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Purgatorio

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
2019: Francigena? Piémont? Aragonés? Primitivo? I can't decide!
#1
I just finished the second book of Dante's Commedia ... one pilgrim's account of the ultimate camino.

(spoilers ahead)

After climbing Mount Purgatory Dante has to walk through fire, bathe in the river of forgetfulness, and then cross the Eunoe, the fifth river of the dead. The closing lines of Purgatorio are some of the most beautiful of the Commedia so far - and hopefully some that a lot of pelegrinos can relate to:

Io ritornai da la santissima onda
rifatto sì come piante novelle
rinovellate di novella fronda,
puro e disposto a salire a le stelle.

From those most holy waters
I came away remade, as are new plants
renewed with new-sprung leaves,
pure and prepared to rise up to the stars.

For those up for a challenge, give Dante a try! Most people are familiar somewhat with the Inferno, but I found Purgatorio to be much more interesting and, at times, powerful. It is also much more overtly structured as a pilgrimage, unlike his trip across hell.

It's hard, though, even if you read Italian. I used parallel texts, read commentaries online for each canto, and would listen to an audiobook once I understood a canto ... and it still took me a few hours to read each canto, and over a year to finish one book. For those up for it, Princeton has a free parallel text online at the Dante Project.

pur12.jpg
woodcut from Salvador Dalí, Purgatorio Canto XIV: Ecstatic Visions
 

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kirkie

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#2
I just finished the second book of Dante's Commedia ... one pilgrim's account of the ultimate camino.

(spoilers ahead)

After climbing Mount Purgatory Dante has to walk through fire, bathe in the river of forgetfulness, and then cross the Eunoe, the fifth river of the dead. The closing lines of Purgatorio are some of the most beautiful of the Commedia so far - and hopefully some that a lot of pelegrinos can relate to:

Io ritornai da la santissima onda
rifatto sì come piante novelle
rinovellate di novella fronda,
puro e disposto a salire a le stelle.

From those most holy waters
I came away remade, as are new plants
renewed with new-sprung leaves,
pure and prepared to rise up to the stars.

For those up for a challenge, give Dante a try! Most people are familiar somewhat with the Inferno, but I found Purgatorio to be much more interesting and, at times, powerful. It is also much more overtly structured as a pilgrimage, unlike his trip across hell.

It's hard, though, even if you read Italian. I used parallel texts, read commentaries online for each canto, and would listen to an audiobook once I understood a canto ... and it still took me a few hours to read each canto, and over a year to finish one book. For those up for it, Princeton has a free parallel text online at the Dante Project.

View attachment 42402
woodcut from Salvador Dalí, Purgatorio Canto XIV: Ecstatic Visions
I might need to go in to the library today... thanks for the recommendation.
 


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