Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dante's Divine Comedy adt by Seymour Chwast

Dante's Divine Comedy is one of those classics I've been curious about but not enough to actually read the original. Seymour Chwast's graphic novel adaptation was a perfect introduction to the story. And one I am grateful for.
I can't say this will be a book I will seek out because it was rather confusing and in the end not as interesting as I hoped.
However, it was interesting enough to carry me through the end of this book which seemed long enough.
Dante wrote his Divine Comedy around 1302 - 1321. He was not a happy man, having been banished from his home and forced to wander Italy. He had been political and outspoken which led to his banishment. This shows up in his work.
It's very political and religious in nature.
The plot is simple, Dante is invited to see what it is like to die and visit Hell, Purgatory and Heaven so that he may tell others about it. This was interesting because much of what he wrote shows up in pop culture these days.
Dante designed the seven circles of hell and came up with the seven deadly sins (which are actually the levels of purgatory).
He met many people on his journies but most of the names have been lost in history. I am certain that those he met were political figures of his day. I was shocked by all the accusations of corruption. Not because they were corrupt but that the themes are still heard today. The problems Dante spoke of are problems of our current government.
I do recommend this version of Dante's famous work. It may encourage to read the whole tome or just feel grateful you didn't.

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