Dante's Divine Trilogy Part
Three: Englished in prosaic verse
144pp. Canongate. 14.99 [pounds sterling].
A paradise by no means lost but simplified and abbreviated is what Alasdair Gray offers in this posthumously published third part of his Commedia. Daring and confidence are required to translate let alone transform Dante, and Gray hides both under the modest subtitle, "Englished in prosaic verse". The verse is not prosaic at all, but in spirited pentameters, and though Gray ducks terza rima, he still musters enough full and internal rhymes to leave a trace of Dante's scheme. The language is salted with Scots-lite ("bonny", "bairns", "blethering") and...