Inferno

ISBN-10: 039397796X

ISBN-13: 9780393977967

Edition: 2007

Authors: Dante Alighieri, Giuseppe Mazzotta, Michael Palma

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Book details

List price: $13.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/15/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Born Dante Alighieri in the spring of 1265 in Florence, Italy, he was known familiarly as Dante. His family was noble, but not wealthy, and Dante received the education accorded to gentlemen, studying poetry, philosophy, and theology. His first major work was Il Vita Nuova, The New Life. This brief collection of 31 poems, held together by a narrative sequence, celebrates the virtue and honor of Beatrice, Dante's ideal of beauty and purity. Beatrice was modeled after Bice di Folco Portinari, a beautiful woman Dante had met when he was nine years old and had worshipped from afar in spite of his own arranged marriage to Gemma Donati. Il Vita Nuova has a secure place in literary history: its vernacular language and mix of poetry with prose were new; and it serves as an introduction to Dante's masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice figures prominently. The Divine Comedy is Dante's vision of the afterlife, broken into a trilogy of the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante is given a guided tour of hell and purgatory by Virgil, the pagan Roman poet whom Dante greatly admired and imitated, and of heaven by Beatrice. The Inferno shows the souls who have been condemned to eternal torment, and included here are not only mythical and historical evil-doers, but Dante's enemies. The Purgatory reveals how souls who are not irreversibly sinful learn to be good through a spiritual purification. And The Paradise depicts further development of the just as they approach God. The Divine Comedy has been influential from Dante's day into modern times. The poem has endured not just because of its beauty and significance, but also because of its richness and piety as well as its occasionally humorous and vulgar treatment of the afterlife. In addition to his writing, Dante was active in politics. In 1302, after two years as a priore, or governor of Florence, he was exiled because of his support for the white guelfi, a moderate political party of which he was a member. After extensive travels, he stayed in Ravenna in 1319, completing The Divine Comedy there, until his death in 1321.

The Plan of Dante's Hell
Map: Italy, around 1300
The Text of Inferno
Backgrounds and Contexts
Dante in His Own Voice
Love and the gracious heart
The tower of Babel
On knowledge; literature; government
On nobility and government
Sources and Influences
From the Aeneid
From The Confessions
I take great pleasure in the joyous season of spring
Love returns always to a noble heart
A lady bids me
The One Holy, i.e. Church
Criticism
Dante's Prologue Scene
Tragedy or Romance? A Reading of the Paolo and Francesca Episode in Dante's Inferno
A Pattern of Order: Inferno VII and Paradiso VII
Medusa: The Letter and the Spirit
Canto X: Farinata and Cavalcante
The Poetic Application of the Structure of Hell
Speech and Language in Inferno XIII
The Harvest of Reading: Inferno 20, 24, 26
Descendit ad Inferos
Transition: How Cantos Begin and End
Canto XXVI - Ulysses: Persuasion versus Prophecy
Inferno XXXIII, 37-74: Ugolino's Importunity
Dante Alighieri: A Chronology
Selected Bibliography
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