La Divina Commedia

November 29th, 2008
by jodi

La Divina Commedia is another simple ebook application for the iPhone. Like Shakespeare, it provides free access to a classic read in its original language.

An attractive screen greets the reader:

Appropriately, it’s Domenico di Michelino‘s painting, Dante e suo poema (“Dante and his poem”).

Navigation is simple and straightforward, and mirrors the division of The Divine Comedy. Choose a canticle—Inferno, Purgatorio, or Paradiso—to get to Canto I of that section of the poem. Within each canto, scroll up and down (using default iphone behavior—there are no options or settings). Use arrow keys at the top right to get to the next (or previous) canto in the same section.

An info screen, accessible from the cover screen, gives credits:

If you ignore scrolling, that’s 102 screens!

App name: La Divina Commedia [appstore]
Maker: Stefano Sanna
Cost: free
Bugs: none found
Quirks: To navigate to a canto, you must scroll through the previous cantos; there’s no. Dante scholars often prefer to treat the first canto as introductory, and not part of the Purgatorio, making each canticle a neat 33 cantos. While scrolling follows iphone conventions, there is no scrolling; that limits the usability, especially if the font size doesn’t suit.
Features: A solid, free text of Dante’s famous work.
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