The Undivine Comedy : Detheologizing Dante
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.
- Paperback | 368 pages
- 152 x 229 x 19.56mm | 539g
- 19 Nov 1992
- Princeton University Press
- New Jersey, United States
Back cover copy
The Undivine 'Comedy' is a vigorous, perceptive contribution to our reading of Dante's work and to our understanding of the problems he confronted as a narrative poet.
Table of contents
PrefaceEditions and AcknowledgmentsCh. 1Detheologizing Dante: Realism, Reception, and the Resources of Narrative3Ch. 2Infernal Incipits: The Poetics of the New21Ch. 3Ulysses, Geryon, and the Aeronautics of Narrative Transition48Ch. 4Narrative and Style in Lower Hell74Ch. 5Purgatory as Paradigm: Traveling the New and Never-Before Traveled Path of This Life/Poem99Ch. 6Re-presenting What God Presented: The Arachnean Art of the Terrace of Pride122Ch. 7Nonfalse Errors and the True Dreams of the Evangelist143Ch. 8Problems in Paradise: The Mimesis of Time and the Paradox of piu e meno166Ch. 9The Heaven of the Sun as a Meditation on Narrative194Ch. 10The Sacred Poem Is Forced to Jump: Closure and the Poetics of Enjambment218Appendix: Transition: How Cantos Begin and End257Notes267Index349