Dante The Poetics of Conversion

ISBN-10: 0674192265

ISBN-13: 9780674192263

Edition: 1986 (Reprint)

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Description: John Freccero enables us to see the Divine Comedy for the bold, poetic experiment thatit is. Too many critics have domesticatedDante by separating his theology from hispoetics. Freccero argues that to fail to see theconvergence of the letter and the spirit, thepilgrim and the poet, is to fail to understandDante's poetics of conversion. For Dante,body and soul go together and there is nosalvation that's purely intellectual, no poetrythat is simply literary.The essays that form this book were originally published between 1959 and 1984.They are arranged to follow the order of the Comedy, and they form the perfect companion for a reader of the poem. With these essays assembled for the first time, we can nowsee Freccero's stature: he is the best contemporary critic of Dante. Freccero is that rarearticle, a critic of eclectic and not dogmaticpersuasion. Throughout Freccero operateson the fundamental premise that there is al-ways an intricate and crucial dialectic at workbetween Dante the poet and Dante the pilgrim, and that it is this dialectic that makesthe work so profoundly dramatic, one of thegreat novels of the self.Thanks to Freccero we readers have theComedy whole again. Freccero calls uponmedieval philosophy, cosmology, science,theology, and poetics to enable us to traverseDante's moral landscape without losing ourway in the confusions of minute exegeses. Ina secular age Freccero enables us to see thispoem as what it is, something wholly otherthan what we might believe or write. Indoing so he shows us the most that languagecan achieve in any age, secular or not.

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Book details

List price: $36.00
Copyright year: 1986
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/15/1988
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Rachel Jacoff is Professor of Italian at Wellesley College.

Introduction
The Prologue Scene
The Firm Foot on a Journey Without a Guide
The River of Death: Inferno II, 108
Pilgrim in a Gyre
Infernal Irony: The Gates of Hell
The Neutral Angels
Medusa: The Letter and the Spirit
Dante's Ulysses: From Epic to Novel
Bestial Sign and Bread of Angels: Inferno XXXII and XXXIII
The Sign of Satan
Infernal Inversion and Christian Conversion: Inferno XXXIV
Casella's Song: Purgatorio II, 12
Manfred's Wounds and the Poetics of the Purgatorio
An Introduction to the Paradiso
The Dance of the Stars: Paradiso X
The Final Image: Paradiso XXXIII, 144
The Significance of Terza Rima
Notes
Sources
Indexes
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