The Divine Comedy - a screenbook read by Malcolm Hossick with backgrounds by Botticelli and William Blake. A long poem about an imaginary visit to Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, where people are believed to go after death and written around the year 1400 might seem an uphill struggle for anyone approaching it in the 21 st century over 600 years later. Yet the poem still intrigues people today as it has for many in the intervening centuries. Dante accepts without question the beliefs current in his time about the afterlife and the punishments and rewards after death meted out to people according to how well or badly people have lived their lives. His graphic and imaginative descriptions and most of all his natural responses to what he sees and what he hears from the sufferers, is what intrigues us most of all because we come to see that although we may have different views on the possibility of an afterlife for example, the ways of mankind have not really changed much over time. People fall in love, are jealous or kind, thoughtful or selfish, gentle or brutish and pursue all the possible foibles of humanity in pretty much the same ways. So apart from giving his own Italian language a boost because he wrote in the language of the people and not in scholarly Latin, what he wrote about and how he did it fascinates us just as it did the literate folk of his own day. It turns out that his idea of Paradise is to meet again the girl he once loved as a boy. Who can fault that? And the whole plan of the thing - it is so orderly, so cleverly arranged - 100 chapters - one third each to the three parts of the journey, Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise - a strict verse form which allows him to sugggest all kinds of extra meanings - it's not so surprising that it still fascinates people. Here it is all tooled up for your smart phone with backgrounds by Botticelli and Blake both of them fascinated by Dante - the words flowing along on the screen backed up by a voice helping to make sense of it all. Dante for the 21st century in a remarkable verse translation by the Englsh poet Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943)! Well - it is over 18 hours long! 6 parts of over two hours each but chapter points help you to keep your place. There is a brief introduction to the whole thing, how he wrote it and so on. Each canto/chapter has a short explanatory piece. It will take a while but you will soon get a feeling for it. He never preaches and he is forever open to it all and full of wonder at the vagaries and delights of human existence. What honourable human being doesn't aspire to that?

Length: 1194 minutes

Item#: BVL280889

Copyright date: ©2020

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