Description : Dante and Heterodoxy: The Temptations of 13th Century Radical Thought, edited and with an introduction by Maria Luisa Ardizzone, collects several studies devoted to discussing Dante’s work in the light of the intellectual debate that developed in thirteenth century Europe after the entrance of new Aristotelian learning and the diffusion of Greek-Arabic thought, in particular the Latin translations of works by Ibn Rushd (Averroes). What takes form in the various articles is the emerging of an interest in the philosophical and scientific contents of Dante’s opus. Heterodoxy in this volume is thus linked to, but not always coincident with, what medieval scholars such as Ferdinand Van Steenberghen or Alain De Libera term “radical Aristotelianism” or “Integral Aristotelianism”. The word “temptations”, as its meaning clearly shows, delineates not an organic link with heterodox or radical ideas, but rather an intermittent inclination to include or evaluate themes related to these ideas. “Temptations” implies a search, an interrogation that consists of the doubts and uncertainties of a poet strongly involved in the intellectual debate of his time and culture, and for whom philosophy and theology are not fields of opposition but different modes of inquiry.
Description : An exploration of how Dante's work influenced the development of James Joyce's writing on key themes of exile and community.
Description : Dante's British Public deals with the many and various ways in which the work of the leading poet of medieval Europe was acquired, represented and discussed by British readers over the course of more than six centuries. Accessibly written and using a wealth of vivid examples and case studies, it draws upon a wide range of previously unpublished material (letters, journals, annotations, and inventories) from archives across the world. It will be ofinterest to those engaged in comparative literary studies, as well as to those with a general interest in cultural studies, the history of the book, and the history of ideas.
Description : Dante's metaphysics--his understanding of reality--is very different from our own. To present Dante's ideas about the cosmos, or God, or salvation, or history, or poetry within the context of post-Enlightenment presuppositions, as is usually done, is thus to capture only imperfectly the essence of those ideas. The recovery of Dante's metaphysics is essential, argues Christian Moevs, if we are to resolve what has been called "the central problem in the interpretation of the Comedy ." That problem is what to make of the Comedy 's claim to the "status of revelation, vision, or experiential record--as something more than imaginative literature." In this book Moevs offers the first sustained treatment of the metaphysical picture that grounds and motivates the Comedy , and of the relation between those metaphysics and Dante's poetics. He carries this out through a detailed examination of three notoriously complex cantos of the Paradiso , read against the background of the Neoplatonic and Aristotelian tradition from which they arise. Moevs finds the key to the Comedy 's metaphysics and poetics in the concept of creation, which implies three fundamental insights into the nature of reality: 1) The world (finite being) is radically contingent, dependent at every instant on what gives it being. 2) The relation between the world and the ground of its being is non-dualistic. (God is not a thing, and there is nothing the world is "made of") 3) Human beings are radically free, unbound by the limits of nature, and thus can find all of time and space within themselves. These insights are the foundation of the pilgrim Dante's journey from the center of the world to the Empyrean which contains it. For Dante, in sum, what we perceive as reality, the spatio-temporal world, is a creation or projection of conscious being, which can only be known as oneself. Moevs argues that self-knowledge is in fact the keystone of the Aristotelian and Neoplatonic philosophical tradition, and the essence of the Christian revelation in which that tradition culminates. Armed with this new understanding, Moevs is able to shed light on a series of perennial issues in the interpretation of the Comedy . In particular, it becomes clear that poetry coincides with theology and philosophy in the poem: Dante poeta cannot be distinguished from Dante theologus .
Description : In Dante and the Sense of Transgression, William Franke combines literary-critical analysis with philosophical and theological reflection to cast new light on Dante's poetic vision. Conversely, Dante's medieval masterpiece becomes our guide to rethinking some of the most pressing issues of contemporary theory. Beyond suggestive archetypes like Adam and Ulysses that hint at an obsession with transgression beneath Dante's overt suppression of it, there is another and a prior sense in which transgression emerges as Dante's essential and ultimate gesture. His work as a poet culminates in the Paradiso in a transcendence of language towards a purely ineffable, mystical experience beyond verbal expression. Yet Dante conveys this experience, nevertheless, in and through language and specifically through the transgression of language, violating its normally representational and referential functions. Paradiso's dramatic sky-scapes and unparalleled textual performances stage a deconstruction of the sign that is analyzed philosophically in the light of Blanchot, Levinas, Derrida, Barthes, and Bataille, as transgressing and transfiguring the very sense of sense.
Description : Arguing that the consecrated body in the Eucharist is one of the central metaphors structuring The Divine Comedy, this book is the first comprehensive exploration of the theme of transubstantiation across Dante's epic poem. Drawing attention first to the historical and theological tensions inherent in ideas of transubstantiation that rippled through Western culture up to the early fourteenth century, Sheila Nayar engages in a Eucharistic reading of both the "flesh" allusions and "metamorphosis" motifs that thread through the entirety of Dante's poem. From the cannibalistic resonances of the Ugolino episode in the Inferno to the Corpus Christi-like procession seminal to Purgatory, Nayar demonstrates how these sacrifice- and Host-related metaphors, allusions, and tropes lead directly and intentionally to the Comedy's final vision, that of the Eucharist itself. Arguing that the final revelation in Paradise is analogically "the Bread of Life," Nayar brings to the fore Christ's centrality (as sacrament) to The Divine Comedy-a reading that is certain to alter current-day thinking about Dante's poem.
Description : William Blake’s series of illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy was his last major project and a summation of his religious and artistic beliefs. Blake intended to engrave this series, but it was unfinished at his death. The series includes seven partially complete engravings and 102 works in various stages of completion—some of the most beautiful pictures of his career. These pictures are not simple illustrations, but constitute a thorough reinterpretation and—in Blake’s view—correction of Dante’s poem. This book compares the two men’s theological and artistic views and analyzes in detail the meaning of Blake’s illustrations, for the first time introducing their theological and aesthetic exuberance to a modern audience.