- Nov 21, 2019 at 4:03 pm #3619813
Hollander is a god :) Haven’t read his translation but from his work I would think it is likely the best. My professor worked with him after coming to the US.
I heard about Durling here at UCSC; we had a guest lecturer that taught Dante here previously and her inspiration came from Durling ( lucky you).
It is indeed remarkable literature; I love the forward and backward movement, embedded in the Terza Rima, that extends throughout the Canti and Cantiche. This was done in part because Dante was quite aware that at his time scribes could and would alter works and that often only parts of works would make it into the future; he wrote it with several “insurance policies” with the aim for the work to remain as unaltered and whole as possible.
edited to add…@jeffrey, we have 2 more weeks of classes after Friday’s lecture, but not on Black Friday. If you want to come down for one… MWF from 2:40 to 3:45 right here at Kresge College where I work. I could help get you a parking permit..Nov 21, 2019 at 4:15 pm #3619816
@jeffrey it’s a big class and there are a couple people auditing and you would seriously be more than welcome .Nov 21, 2019 at 11:04 pm #3619862
@bookLocale: Northern California
katt: see my new post about my wrecked car. It would be a treat though; thanks for the invite!Nov 21, 2019 at 11:56 pm #3619876
Sorry to hear that Jeffrey. Good luck.Nov 22, 2019 at 2:37 am #3619911
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Depending on the date, I’d be happy to drive you from Berkeley to Santa Cruz and back for one class if it’s something you’d like to attend.Nov 22, 2019 at 9:16 am #3619955
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Thanks Kat and Jeffrey for all the spoilers! I was just getting ready to read The Inferno!
So a warning… Dante is very, very difficult reading if one takes it more than just a story. But you probably want to read the entire work: Inferno + Purgatory + Paradise = The Divine Comedy.
The first problem is it is a poem written in Italian, and as the historian Will Durant pointed out,
As we approach the supreme poet of the Italian Renaissance, we must remind ourselves that poetry is an untranslatable music, and that those of us to whom the Italian language is not a native boon must not expect to understand why Italy ranks Lodovico Ariosto only next to Dante among her bards…
The second difficulty is from Dante himself stating that it is much more than a story and regarding the theme,
The subject of the whole work, taken merely in its literal sense, is the state of souls after death, considered simply as a fact. But if the work is understood in its allegorical intention, the subject of it is man, according as, by his deserts and demerits in the use of his free will, he is justly open to rewards and punishments.
And yet it is more than just simple allegory, such as, in the same vein, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Dante’s work is genius as a part of Western Christendom. He writes of the entire history of humanity from Adam until his own time and incorporates much of Western thought and events into his work. There is so much in it, that after three readings (translation by Charles Eliot Norton) over the decades, I have probably missed many things.
The really, really good thing about Dante is he marks the ending of the medieval period, giving way to the age of Petrarch and Boccaccio, and then Renaissance.
So we have Boccaccio who was 8 when Dante died. Although he studied and thought highly of Dante, Boccaccio’s The Decameron counters much of Dante, and at the same time sets the stage for the humanists with a focus of the Italian mind from theology to philosophy, from the divine to man.
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