Synopses & Reviews
Even in the byzantine Italian world of Dante scholarship, Australian-born Prue Shaw is one of the world’s foremost Dante authorities. Keenly aware that thousands of books have been written about The Divine Comedy
, the undaunted Shaw remained convinced that an accessible, nonscholarly work that explicated Dante was still needed. Just as Dante becomes a poet with a prophetic mission, Reading Dante
becomes far more than an exegesis of Dante’s three-part Commedia
. It offers a literary experience that lifts the reader into the universal realms of poetry and mythology, revealing how one can recover time past through memory and language.
Whether challenging the notion that Dante was vindictive, decoding the numerology that can confound readers, or positioning Dante’s tortured life within the framework of fourteenth-century Florence, Shaw creates an astonishingly lyrical work that appeals to both those who’ve never read the Commedia and those who have. Reading Dante underscores Dante’s belief that poetry can change human lives.
This introduction to Dante's Divine Comedy investigates the broadthemes in the poem through key episodes in it. It describes Dante's formative experiences with poetry and politics and how his failure asa politician is linked to his achievement as a poet, then art and its relationship to power, the relationship between biography andart, the theme of love, how time plays out in the afterlife and in the poem, the relation of numbers to the structure and functioning ofthe universe and human creativity, and the originality and poetic power of the poem's language.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
The best and most eloquent introduction to Dante for our time.
Prue Shaw is one of the world's foremost authorities on Dante. Written with the general reader in mind, brings her knowledge to bear in an accessible yet expert introduction to his great poem.
About the Author
Prue Shaw is emeritus reader in Italian studies at University College London and the editor of the edizione nazionale of Dante's Monarchia and of a digital edition of the Commedia. She lives in Cambridge, England.