1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Dante' Divine Comedy' Discussion Thread

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Cacian, Dec 21, 2011.

    Any thoughts?
    Do you have a favourite passage you may want to share here.

    This is just one part of it (too long) taken form ( INFERNO)

    Nel mezzo del cammin
    di nostra vita,
    mi ritrovai per
    una selva oscura......
    ...

    1 MIDWAY upon the journey of our life
    2 I found myself within a forest dark,
    3 For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

    4 Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
    5 What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
    6 Which in the very thought renews the fear.

    7 So bitter is it, death is little more;
    8 But of the good to treat, which there I found,
    9 Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

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    10 I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
    11 So full was I of slumber at the moment
    12 In which I had abandoned the true way.

    13 But after I had reached a mountain's foot,
    14 At that point where the valley terminated,
    15 Which had with consternation pierced my heart,

    16 Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders
    17 Vested already with that planet's rays
    18 Which leadeth others right by every road.
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You're kidding right? A few hours ago you'd never heard of it, now you want to discuss it? 'It' being a text that people spend their whole careers studying and thinking about. A text that is centuries old, a text that has inspired countless other writers since. And you've got a good enough grasp on it in a couple of hours and a copy-pasted passage to be able to discuss it? How about you read it first, then think about it, and then if you have any interesting thoughts, come back and share them then, instead of trolling yet again.
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    You are out of CONTEXT.
    How do you know I have not read it.
    You can see that I have taken to research it and go through few pages and spend looking it up in the Internet.
    I am also in discussion about it with other members.
    Please don't assume you know.
    You the one trolling here.
    If you do not have anything to add PLEASE DO NOT SPOIL IT FOR OTHERS.
    This a debate between those interested in contributing their ideas.
    This is how we learn about literature.
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    I've read Dante Alighieri's Comedy twice, both different translations. First being the Longfellow translation when I was 14, the other being the C.H. Sisson translation which I finished just a month ago. There are still some things I don't understand, but I'm doing my dissertation on it, exploring the politics.

    arron89 is right. The Comedy is a VAST work, over three books and it's where the Classical epics of Homer, and Virgil, and Ovid and the like clash with the Christian epics of Milton and Chaucer, and the bible. Classical allusions and Biblical allusions are aplenty, and Dante also has his own spin on Christian symbols (think of the ghostly march in Purgatorio, and B's decent to Eden on that chariot, and all the mythological names and creatures in Hell) and it's clearly influenced by the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, who I really need to familiarize myself with more, before I start the second draft of my dissertation.

    Cacian: I know you want to post the entire poem on this thread. That is madness.
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I agree it is a VAST piece because I have looked it up but the only to understand something is to discuss openly amnongst other members.
    Active Learning I call it.

    I have looked and read C. H. Sisson translation from I could gather with google.
    I thought it would be a poem but it is done under a story form.
    Did you understand about when I said that Divine Comedy is similar to a lot of Greek Mythology?
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    I simply don't believe you read the entire of Sisson's translation in such a short space of time. I couldn't have done it in a week, never mind the month I spent reading it and re-reading it.

    Greek Mythology is a massive mix of stories. If you compare it to, say, Oedipus Rex there is nothing the two share, Dante did base Inferno on book 10 (I think) of The Aeneid by Virgil, in which Aeneas journeys into the Underworld to talk with his father. Dante's Hell is a sort of corruption of Virgil's Underworld, which is also greatly expanded. Virgil also is Dante's guide in the inferno. The meaning of this is clear if you read the entire circle.
  7. Croga
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    Croga New Member

