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Alighieri Dante
Suggested Reading



"Thou shalt prove how salt is the taste of another's bread and how hard is the way up and down another man's stairs."
- Canto XVII, line 58 Paradiso

Dante Alighieri: His Life and Works
(Paget Toynbee)
One of the most frequently cited texts on the great Florentine poet's life and writings, this invaluable study is the work of an influential Dantean scholar. Its concise, accessible account covers historical background, traces the poet's private and public life, and explores the Vita Nuova, the Convivio, the Divine Comedy, and Dante's Latin works.

Dante: Poet of the Secular World
(Erich Auerbach)
Erich Auerbach’s Dante: Poet of the Secular World is an inspiring introduction to one of world’s greatest poets as well as a brilliantly argued and still provocative essay in the history of ideas. Here Auerbach, thought by many to be the greatest of twentieth-century scholar-critics, makes the seemingly paradoxical claim that it is in the poetry of Dante, supreme among religious poets, and above all in the stanzas of his Divine Comedy, that the secular world of the modern novel first took imaginative form. Auerbach’s study of Dante, a precursor and necessary complement to Mimesis, his magisterial overview of realism in Western literature, illuminates both the overall structure and the individual detail of Dante’s work, showing it to be an extraordinary synthesis of the sensuous and the conceptual, the particular and the universal, that redefined notions of human character and fate and opened the way into modernity.

Monarchy
(Dante Alighieri)
This is the first new translation for forty years of a fascinating work of political theory, until now only available in academic libraries. Dante's Monarchy addresses the fundamental question of what form of political organization best suits human nature; it embodies a political vision of startling originality and power, and illuminates the intellectual interests and achievements of one of the world's great poets. Prue Shaw's translation is accompanied by a full introduction and notes, which provide a complete guide to the text, and places Monarchy in the context of Dante's life and work.

Pioneers of the Spirit: Dante Alighieri
(DVD, Vision Video)
Throughout history a few special individuals have felt a spiritual longing so profound that nothing could satisfy their hunger. Facing uncharted territory, they mapped their own souls, seeking that mystical place where the self meets the divine. We call them Pioneers of the Spirit.
Born in Florence, Italy, Dante first saw Beatrice in 1274 when he was nine years old, and she became the inspiration for his later poetic works. Her death in 1290 was a profound shock to Dante. He was a soldier for a while and entered politics where he sided with the enemies of Pope Boniface VIII. He was eventually banished from Florence. His best known work is the perennial classic, The Divine Comedy -- the poet's imaginary journey to hell and purgatory.

The Cambridge Companion to Dante
(Rachel Jacoff (Editor))
This second edition of The Cambridge Companion to Dante is designed to provide an accessible introduction to Dante for students, teachers and general readers. The volume has been fully updated to take account of the most up-to-date scholarship and includes three new essays on Dante's works. The suggestions for further reading now include the most recent secondary works and translations as well as online resources. The essays cover Dante's early works and their relation to the Commedia, his literary antecedents, both vernacular and classical, biblical and theological influences, the historical and political dimensions of Dante's works, and their reception. In addition there are introductory essays to each of the three canticles of the Commedia that analyse their themes and style. This new edition will ensure that the Companion continues to be the most useful single volume for new generations of students of Dante.

The Divine Comedy
(Dante Alighieri)
The Divine Comedy begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.

Allen Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.

This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.

Understanding Dante
(John A. Scott)
"Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third." UNDERSTANDING DANTE attempts to explain and justify T. S. Eliot’s bold claim. John Scott offers readers at all levels a critical overview of Dante’s writings: five chapters deal with his New Life of love and poetry ("Vita Nova"), the "Banquet" of knowledge ("Convivio"), his Latin treatise on language and poetics ("De Vulgari Eloquentia"), Italian lyrics ("Rime"), and his blueprint for world government ("Monarchia"). The next five chapters concentrate on Dante’s masterpiece, the "Comedy": its structure, Dante’s worldview (still relevant today), and the "Comedy" examined as a poem. Much has been written on Dante’s moral, political, and religious ideas; important as these are, however, such discussions are perforce limited. It is above all as a work of poetry that the "Divine Comedy" maintains its appeal and fascination to readers of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Firmly grounded in the latest advances of Dante scholarship, UNDERSTANDING DANTE offers an original and uniquely detailed, global analysis of Dante as poet of the "Comedy" that will be welcomed by those who read the poem in translation as well as by those who study the original Italian text. At the same time, Scott’s book will be welcome for its rich and insightful analysis of the whole corpus of Dante’s writings, as well as Scott’s mastery of the vast sea of critical literature in various languages. Scott bridges the gap that often exists between Dante studies in English-speaking countries and the great tradition of Dante scholarship in the poet’s homeland. No work in English about the great Italian poet can rival UNDERSTANDING DANTE’s scope in both depth and breadth of close reading and critical vision.

Vita Nuova
(Dante Alighieri)
La Vita Nuova marked a turning point in European literature, introducing personal experience into the strict formalism of medieval love poetry. The sequence of poems tells the story of Dante’s passion for Beatrice, the beautiful sister of one of his closest friends, transformed through his writing into a symbol of love that was both spiritual and romantic. From unrequited passion to the profound grief he experiences at the loss of his love, this work intersperses exquisite verse with Dante’s own commentary on the structure and origins of each poem, offering a unique insight into the poet’s art and skill. Barbara Reynolds’s translation, acclaimed for its lucidity and faithfulness to the original, is now enhanced with a new introduction and other material.

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