30Par1to2W11 - WHAT KIND OF A BOOK IS THE PARADISO? most...

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W HAT KIND OF A BOOK IS THE P ARADISO ? “most glorious imagination of modern poetry -- no events, no scenery” (Shelley) “never dry: either intensely exciting or totally incomprehensible” (Eliot) “in our present state, an acquired taste” (C. S. Lewis) Vellutello 1
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W HAT KIND OF A BOOK IS THE P ARADISO ? W HY IS IT RADICALLY NEW ? “Paradoxically both the most medieval and the most modern of the three cantiche” Vellutello 2
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T RANSGRESSION Invocation to Apollo, request for in spira tion (1.13-19) Marsyas. Violent metamorphosis. Out of one’s skin (19-21) 3
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T RANSGRESSION Trasumanar : going beyond the human: a problem for language significar per verba non si poria (“To signify transhumanizing per verba is impossible” 1.70-72) A cui l’esperienza grazia serba for those to whom grace reserves the experience : Isn’t that what Ulysses wanted? non vogliate negar l’esperïenza (of our senses that remain, do not deny the experience, following the sun, of the world without people Inferno 26.115-117) l’ardore / ch’i’ ebbi a divenir del mondo esperto / e de li vizi umani e del valore (could conquer within me the ardor that I had to gain experience of the world and of human vices and worth Inferno 26.97-99) 4
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C ANTO 2 H OW IS D ANTE LIKE / UNLIKE U LYSSES ? A little boat (2.1-6) The stars (2.7-9) Jason & the Argonauts (2.16-18) 5
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W HAT IS THE HUNGER AND THIRST NOT SATISFIED BY EARTHLY PARADISE ? Bread of angels (2.10-12) Innate & perpetual thirst (2.19-21) 6
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W HAT IS HEAVEN ? 7
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W HAT IS HEAVEN ? What we hunger and thirst for 8
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W HAT IS HEAVEN ? A vision? to see God to see face-to-face (without images) to see the ultimate reality, the way things really are 9
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W HAT IS HEAVEN ? Maximum vision Maximum light 10
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P ARADISO 1 Maximum light: La gloria di colui che tutto move 11
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P ARADISO 1 By defnition, inexpressible 12
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T WO PARADISES Earthly Sensual Where man is happy Dreamed of by the ancient poets Temporal Divine Intellectual Beyond the human Ineffable Eternal 13
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T WO PARADISES The nest of human nature In questo luogo eletto / a l’umana natura per suo nido (Pg 28.77-8) Here is man happy Non sapei tu che qui è l’uom felice? (Pg 30.75) To go beyond the human Trasumanar significar per verba non si poria (Pd 1.70) 14
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A PROBLEM OF REPRESENTATION If this paradise is beyond the human , beyond temporal experience, beyond words, beyond memory, beyond images, how can a poem tell us about it? 15
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I NEFFABILITY Rapture of St. Paul ( vaso ) (4-6, 14) Memory cannot follow to end of intellect’s desire (7-9) A series of substitutes: treasure (11), materia (12), shadow (22) essemplo simile of Glaucus (71) 16
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