Purgatorio: Reader’s Guide
Published by Roman Roads Press, 2022.
Author: Joe Carlson
Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in.
Cover: Joey Nance
The Divine Comedy is one of the greatest works of art ever produced.
It is also one of the most difficult to understand. Let Joe Carlson, poet and translator of the Purgatorio guide you through the rough spots, giving you a grasp of the basic structure, content, and flow of the second canticle of Dante’s great poem. With this Reader’s Guide in hand, you will build a familiarity that will inform and reward future readings as well as fan into flame a delight in the story of this magnificent poem.
Stepping out of the modern, secular era and into a medieval Christian one is akin to stepping down from a dock into the middle of a little boat. If you are not careful, and don’t keep your wits about you, it would be easy to fall into the water and become discouraged from ever trying to get back into the boat again. But giving up the boat means giving up the water, the voyage, the experience, and the beauty. In this volume, Carlson comes alongside and helps you into the boat, and points out the sights along the journey. Its goal is not only to help you understand and love Dante, but to read the Divine Comedy as he intended it to be read: as a window through which to see and know and enjoy the Triune God that much more.
This Reader’s Guide walks through the entire Purgatorio, canto by canto, and includes for each: a list of the characters; the location of the action; a summary of the canto; notes on the text, including allusions, translation comments, context, and information on the main characters; an analysis of each canto; and discussion questions for students.