Alasdair Gray’s remarkable interpretation of Dante’s La Divina Commedia continues
In part two of La Divina Commedia, one of the masterpieces of world literature, Dante and his guide, the poet Virgil, must enter and traverse Purgatory and the seven deadly sins in their quest to reach Heaven. In this colloquial version of Dante’s masterpiece, Alasdair Gray offers an original translation in his own unique idiom.
Lyrical and modern, this remarkable edition yokes two great literary minds, seven hundred years apart, and brings the classic text alive for the twenty-first century.
“Lucid, lyrical, imaginative … Purgatory is a finely produced book, decorated with an exuberant cover by the author”
times Literary Supplement
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“An ancient masterpiece glistens again as his lyricism takes flight, while keeping one foot balanced on solid ground … Gray turns Dante’s language into clear English, sometimes with a playful comic turn … Remarkable”
“Rich in vivid imagery … Dante’s voice, even when rendered into English-language prose, resonates across the centuries, occasionally addressing the reader directly in a thrilling breaking of the fourth wall. Some cantos even end in a cliffhanger, making Purgatory surprisingly readable and engaging; this is no stuffy old classic”
“This slim but handsome volume sees Glasgow author Gray complete part two of his translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy … If you’ve ever wanted to try the classic, but have been daunted, now is your chance”
”PRAISE FOR HELL: Alasdair Gray has cast a spell over Dante’s Hell, creating (and decorating) a verse translation that is modern, lyrical, yet faithful to the original”
new Statesman, Best Books Of 2018
Born in 1934, Alasdair Gray graduated in design and mural painting from the Glasgow School of Art. Since 1981, when Lanark was published by Canongate, he authored, designed and illustrated seven novels, several books of short stories, a collection of his stage, radio and TV plays and a book of his visual art, A Life in Pictures. In November 2019, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Saltire Society. He died in December 2019, aged eighty-five.