Please join us in a commemorative reading of Dante in 2021 to
celebrate the 700th anniversary of the legacy he bequeathed us with
his death in 1321 (septicentennial).
The plan is to read or listen to Dante Alighieri's La
Vita Nuova and his magnum opus, the great epic poem Comedìa.
You can proceed at any pace you like using any translation you like
including the original Italian. Our reading
and event schedule will go through La Vita Nuova (The New
Life) and the Comedìa (Comedy) between January
and November 2021 (in 44 weeks or 11 months) with a monthly event (and video) to discuss the reading (we have planned 13
events scheduled; past events include embedded videos).
Why Read Dante?
The Comedìa is intricate, dramatic, thrilling, mind-blowing, cosmic, shocking, ineffable, sometimes oppressive, and altogether extraordinary!
To celebrate the legacy of a great figure in world literature
To read one of the greatest works in world and Italian literature
To learn the details of a epic story that is widely referenced
To learn about the poetics of one of the world's greatest poets
To learn about an important work of history which reminds us of the vibrancy of medieval culture and the history of romantic love
To learn about the science, philosophy, politics, religion, and culture of the middle ages
To engage an expansive journey through the liberal arts as Dante guides us through his encyclopedia of learning
To learn how Dante imagines the interconnectedness and unity of knowledge integrating the liberal arts as well as faith and reason in his tour de force
To learn of a powerful work surveying the breadth of human knowledge and activity in a cosmic context
To learn of an early example of perspectivism which was to become a major theme of the medieval Renaissance and a key insight for Copernican heliocentrism and Kepler's two foci model of the solar system
To learn of Dante's vision of a universe of desire and love
To learn how a great poet envisions a pilgrimage to meet God face-to-face and return to tell us about it
To learn about a grand vision of humans in the cosmos seen by a poet 700 years ago
welcome to read their favorite translation or an Italian edition or
listen to it via LibriVox
or other audiobooks source. We recommend The
Portable Dante as translated by Mark Musa because
it includes both La Vita Nuova and Comedìa
in one volume. There are free on-line translations (see the Resources below), but because of present-day
draconian copyright laws they are old and their archaic language can
be challenging for today's ear.
We plan to read La Vita Nuova in one month and the
Comedìa at a rate of one-third of a cantica per month or
about eleven Cantos per month which is no more than three Cantos per
week. The links to additional resources included in the schedule are
optional, but may prove useful supplements for some participants.