I have a confession: I have never read Dante’s Divine Comedy. I remember that it was required reading at some point when I was in school, but I guess I was able to get away with not doing homework more often than I realized. Still, I do know the literary value of Dante’s work and am not totally ignorant of what it’s about.
With Dante’s Diving Comedy being highly regarded as it is, it is but inevitable that other people will take it upon themselves to create other works based on the epic poem. Enter Seymour Chwast, founding partner of Push Pin Studios, who decided to create a graphic novel version of the epic poem. (I wonder how many times he had to read the original work?)
It is important to understand that Chwast did not simply illustrate the work. In fact, he summarized the whole thing, but instead of putting the summary into words, he used images to tell the tale. Looking through the excerpt from NPR, I couldn’t help but wonder…is it just me or are the illustrations not impressive at all?
Content-wise, purists will probably scoff at the mere idea of a graphic novel adaptation of the classic work. Indeed, if you check out reader reviews, Chwast didn’t really get high marks. Maybe just so I can finally find out what Dante’s Divine Comedy really is about, I should get hold of a copy. (I feel like a university student buying a CliffsNotes guide.)
If you’re interested, Amazon’s selling the graphic novel for $13.60.