2 thoughts on “How Dante has changed after two books

  1. Looks like you have already arrived in Paradise! Is there anyone you feel has come close to achieving what Dante achieved with the Comedy? (Even slightly?) I know Shakespeare is up there but one thing I always appreciated about Dante is how he was never afraid to get political! 🙂

    1. Yes, true! Paradise has indeed arrived up here :))

      Anyone coming close to Dante.. great question. In terms of an epic scope as a concept, likely yes – Homer’s two poems are kind of Universities of narratives, philosophy, mythology, entertainment and eductional systems in their own right. And by inference “the Aeneid” as well.

      But the ambition to unify the completeness of cultural history, history, philosophy, spirituality/religion over 3-4,000 years, with the author’s personal life and story – into a coherent narrative full of humour, depth and learning, and as a practical process of self-development as well, I can’t think of any. The “big” ones in Europe with Goethe, Proust, Cervantes and Shakespeare are marvellous writers – but with different projects and ambitions I think! And I’m not sure novels and plays could lend themseleves to the same amount of layers as a mosaic of 100 poems, highly structured in sophisticated patterns.

      And one of the beauties of the political aspect of Dante, is that for the most part it’s not there to describe the events themselves, but to connect them to the deeper moral questions of virtues and vices, and showing the deeper roots of the issues of his own time. Plus a liiiittle bit of personal vengeance at times – as Dante’s self-professed issue with Wrath!

      But I’ll think of writers who have done elements of Dante’s trilogy; the nuance of personal developments is perhaps deeper in f.ex. Proust, but then you lose many other dimensions. If you have any ideas, let me know! 🙂

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