Figure of Beatriceby Charles Williams
One of the most ambitious essays in the interpretation of Dante our time has seen...his interpretation of the role of Beatrice is a subtle and individual one. Charles Williams was one of the finest-not to mention one of the most unusual-theologians of the twentieth century. His mysticism is palpable-the unseen world interpenetrates ours at every point, and spiritual exchange occurs all the time, unseen and largely unlooked for. His novels are legend, and as a member of the Inklings, he contributed to the mythopoetic revival in contemporary culture.
- Apocryphile Press
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- 0.55(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)
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If you are are reading Dante's The Divine Comedy (best translation in my view is Dorothy L. Sayers's; her notes and gloss are supremely helpful; through these marginal remarks I became acquainted with Charles Williams's work. Admittedly, I had never heard of the author, yet felt he would he an additional guide through an analysis of Beatrice. I formally studied philosophy for five years, yet this writing was not on my radar, and now I know why. His writing is an unusualmix of literary criticisim, theology, philosphy, and mysticism. I suppose I am okay with this approach--in fact, what swayed me to purchase The Figure of Beatrice was precisely this; perhaps, I thought, I was missing some scholarly text that I had completly missed. Williams's metaphysical, historical, mystical, and philosophsical approach is not what I found troubling with this book. Rather, it was the writing itself. Williams's style is nearly impentetrable. Now, I don't mean this in a way one might qualify a dense philosphical text. Honestly, I found Heidegger's Sein un Zeit more managable. The problem centers on Williams's style. In my view, the guy just can't quite write a coherent paragraph. His ideas are ll over the place, there's little dicernable organizational pattern, and the most damnable problem is that Williams's writing is abstruse, foggy, cloudy, and murky. It is as if Williams's is trying to show off his mantle of erudition by writing in some kind of rarified, stuffy vacuum. He simply neglects to think about his reader .