Dante & the Unorthodox: The Aesthetics of Transgression

James Miller
Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2005 M04 22 - 566 páginas
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During his lifetime, Dante was condemned as corrupt and banned from Florence on pain of death. But in 1329, eight years after his death, he was again viciously condemned—this time as a heretic and false prophet—by Friar Guido Vernani. From Vernani’s inquisitorial viewpoint, the author of the Commedia “seduced” his readers by offering them “a vessel of demonic poison” mixed with poetic fantasies designed to destroy the “healthful truth” of Catholicism. Thanks to such pious vituperations, a sulphurous fume of unorthodoxy has persistently clung to the mantle of Dante’s poetic fame.

The primary critical purpose of Dante & the Unorthodox is to examine the aesthetic impulses behind the theological and political reasons for Dante’s allegory of mid-life divergence from the papally prescribed “way of salvation.” Marking the septicentennial of his exile, the book’s eighteen critical essays, three excerpts from an allegorical drama, and a portfolio of fourteen contemporary artworks address the issue of the poet’s conflicted relation to orthodoxy.

By bringing the unorthodox out of the realm of “secret things,” by uncensoring them at every turn, Dante dared to oppose the censorious regime of Latin Christianity with a transgressive zeal more threatening to papal authority than the demonic hostility feared by Friar Vernani.

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Have only skimmed the first pages of the Introduction and am hooked! Both on subject and by style - such a rich texture of allusions and sottintesi (what! no formatting bar on Google Books for italics?) is a rare pleasure.


Retheologizing Dante
Part ITrapassar
Part IITrasmutar
Part IIITrasumanar
Part IVTraslatar
Part VTralucere
Part VITrasmodar
Notes on Contributors
Derechos de autor

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Página 60 - Lyrical Ballads"; in which it was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of the imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Página 2 - I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Página 291 - I' mi son un, che quando Amor mi spira, noto, ea quel modo ch'e...
Página 347 - FOR three years, out of key with his time, He strove to resuscitate the dead art Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime" In the old sense. Wrong from the start — No, hardly, but seeing he had been born In a half savage country, out of date; Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn ; Capaneus...
Página 40 - You are not called upon to believe what Dante believed, for your belief will not give you a groat's worth more of understanding and appreciation ; but you are called upon more and more to understand it. If you can read poetry as poetry, you will "believe...
Página 183 - It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father and before all his hou'se, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel : therefore will I play before the LORD.
Página 414 - Or apri li occhi a quel eh' io ti rispondo, e vedrai il tuo credere e '1 mio dire s° nel vero farsi come centro in tondo. Ciò che non more e ciò che può morire non è se non splendor di quella idea che partorisce, amando, il nostro sire...
Página 358 - Era già l'ora che volge il disio ai naviganti e intenerisce il core lo di c'han detto ai dolci amici addio; e che lo novo peregrin d'amore punge, se ode squilla di lontano che paia il giorno pianger che si more, quand'io incominciai a render vano l'udire ea mirare una dell'alme surta che l'ascoltar chiedea con mano.
Página 126 - Talibus orabat, talisque miserrima fletus fertque refertque soror : sed nullis ille movetur fletibus, aut voces ullas tractabilis audit ; . fata obstant, placidasque viri deus obstruit auris. 440 1 ac, velut annoso validam cum robore quercum Alpini Boreae nunc hinc nunc flatibus illinc eruere inter se certant; it stridor, et altae consternunt terram concusso stipite frondes ; ipsa haeret scopulis, et, quantum vertice ad auras 445 aetherias, tantum radice in Tartara tendit...

Acerca del autor (2005)

James Miller teaches a cycle of courses on Dante for the Comparative Literature and Culture program at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. His other books include Measures of Wisdom: The Cosmic Dance in Classical and Christian Antiquity and Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis. He has also translated Andrew Pawlowski's play Dante on the Steps of Immortality. James Miller looks forward to a hot afterlife on the Seventh Terrace of Purgatory.

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