"A modern reader, uninformed, could peruse the whole Commedy, satisfied with the mere literal story, and entranced by its unparalleled beauty of language and imagery; but he would miss the inspiration of that higher message which so clearly merits the name of 'divine.'" - C.H. Grandgent
No words can describe the greatness of this work, a greatness both of theme and artistry. The theme that Dante treats is universal; it involves the greatest concepts which man has ever attained. Only a genius could find the loftiness of tone and the splendor and variety of images and scenes that are presented.
There is little wonder that perhaps no other work of pure literature has aroused so much admiration in so many countries and so many readers as The Divine Comedy. A single listening will reveal its universality as well as Dante's visual imagination and uncanny power to make the spiritual visible.
The Carlyle-Okey-Wicksteed Translation