Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So I've finished reading The Dante Club which was very enjoyable, a bit long-winded at times but it made me dig out some Longfellow poetry to read and Dante's The Divine Comedy is on my definite must read list. Plus it's whetted my appetite for visiting Boston and the New England states in general.

Now I'm onto Robin Jenkins' The Cone-Gatherers, it's a quick read - I'm flying through it. Quite psychological in its exploration of the main characters, pretty depressing in a dark human nature kind of way, but I'm really enjoying it. The funny thing is I noted in the intro that the author was a school teacher in my very own home town. On googling him I discovered that he spend the last 32 years of his life living within five miles from where I was growing up and ten miles from where I live presently, he died in 2005.

9 comments:

Jarod K. Anderson said...

Is there a connection between Longfellow and Dante?

Sorlil said...

Longfellow translated the Divine Comedy, the first American translation that made Dante accessible to the wider American public. Pearl's fictional novel The Dante Club is based on the actual historical event of a Dante translation club set up by Longfellow.

Frances said...

I attended a lecture with a Dante enthusiast and came home full of determination to read the whole of The Inferno from cover to cover. I think I got as far as page 12! HOpe you do better than that.

Dave King said...

Believe it or not, I once illustrated the Inferno - as an excercise, not professionally, but it made me read it. I got back to it via my reading of Seamus Heaney. I can't say I got much out of it the first time, but I did the second time around, thanks to Heaney's help. Hope you enjoy it. Didn't know about Longfellow and the club, though.

Sorlil said...

ah a challenge, must make it past page 12! lol
Which translation to go for is something I'm not sure about dave, do I go for a poet's translation or the standard Oxford World Classic? Anyway it'll be a while off before I'm allowed to buy more books!

Rachel Fox said...

Both books sound interesting...more to add to the 'to read' list. I looked at the 'Cone Gatherers' summaries on Amazon and it sounds like Iain Banks may have read this before he got to work? Would that make sense?
I had a friend doing Italian when I was in 6th form. All I can remember was her beating her head against the desk and moaning 'Dante, bloody Dante...'

Sorlil said...

that would make sense, it really is quite a psychological and bizzare read - the prevailing image I'm stuck with is that of a hunchback climbing a tall tree in a scottish forest - can't get odder that that! an excellent read though.

as for Dante, well we'll see!!

Dave King said...

The poet's translation - or the one the local second-hand shop happens to have.

Sorlil said...

I'm afraid there isn't a second-hand bookshop where I live, probably just as well!