15Inf26to27W11 - Dantes Ulysses How differs from the...

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Dante’s Ulysses • How differs from the classic story of Odysseus. • Praised and condemned. • Fiery ±ights, catastrophic shipwrecks • The sin: theft? speech? exploration? • Comparison with Guido da Montefeltro (canto 27)
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No one is more famous than Ulysses (a.k.a. Odysseus) • Not even Virgil • From Homer to James Joyce • Coleridge, “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” • Primo Levi: Auschwitz “come altrui piacque” • 2001: Space Odyssey (1968) • Theo Angelopoulos: “The Gaze of Ulysses” • John Glenn’s return to space, honored by Robert Pinsky reading (his translation of) Inf . 26 on TV.
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What’s the most famous thing about Ulysses?
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Why did Dante change the story? Though he did not know Homer, no reason to suppose Dante ignorant of the tradition of Ulysses’ return home. Durling, 572.
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Ulysses doesn’t get home Come altrui piacque 26.133-142
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Phaeton Descending http://www.datamanos2.com/phaeton_descending.html
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The tragedy of Ulysses • “The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today” (George W. Bush) • “Optimism about a smooth landing on a beautiful day turned to fear, then panic.” • “There is something particularly awful about the vision of people waiting for a moment of joy and proud achievement, suddenly smashing up against pain and loss instead.” Quotes from newspapers at the time of the Columbia disaster .
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Where was Ulysses going? 26.94-119 Di retro al sol, del mondo sanza gente Seguir virtute e canoscenza
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To boldly go where no man has gone before • Dr. Laurel Salton Clark – “She had conquered the sea, diving with the Navy Seals and conducting medical evacuations from submarines off Scotland. She had penetrated the air as a Fight surgeon aboard the Marine Attack Squadron of the Year. Space was the next logical frontier.
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To boldly go where no man has gone before Israeli journalist Yaron London notes: – “we have our Frst Hebrew astronaut since Elijah the Prophet ascended in a storm heavenwards.”
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Why should we go there? “Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.” - George W. Bush “It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted. It belongs to the brave.” - Ronald Reagan (at the time of the Challenger disaster January 28, 1986) We were not made to live as brutes Fatti non foste a viver come bruti (Dante’s Ulysses, Inferno 26.119)
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"Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fre that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”
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What’s the sin?
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journey? or for something else? • the deceit of the horse, the theft of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2011 for the course ITALIAN 333 taught by Professor Cornish during the Winter '11 term at University of Michigan.

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15Inf26to27W11 - Dantes Ulysses How differs from the...

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