Raise Your Hand

Raise your hand if you have read Dante’s Divine Comedy. Without looking it up, when was Paradiso finished?

1896, 1615, 806, 1321, 1736, or 2003.

I, after a long and for no good reason absence, returned to my read of Paradiso this week. What a poem, what a vision. To make it really unbelievable, Dante’s heaven doesn’t have an Intranet.

Giuseppe Mazzotta in his essay “Life of Dante” writes, “Many are the reasons why generations of readers have found the story of Dante’s life compelling. His relentless self-invention as an unbending prophet of justice and a mythical quester for the divine is certainly one important reason.”

Talk about writing with purpose. I would think his strong purpose took away procrastination. Perhaps inventing the character we are is as necessary as the others we invent. Maybe too we need a white horse or, the least, a helmet.

Does writing need reason? I am beginning to think it does.  Where have I been?



6 thoughts on “Raise Your Hand

    • fictionfitz April 25, 2014 / 5:14 am

      To do it thoroughly is a long process. Probably take me all year to read the one on heaven. The edition I have with a husband and wife team supplying the explanation is the best I have found. When I go to Inferno, I will probably read on Kindle. It would appear reading notes is even easier on it, but that is a 2015 project

  1. Marilyn Armstrong April 25, 2014 / 9:18 am

    Embarrassed admission: never read. Probably never will. Right now, can’t find it in me to read much at all. But never say never. I admire your intellectual tenacity.

    • fictionfitz April 25, 2014 / 1:04 pm

      It is a long and tenacious journey.

  2. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist April 26, 2014 / 1:19 am

    I haven’t read it either and also doubt that I will. I’m guessing 1615 but maybe earlier. I know a lot of painting has been based on his work particularly Dante’s inferno but I think the language that he probably uses is probably beyond me. It was hard enough reading Chaucer. I agree writing has to have a purpose.

    • fictionfitz April 26, 2014 / 9:31 am

      Hi Irene, the correct date is 1321. The reading is not difficult because of language in this translation, but more so interpreting the meaning. It is a blog on afterlife using the language of his life and before. The guy was well versed in the classics. Its references take me many places, but not Big Sur.

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