Dante's Divine Trilogy , livre ebook

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In this masterful retelling of one of the greatest works of world literature, Alasdair Gray - in his last work - offers an original translation in prosaic English rhyme. Lyrical and modern, this complete edition brings all three parts of Dante's epic journey through Hell and Purgatory and on to Paradise together in a single volume for the first time.
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Publié par

Date de parution

03 février 2022

Nombre de lectures

0

EAN13

9781838855345

Langue

English

Poids de l'ouvrage

1 Mo

Author photo courtesy of the Alasdair Gray Archive
Born in 1934, Alasdair Gray graduated in design and mural painting from the Glasgow School of Art. From 1981, when Lanark was published by Canongate, he authored, designed and illustrated seven novels, several books of short stories, a collection of his stage, radio and TV plays and a book of his visual art, A Life in Pictures . In November 2019, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Saltire Society. His books have been published internationally and translated into Italian, Russian and Japanese. His awards include the Whitbread Fiction Prize and Guardian Fiction Prize.
Also by Alasdair Gray
NOVELS
Lanark
1982, Janine
The Fall of Kelvin Walker
Something Leather
McGrotty and Ludmilla
Poor Things
A History Maker
Mavis Belfrage
Old Men In Love
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
Unlikely Stories, Mostly
Lean Tales (with James Kelman and Agnes Owens)
Ten Tales Tall & True
The Ends of Our Tethers: 13 Sorry Stories
Every Short Story by Alasdair Gray 1951–2012
POETRY
Old Negatives
Sixteen Occasional Poems
Collected Verse
Hell: Dante’s Divine Trilogy Part One
Purgatory: Dante’s Divine Trilogy Part Two
Paradise: Dante’s Divine Trilogy Part Three
THEATRE
Dialogue – A Duet
The Loss of the Golden Silence
Homeward Bound: A Trio for Female Chauvinists
Sam Lang and Miss Watson:
A One Act Sexual Comedy In Four Scenes
McGrotty and Ludmilla
Working Legs: A Play for Those Without Them
Goodbye Jimmy
Fleck
A Gray Play Book
NON-FICTION
Why Scots Should Rule Scotland
The Book of Prefaces
How We Should Rule Ourselves
A Life In Pictures
Of Me and Others
Independence

The Canons edition published in 2022 by Canongate Books
HELL, PURGATORY and PARADISE first published individually in Great Britain, the USA and Canada in 2018, 2019, 2020 by Canongate Books Ltd, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE
Distributed in the USA by Publishers Group West and in Canada by Publishers Group Canada
canongate.co.uk
This digital edition first published in 2021 by Canongate Books
Copyright © Alasdair Gray, 2018, 2019, 2020 Copyright © Estate of Alasdair Gray, 2022
The right of Alasdair Gray to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
The author gratefully acknowledges the support of Creative Scotland towards writing this book

