Dante's Comedy read by Prof. Lino Pertile

Introduction to the Second Edition

Considering the success of the first edition of our eBook Dante's Comedy with commentary, we thought it was useful to include in the eBook its reading, especially for the non-native Italian speaking, for students and for the visually impaired.

Hence, we asked Prof. Lino Pertile (Harvard University), author of a great reading of the entire Comedy, to permit us to include it into this eBook. We are honored and proud that he embraced our project. We also thank Prof. Robert Hollander (Princeton University) for granting the permission of using the audio materials created within the Princeton Dante Project.

Finally, we want to thank Simplicissimus Book Farm for providing us with the hosting resources for this project; in particular, we express our gratitude to Antonio Tombolini, for his enthusiasm about this project and for accepting to write the Preface to this edition.

Padova, 15 November 2012

Edoardo Ferrini and Alberto Pettarin

Preface — Digital Typography for the XXI century

The transition of the entire press industry to digital technologies, as it often happens with radical changes, is experienced with great discomfort from many of those who are involved in it. Everything, or almost everything, that have been learnt during years and centuries, is no longer useful. Everything, or almost everything, is new. Moreover, a mood, consisting in a mix of melancholy and depression, is dominant: many people have simply resigned to the inevitable change, but they are not happy with it. Intuitively, as it happens with any technology that yields popularization, the (abstract idea of) book will pay the advantages of the digital technology (smaller entrance barriers for the authors, more opportunities of circulation and sharing of contents and ideas) with a decay in the intrinsic quality of the "product-book".

But this is not the necessary outcome. To be precise: it might not be the case, but only if competent talents commit to the Art of Digital Typograhy. This seems a worthwhile enterprise: the production, circulation and use of digital books enable a rich reading experience that, simply, is not achievable by paper books, and they create a world of opportunities, in terms of both quality and richness of the content, and elegance of the forms.

Post-Renaissance Italy gave a significant contribution to the birth and the development of the Art of Typography applied to printed books, whose best results have lead the print industry until now.

The XXI century Italy has — I believe — a similar opportunity: there are talents who can contribute to the definition of Models for the Art of Digital Typography of the XXI century. We have an extreme need for them, as it should be clear to anyone who reads today eBooks, where she or he can find many typos, but no criteria in the font usage, text layout, its ergonomy, and so on, often making the reading activity painful, instead of enjoyable.

Among these talents I certainly count Edoardo Ferrini and Alberto Pettarin, who decided to show, by founding Smuuks, that it is possible to merge the advantages of the digital world with the richness of contents pleasant to read, useful to consult. In short: designing beautiful books is still possible.

These three books, devoted to the three Cantiche of the Divine Comedy, constitute a great example, and supporting this project has been a privilege, for me and for my company.

Loreto, 15 November 2012

Antonio Tombolini
Founder and CEO of Simplicissimus Book Farm


Inferno (Hell)

EPUB (107 MB)

Purgatorio (Purgatory)

EPUB (113 MB)

Paradiso (Heaven)

EPUB (116 MB)




Smuuks wants to thank Prof. Robert Hollander and Prof. Lino Pertile, for granting us the permission of including in these eBooks the audio recordings of the reading of the Divine Comedy made for the Princeton Dante Project.
We thank Luca Calcinai, Paolo Carnovalini, Marco Cetera, Giacomo D’Angelo, Antonio Tombolini e Fabrizio Venerandi for the intererst and commitment with which they have followed this project and for their many useful suggestions.
A special thank goes to Antonio D’Achille, for the huge work he spent producing the first electronic version of the Divine Comedy with Doré's illustrations, and for his technical advice.
Edoardo e Alberto want to acknowledge Andrea Povelato for his support while founding Smuuks.
Edoardo thanks Prof. Francesco Leonetti for his technical advice and courtesy.
Alberto extends his acks to all the users of the Simplicissimus Book Farm forum, who inspired the development of the authoring platform raymond.
A huge thank goes to the eBook Club Italia and its members, for their work to promote digital reading in Italy. If you enjoyed this eBook, we ask you to support the eBook Club Italia by becoming a member or with a donation through the website:
So that anyone could read beyond the paper.

To read this eBook

To play the reading of the verses, you must use an EPUB 3-capable reader, such as Readium for Google Chrome or Calibre (Windows, Mac OS, Linux), or iBooks (iOS) or the Kobo app (iOS, Android).

To use the synchronization between reading and verse highlighting (Media Overlays), you must use an EPUB 3, SMIL-capable reader, like Readium for Google Chrome (Windows, Mac OS, Linux), version or greater, or iBooks (iOS) or the Kobo app (iOS, Android)

Important notice for Readium users
Some Windows users wrote us that Readium seems to hang while importing the EPUB files into its library, probably because of Javascript. A workaround consists in: 1) download the eBooks; 2) rename them, changing the extension from ".epub" to ".zip"; 3) decompress each eBook in a separate folder; 4) load them in Readium using the "Unpacked directory" option, selecting the directory created during Step 3.
We have already alerted the developers of Readium, hoping they can fix the problem soon.

Technical notes

  1. The eBooks, in EPUB 3 format, are released under the terms of  the Creative Commons Attribution — Non commercial — Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license. The audio files of the reading by Prof. Lino Pertile are included in these eBooks with kind permission from Prof. Robert Hollander and Prof. Lino Pertile, and they are subject to the terms of use of the Princeton Dante Project.
  2. Loading your eBook into the Readium library might take a while, because of the inflation of the EPUB file.
  3. These eBooks comply to the official EPUB 3 specifications by IDPF, including the standard SMIL description for the synchronization between audio and text. This third revision (November 2013) includes JavaScript code that enables the tap-to-play function on those reading systems that do not properly support the EPUB 3 Media Overlay specification (most notably, Apple iBooks). If you agree with us that synchronous highlighting and tap-to-play are useful features, we request you to urge the developers of your favourite reading system to implement the official EPUB 3 Media Overlay specification.