Welcome to my newsletter! This is one of the many projects created after the enthusiasm from Dracula Daily skyrocketed. I wanted to do something for Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy because I’ve enjoyed reading Inferno (twice now) and think this fits well into the group of novels being sent out. Below are some questions I’ll answer:

When will this newsletter start, and how often will it send out?

Because Inferno starts on Good Friday, I think it’s apt that we start on that day in 2023 (which is Friday, April 7). After that, I will be sending out regularly every Tuesday and Thursday, so as to avoid conflicting with the other planned groups. I am planning to send out one Canto on each of those days. If I’ve done my math right, this means we’ll be done on March 5, 2024.

Which language will this run in?

I have only read Inferno in the translated English, and thus only feel confident enough to use that.

I will be using John Ciardi’s translation, which is widely considered one of the best. If someone else wants to run it in Italian, I strongly encourage and support it, and will promote it alongside my page.

I had been planning to use Ciardi’s translation, until, of course, I realized it isn’t in the public domain. So I’ll be using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s translation, which is public domain. This also makes things exceedingly easier for me, and I can offer audio versions in addition to the text. With that said, if you want to buy or otherwise obtain Ciardi’s text and read along with it (or any translation you prefer), I absolutely encourage this.

I want to read this, but I’ve heard Dante’s work is really hard to get through. Is it?

Dante was really good at writing words with many meanings attached to them. There is a reason that scholars have sat and dissected his poetry for centuries and centuries. With that said, I certainly think it can be read in a more leisurely manner and enjoyed for what it is. It may take time, and you may need to refer to footnotes, as well as included introductions for each Canto (which I plan to include, according to Ciardi’s version). Longfellow’s translation is considered to be widely accessible and a good introductory version.

Of course, if you sign up and decide it isn’t for you, you can tap out at any time. But I think you’ll enjoy it.

Is there anything else I should know?

The Divine Comedy was written in the 1300s and is a text about many representations of Christian Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. There may be themes discussed that could be distressing to those with certain religious backgrounds. Homosexuality and suicide both come up in the Inferno (and the former also in the Purgatorio, though I know less about that). Please keep that in mind.

I have another question!

Please feel free to reach out to me! Or just write to me in general :) divinacommedia@substack.com

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Hello! I'm joining in on the internet book club extravaganza borne out of Dracula Daily. I hope we can have fun and learn something from it.