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available on request from the British Library
ISBN 978 1 78689 702 2 eISBN 978 1 83885 534 5
CONTENTS
HELL
FOREWORD TO HELL
  1 The Dark Wood. Virgil
  2 Early Doubts Quelled
  3 Hell’s Entry. Doom of Moderates. Charon’s Ferry
  4 Limbo of Sinless Pagans
  5 Minos. Doom of Adulterers
  6 Cerberus. Doom of Gluttons
  7 Plutus. Avaricious. Styx
  8 The Wrathful. Gate of Dis
  9 Citadel of Dis. Furies
10 Doom of Heretics
11 A Lecture on Hell
12 The Minotaur, Centaurs and Unjust Conquerors
13 Doom of Suicides
14 Blasphemers. Phlegethon and Giant History
15 An Old Sodomite Friend
16 Sodomite Patriots
LIST OF CANTOS
17 Fraud Demon Geryon. Bankers
18 Love Frauds
19 Simoniac Popes
20 Magicians
21 Swindling Councillors
22 Swindling Devils
23 Hypocrites
24 Doom of Thieves
25 Doom of More Thieves
26 Liars and Ulysses
27 Another Liar’s Fate
28 Doom of Sectarians
29 Doom of Forgers
30 Doom of More Falsifiers
31 Ancient Giant Rebels
32 Doom of Traitors
33 Doom of More Traitors
34 The First Traitor. Hell’s Exit
PURGATORY
FOREWORD TO PURGATORY
  1 Cato, Warden of the Shore
  2 Newcomers
  3 The Foothills
  4 The First Ascent
  5 The Unconfessed
  6 Of Italian States
  7 The Climb Halts
  8 The Vestibule
  9 The Entrance
10 The First Terrace
11 The Proud
12 Going from Pride
13 The Envious
14 Of Envious Rulers
15 Ascent to the Wrathful
16 The Wrathful
LIST OF CANTOS
17 On and Up
18 Love and Sloth
19 To the Avaricious
20 Hoarders and Wasters
21 Statius
22 To the Gluttonous
23 The Gluttons
24 Toward Temperance
25 To the Lustful
26 The Lustful
27 Chastity
28 The Earthly Paradise
29 Revelation
30 Beatrice
31 The Cleansing
32 Of the Kirk
33 The Final Cleansing
PARADISE
  1 The First Ascent
  2 Moon Sphere
  3 In the Moon
  4 More Moonlight
  5 Free Will and Mercury
  6 Justinian
  7 Beatrice Explains
  8 Venus
  9 Prophecies
10 The Sun
11 Of Francis
12 Of Dominic
13 Sun Wisdom
14 From Sun to Mars
15 Martial Hero
16 Old Families
17 Dante’s Future
LIST OF CANTOS
18 From Mars to Jupiter
19 The Eagle Speaks
20 The Eagle’s Eye
21 Saturn
22 Saint Benedict
23 The Fixed Stars
24 Saint Peter
25 Saint James and John
26 Saint John
27 To the Empyrean
28 The Angelic Sphere
29 Of the Angels
30 The Empyrean
31 Heavenly Hosts
32 The Rose’s Plan
33 Prayer and Answer
HELL
PART 1
FOREWORD TO HELL
There are more than a hundred English versions of Dante’s epic and every two years another appears. Readers are always eager for them as, like the Bible, it answers important questions with fascinating stories. But unlike the Bible no governments have promoted one excellent translation. None exist. To compress dramatic action, thought and dialogue into a huge poem Dante invented a unique verse form: three line verses so cleverly unified by end-rhymes that most translators try to reproduce the same form. In Italian end-rhymes are easy because most words end in one of five vowels. In English end-rhymes are harder so most translators get them with language seldom used in daily speech. My version mainly keeps the Dantean form colloquial by using end-rhymes where they came easily, internal rhymes where they did not. My abrupt north British dialect has cut Dante’s epic down to the range of my intelligence, which is less than Dante’s. Critics who cannot read the original should compare it with any other English translation, which will be more accurate in the dictionary sense of the word.
Here are two examples of my abruptness. In Italy the heroine’s name is pronounced with four syllables; Be-a-trich-ay is a poor phonetic approximation to that beautiful sound. In English the name is usually spoken with two syllables, almost rhyming with mattress . My rhyme scheme needs three syllables: Be-a-tris . Other Italian names should be pronounced with as many syllables as Italians use. Dante mentions two political parties, Ghibelline and Guelph, which I translate as Tory and Whig. The main difference (as in Britain’s eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) was between old and new money, the older class being landowners, the new one merchants. Like all two-party systems the difference was constantly blurred by changing local alliances or intermarriage.
Other apologies for mishandling Dante’s texts will be in the foreword to my Purgatory translation.
1: The Dark Wood. Virgil

1 In middle age I wholly lost my way,
finding myself within an evil wood
far from the right straight road we all should tread,
4 and what a wood! So densely tangled, dark,
jaggily thorned, so hard to press on through,
even the memory renews my dread.
7 My misery, my almost deadly fear
led on to such discovery of good,
I’ll tell you of it, if you care to hear.
I cannot say how I had wandered there, 10
when dozy, dull and desperate for sleep
my feet strayed out of the true thoroughfare,
till deep among the trees an upward slope 13
gave to my fearful soul a thrill of hope
as rising ground at last became a hill,
and looking up I saw a summit bright 16
with dawn – the rising sun that shows us all
where we should travel by its heavenly light.
This quieted a little while the fright 19
that churned the blood within my heart’s lagoon
through the long journey of that gloomy night.
Like shipwrecked swimmers in a stormy sea 22
who, tired and panting but at last ashore,
look back on swamping breakers thoughtfully,
I turned to view, though wishing still to leave, 25
the terrifying forest in the glen
no living soul but mine had struggled through.
My weary body rested then until, 28
rising, I climbed the sloping wilderness,
so that each footstep raised me higher still.
But see! The uphill climb had just begun 31
when suddenly a leopard, light, quick, gay
and brightly spotted, sprang before my feet,
dodging from side to side, blocking the way 34
so swiftly and with such determination
she sometimes nearly forced me to retreat.
37 The sun had reached a height dimming the stars
created with him on the second day,
after the birth of time and space and light,
40 and this recalled God’s generosity,
letting me feel some good at least might be
within the leopard’s carnival ferocity,
43 so dappled, bright and jolly was that beast,
but not so bright to stop me shuddering
at a fresh shock – a lion came in sight,
46 his mighty head held high, his savage glare
fixed upon me in such a hungry way
it seemed to terrify the very air.
49 A wolf beside him, rabid from starvation,
horribly hungry, far more dangerous,
has driven multitudes to desperation,
52 me too! For she established my disgrace,
(that worst of beasts) by killing my desire
to climb up higher to a better place.
55 A millionaire made glorious by gain
then hit by sudden loss of all he has,
cries out in vast astonishment and pain.
58 So did I, shoved down backwards, foot by foot,
by pressure of that grim relentless brute
till forced into the sunless wood again.
61 Appearing in its shade a human shape
both seemed and sounded centuries away,
murmuring words almost beyond my hearing,
therefore I yelled, “Pity and help me, please, 64
whether you be a living man or ghost!”
and pleaded, crouching down before his knees.
“Not man – though once I was, in Lombardy, 67
where both my parents dwelled in M

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