Monday, May 20, 2013

Five notable books celebrating Dante Alighieri

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five top books "celebrating The Divine Comedy author's wickedly rich poetics":
Dante: Poet of the Secular World
by Erich Auerbach

Erich Auerbach's provocative essay argues that although Dante has reigned in religious circles for centuries, The Divine Comedy actually formed the basis for the resolutely secular modern novel. Auerbach cites the epic's redefined notions of literary characters, the balanced play between small details and sweeping allegories, and the constant tussle between the conceptual world and the sensory that make up the laic touchstones of modern literature. This pivotal work shares a common lineage with The Poets' Dante, an anthology of essays from twentieth-century poets around the world who cite Dante's pioneering works as some of their biggest influences and inspirations.
Read about another book on the list.

Dante's work appears on Karl O. Knausgaard's top ten list of angel books, Jon McGregor's list of the top 10 dead bodies in literature, John Mullan's list of ten of the best visions of hell in literature, and Peter Stanford's list of the ten best devils in film and literature; The Divine Comedy is one of George Weigel's five essential books for understanding Christianity.

--Marshal Zeringue