Middle of the Journey

Dante Alighieri, a political exile from 13th-century Florence, produced an epic poem that would echo through human culture to the present day: the Divine Comedy. Its first canticle, the Inferno, is the best-known section of the work. But, argues best-selling author of The Dante Club and The Dante Chamber Matthew Pearl, the Purgatorio contains untold artistic, philosophical, and psychological riches.

Those who know no other poetry know at least its opening words: In the middle of the journey of my life . . . The Divine Comedy, a dense allegorical epic poem composed by the Florentine exile Dante Alighieri in the first …

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