Introductions

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Introductions

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1Mithalogica
Editado: Ene 8, 2014, 10:59am

Greetings!

I'll make the first introduction, as I'm the first one here. I'm a Humanities scholar, whose primary interest is Medieval Studies. I teach courses in literature, religion, and of course, medieval history. Occasionally I get to teach some Dante! I first read the entire Divine Comedy under the tutelage of an exceptionally brilliant and inspiring Dante scholar, and his adoration for Dante rubbed off on me.

In addition to my Medieval and Dante studies, I collect fountain pens, have a deep devotion to not only medieval art (cathedrals and manuscripts, especially) but to the Pre-Raphealite and Arts & Crafts/Aesthetic movements as well. I'm also a bit of a gamer geek, and I enjoy console, PC and table-top gaming. I have also begun discovering a real passion for antiquarian books. I think my dream is to someday retire in Italy and run a tiny little antiquarian book and pen shop.

Looking forward to meeting some awesome folks here!

2brunolatini
Jul 2, 2013, 4:08pm

I am a lifelong reader of The Divine Comedy , but not in a scholarly or academic way . I have always loved poetry and if one loves poetry then surely sooner or later one must come to the Prince of poets. As I am an avowed atheist ( albeit a Catholic atheist) my love of Dante and his works may be seen by some as somewhat peculiar.

3Mithalogica
Jul 5, 2013, 8:12pm

Not at all - I am atheist as well, but I adore Dante. I also have (as one would expect form a medievalist), a peculiar affection for medieval Christianity, and not only in the form of manuscripts and cathedrals! There is a kind of vivacious innocence combined with a thoroughly gruesome frankness to medieval piety that fascinates me. So no, I don't find your affection for Dante odd at all!

I am curious, though, given your 'poetic relationship' with Dante, what translation you favor? I tend towards Musa's, myself, though Pinky's is a close second. Even though Musa chose not to maintain the terza rima, I think that enables him to render a closer translation, and it still has a lovely lyrical rhythm to it.

Oh, where are my manners? Welcome! Thanks so much for coming by! I hope to see more of you!

4brunolatini
Jul 8, 2013, 2:50am

My favourite translation would be the Mandelbaum one for the University of California Press with drawings by Barry Moser . I have the the original hardback versions with the translation facing the original and so I can I kid myself that I am actually making progress muddling my way through the Italian with just the occasional glance at the English version- (like, duh who do you think you are fooling ).

I use the Charles S.Singleton and John D, Sinclair versions quite frequently and it can be fascinating to see the differences in how they render a line in such subtle ways.

I must confess though that I still have a huge soft-spot for the 1949 Dorothy L. Sayers verse translation , complete with terza rima for Penguin Classics .......

Midway this life we're bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.

Ay me ! how hard to speak of it-that rude
and rough and stubborn forest ! the mere breath
Of memory stirs the old fear in the blood;

When I first came across that translation in a second hand shop all those years ago I knew a whole new (literary) world could open up for me if I choose . The only comparison to it would be Joyce or possibly Proust or the music of Wagner. I wouldn't include that other Pillar of the Western Canon In the same way as it is impossible not to be aware and constantly immersed in his wonders if you have any interest in literature (or movies).

In the general run of things you must choose to enter the world of Dante And so I choose to enter that dark wood and have been wandering - in a quiet way -ever since.

As for having an affection for medieval Christianity itself , alas I can't share that as I grew up in a society that though distanced by centuries from that time still had and has the same mind-set of entitlement and absolute power- very frightening and very lonely from the outside.

On the manuscripts and cathedrals - love visiting them - Notre Dame Chartres Milan and loads more , The British Library just across the pond and The Book of Kells just up the road- so much to see so little time .

Thanks for your welcome and starting the group

5brunolatini
Jul 8, 2013, 12:37pm

Just to add I have just ordered the Ciaran Carson verse translation from Amazon . Inexplicably , seeing as he is from my neck of the woods and I have some of his poetry ,I was unaware of it until I saw it on here !

6HarryMacDonald
Editado: Jul 22, 2013, 4:59pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

7Mithalogica
Jul 12, 2013, 12:47pm

LOL! I like the Pinsky for the same reason; the pretension of bolstering my Italian. It's nice to know I'm not the only one! I must say, though I'm aware of the Mandelbaum, I haven't read it. I'll have to locate a copy!

I do know what you mean about the contemporary culture - I suppose I find the medieval 'version' of Christianity to be...if not quite sympathetic, then a good bit more innocent, and even somewhat understandable. I spent a lot of time studying and writing on medieval eucharistic theology in particular (mostly in its relation to Dante) and it's (if you'll forgive my saying so) rather refreshingly ghastly.

And I am jealous of your access! :D Getting anywhere interesting takes a 14-hour flight, just for starters. *sigh* One day, I'll retire to some village somewhere, open an antiquarian book & pen shop, and spend my weekends wandering cathedrals. (Well, one can dream, no?)

8Mithalogica
Jul 12, 2013, 12:54pm

Harry,

Welcome! And I hope to get enough participation here to satisfy! Meanwhile, you'll have to make do with your hostess. I have only just begun to explore Dante's other works (aside from La Vita Nuova, which I read in some depth in conjunction with the Comedy under the direction of a truly inspiring Dante scholar. Il Convivio I have only begun to sample myself. (I like your choice of words, by the way; I suspect Dante would agree that 'savour' is precisely the correct approach to his banquet!)

Have you ever investigated De Monarchia or De vulgari eloquentia?

9HarryMacDonald
Jul 22, 2013, 1:03pm

In re numero otto. DM, not in any meaningful way. DVE, slightly more, though I owe it some time, if the domeniddio feels that I DESERVE more time, considering how much I've already frivolled away in seven decades. But it's been fun . . . -- G (H)

10anthonywillard
Mar 19, 2014, 11:13am

Hello, I have just noticed this group. I think it will get me to reread the Comedy and perhaps get back to Petrarch and Boccaccio. The three lights of the trecento.

11matthewmason
Mar 19, 2014, 2:41pm

>10 anthonywillard: Welcome! We are glad to have you. Conversations tend to happen in bursts here and there--but they do occur.

That particular order tends be a quite a reliable progression. Maybe it could even justify its own Tre Corone group...

12Mithalogica
Mar 20, 2014, 10:13pm

Anthony,

Welcome! It is a pleasure to have you! (And yes, I fear we are a bit on the sporadic side, but we do get a good head of steam going now and again!)

Any exclude to re-read the Commedia is a good thing, so if nothing else, I'm glad we served that purpose!

Also lovely to meet another fan of Petrarch & Bocaccio! I'm actually hoping to be teaching a course on them (and Machiavelli, a later, if no less brilliant Florentine!) summer after this one; I think there is indeed a very solid progression there. I look forward to chatting with you!