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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, Reading Dante brings her knowledge to bear in an accessible yet expert introduction to his great poem.
This is far more than an exegesis of Dante’s three-part Commedia. Shaw communicates the imaginative power, the linguistic skill and the emotional intensity of Dante’s poetrythe qualities that make the Commedia perhaps the greatest literary work of all time and not simply a medieval treatise on morality and religion.The book provides a graphic account of the complicated geography of Dante's version of the afterlife and a sure guide to thirteenth-century Florence and the people and places that influenced him. At the same time it offers a literary experience that lifts the reader into the universal realms of poetry and mythology, creating links not only to the classical world of Virgil and Ovid but also to modern art and poetry, the world of T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney and many others.Dante's questions are our questions: What is it to be a human being? How should we judge human behavior? What matters in life and in death? Reading Dante helps the reader to understand Dante’s answers to these timeless questions and to see how surprisingly close they sometimes are to modern answers.Reading Dante is an astonishingly lyrical work that will appeal to both those who’ve never read the Commedia and those who have. It underscores Dante's belief that poetry can change human lives.
|Publisher:||Liveright Publishing Corporation|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
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.
Table of Contents
Dramatis Personae xix
1 Friendship 1
2 Power 41
3 Life 67
4 Love 99
5 Time 133
6 Numbers 175
7 Words 205
Excursus on Metre 263
Principal Events in Dante's Life 273
Further Reading and Notes 279
Art Credits 293
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. In no way has this influenced my rating or opinion of this book. Thank you to Goodreads and to Prue Shaw for the opportunity.* Let me start by saying that I have never been a HUGE lover of poetry. Now you may ask yourself "why did I enter to win this book then?" That would be because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am glad I did. I truly believe that the reason for my lack of joy regarding poetry has been because I have not understood it. Prue Shaw not only explained Dante's poetry in a way that I could understand, she also added in a lot of rich history behind it to make it more understandable. I am a huge lover of history, so this helped to bridge the gap for me and brought me into the realm of poetry gently. I also appreciated her quotes in Italian and then the translation into English. This helped me to see the beauty to not only the poetry, but the language as well. It was quite obvious that Prue Shaw really knows not only her poetry, but Dante in particular. I have to admit, this was a REALLY slow read for me. Only because I wanted to make sure I was understanding what I was reading. This was a little above my education level. But once I slowed down, I was able to absorb the knowledge and understand it as well. I will be holding on to this book and re-reading it down the road. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history or poetry or both!