Now of that second kingdom I shall sing where human souls are purified of sin and made worthy to ascend to Heaven’ Purgatory is the second part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on earth. There are the proud – forced to circle their terrace for aeons bent double in humility; the slothful – running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire. Though less well-known than Inferno, Purgatory has inspired many writers including, in our century, Samuel Beckett, and has played a key role in literature.
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Classic for a reason
After reading the hard copy and slogging through the analysis Heathcote Wilson's narrative brought the incredible imagery to life. The audio book is definitely superior to the page.
The Florentine narrator and his journalistic description of Hell was so fresh. And the flying armless snake/demon who transported Virgil and the narrator down between Levels 5 & 6
He's great in Purgatory too. One day I'll get to Paradise.
What's amazing is the freshness of these medieval images: hell freezing over; the Ancient Greeks roaming in endless twilight amongst the trees and the unrepetent sinners who pretty much deserved their torment. Dante's imagination is rich and diverse. It's like one of those complex science fiction movies where you are transported from world to world.
Give it a go! It's not some boring dusty study book- it's a ripping yarn.