- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Liveright (29 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871407426
- ISBN-13: 978-0871407429
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 3 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity Hardcover – 29 Apr 2014
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For all of us who have put off a trip into Dante s great poem for fear of getting lost there for good, Prue Shaw's intricate, humane, lucid and precise guide into Dante's world and time at last provides the longed-for map. One might even say thatDante's readers now have a Virgil of their own. ----Adam Gopnik Prue Shaw s Reading Dante is a joy. It will remain on our shelves beside the works of those Dante scholars, such as Kenelm Foster, Etienne Gilson, Giovanni Papini and Bruno Nardi, who make you see the world, as well as seeing Dante, anew. --The Spectator
...[an] elegant and insightful guide...irresistible. --Sunday Herald
Altogether this is as interesting an introduction to Dante as one could hope to find in any language, and a clever and distinctive model for introductions to other authors as well. --Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
Prue Shaw is an emerita 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.
Top Customer Reviews
In fact I thought it hit the spot on every level. It's crammed with knowledge and insight that are informative and stimulating even for people who know Dante much better than I do. At the same time, Prue Shaw has the great gift of being able to see things from the point of view of people who aren't Dante scholars and speak to them in a way that's neither patronising nor intimidating. Above all, this is a matter of clarity of mind, of knowing exactly what she needs to tell her readers so that they can follow her arguments and explanations clearly and emerge with solid knowledge and insight. I'd have loved to have her as a teacher.
Prue Shaw tackles the "Commedia" through topics ("Friendship", "Power", "Life", "Love" etc) that transcend all three books, thus highlighting links between them or the way that themes are developed, sometimes running parallel to each other (certain themes recurring at the same point in each book) or flowing through from one to the other. In the process, she unfolds the social, cultural and historical background to Dante's vision.
It is really when we get to her final topics of "Numbers" and "Words" that I experienced what I can only call an epiphany because Prue Shaw revealed the true magic of Dante's work which can only be appreciated by reading the "Commedia" in its original language. Her absolutely fascinating chapter, "Numbers", starts off quite simply by highlighting the importance of the number three - centred, of course, on the Trinity - but goes on to reveal the numerical patterns that underpin the work. The whole of the "Commedia" is divided into cantos; there are thirty-three cantos in each of the three books, plus a preface to "Inferno" (which creates a total of, what was seen as the perfect number, one hundred).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Helpful guide to the 'Divine Comedy'. Use of index essential if looking up a specific topic.Published 4 months ago by Marg T.
Reading this masterful work in conjunction with dipping in and out of the new Clive James translation of The Divine Comedy should be obligatory for all lovers of comedy and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Benny, Copenhagen