"as if in love when love is free of pain"
I next to never start a review by discussing the edition. so just to prove that there's a first time for everything, i'll start this review by talking about the edition. i read the modern library hardcover from 1996 and it was wonderously fine to read. the small hardback format made it durable and portable. the notes were put after each canto, instead of being strung together at the end-- very handy and i wish more books that require a lot of notes would follow its example. i don't read italian, so i can't speak to the ciardi translation's accuracy. i will say that it read very well. it was very clean, and flowed like poetry. i should have read purgatorio earlier. when i was in college and reading the divine comedy we were really only required to read , and i'm ashamed to say that i stopped there. the thing that i most remember about inferno are the vivid images of suffering-- the sense of doom. i liked purgatorio better, i think. even as a modern reader, i found myself measuring my own behaviour against the standards that dante suggested in the poem. it was easier to identify with this book-- more thought-provoking about the nature of sin, humanity, and god. dante breaks purgatory into people who either love too much or not enough-- with the immoderate lovers closer to heaven. there is a lot to think about here. a lot to like besides the historical value or the poem's place in the canon. recommended.