The Undivine Comedy: Detheologizing Dante / Edition 1

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Accepting Dante's prophetic truth claims on their own terms, Teodolinda Barolini proposes a "detheologized" reading as a global new approach to the Divine Comedy. Not aimed at excising theological concerns from Dante, this approach instead attempts to break out of the hermeneutic guidelines that Dante structured into his poem and that have resulted in theologized readings whose outcomes have been overdetermined by the poet. By detheologizing, the reader can emerge from this poet's hall of mirrors and discover the narrative techniques that enabled Dante to forge a true fiction. Foregrounding the formal exigencies that Dante masked as ideology, Barolini moves from the problems of beginning to those of closure, focusing always on the narrative journey. Her investigation—which treats such topics as the visionary and the poet, the One and the many, narrative and time—reveals some of the transgressive paths trodden by a master of mimesis, some of the ways in which Dante's poetic adventuring is indeed, according to his own lights, Ulyssean.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691015286
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Editions and Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Detheologizing Dante: Realism, Reception, and the Resources of Narrative 3
Ch. 2 Infernal Incipits: The Poetics of the New 21
Ch. 3 Ulysses, Geryon, and the Aeronautics of Narrative Transition 48
Ch. 4 Narrative and Style in Lower Hell 74
Ch. 5 Purgatory as Paradigm: Traveling the New and Never-Before Traveled Path of This Life/Poem 99
Ch. 6 Re-presenting What God Presented: The Arachnean Art of the Terrace of Pride 122
Ch. 7 Nonfalse Errors and the True Dreams of the Evangelist 143
Ch. 8 Problems in Paradise: The Mimesis of Time and the Paradox of piu e meno 166
Ch. 9 The Heaven of the Sun as a Meditation on Narrative 194
Ch. 10 The Sacred Poem Is Forced to Jump: Closure and the Poetics of Enjambment 218
Appendix: Transition: How Cantos Begin and End 257
Notes 267
Index 349
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