, and line drawings of objects and places mentioned in the poem.

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