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    I read this before, finished it and have since returned it too the library, for me the book was lacking something and when reading another book the protagonist called himself a philistine for not reading the book in its native tongue so perhaps i should learn Italian.
    It was amazing in parts and is up there with works of pure philosophy for its idea churning power, but I just never got as active in it as I did with other classics.
  8. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    sorry I mean to say some.
    No I could not have read all of it.
    Because Iwas new to it I assumed it was just that from what google showed.
    Apologies.
    I Agree it is not about similarities in the Greek stories as such.
    I meant I found a link which is the concept of Heaven/hell/underworld..which is mentioned in both Greek Myhtology and Dante's Peom.
    I think I need to understant the title first.
    Divine Comedy or Summa.
    My first question is
    Comedy as in satyre/dark/cynical or farcical
    and
    Divine which suggest celestial and godly.
    I mean based on the title would you say because you have read it all , that there is a hint of comedy in it?
    (Please bare in mind I willkeep reading it as I go along)
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    I've already explained this to you. Dante was using the Greek/Aristotelian version of Comedy, which is a piece, usually a play, with ends happily, often with a Dionysian liveliness; for example: Midsummer Night's Dream. It's opposite is Tragedy, in which the protagonist has a tragic flaw that causes his downfall, like Oedipus Rex, or Macbeth.

    And Dante's conception of Hell has almost nothing to do with the Greek Underworld, Mouth Purgatory/Mt. Olympus = maybe, but it's a bit of a stretch, and Heaven = no. Dante's heaven is entirely a Christian heaven, based on the solar system and Aristotelian elements. Yes, the Comedy has a geocentric universe, but it also has elements of his contemporary science and observations. But this is mixed with 'faith'.
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    It would be very hard to do both I think.
    what made you think it is Pure Philosophy?
    and
    why did you say
    Idea Churning Power?
    what was about this poem that was churning?
  11. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    .

    Agreed.

    Can you elaborate about more Dionysian liveliness.
    I understand that Dinysus as this:

    what do you mean by liveliness?
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    Comedy, as a genre, was born from the Dionysian cult, which would meet somewhere, often in woods to get drunk, sing, and have large group orgies, and have fun. Dionysus is associated, rightly or wrongly, with a love of life, falling in love, youth, festivals and fun. These meetings were loud, youthful, and spontaneous; it was an explosion of energy.
  13. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I see.
    If it is an explosion of energy how it is intoxicated (under the influence)
    Usually people under the influence have no energy left in them because they are very drunk.
    and why is it called here
    I also came across this
    The Dionysian Mysteries
    If it is a natural state then how come it says it is intoxicated?
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    It's right. The entire point of the Cult of Dionysus was returning to nature, simplicity, and to Purity. Midsummer Night's Dream is a good example because, even though the story is sort of accidental, it shows young people running off to the woods to have fun and fall in love. And it's contrasted in the play with the 'real world' of the Athenian court. Youth vs. Age. The Poetical ideal of Arcadia comes from this too.

    It's almost like the ideas of the Romantic movement, with its own emphasis on Youth, and Pleasure, and Individuality.

    You've clearly never been around my friends then. ;)
  15. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Another point
    are you able to explain this passage about Dionysus
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    It's just describing how the image of Dionysus changed over time.
  17. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Haha...I see.
    I understant under other influences one might get very bouncy but just alcohol from what I have seen people lose their composure very quickly.
    I might need to discuss this step by step according to me if it is oK.

    nature is fine when it is warm and sunny.
    simplicity is quaint to me, the total opposite of going into the wilderness at night amongst creatures and animals.
    For me it is very spooky to go the woods.
    Purity is something like water/innocence/frienship/honesty/laughter/children is purity to me.
    The only time I can relate to nature is weather/food and obviously when one dies one gets buried with nature.
    I do not get fun out drinking, orgies(god forbid) and drinking as a burst of energy.
    You have to undress and go nude in nature it is very cold and freezing.
    I am thinking about the quote I showed you about ''ritual of madness' if it is fun why is it called madness.
    That is obviously MY view and you are obviously entitled to think differently.
    The natural for me is a cylce of life and it has be pure and free from any toxins.
    Maybe I am not seeing as you but one has to take all views into considerations.
  18. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Ok about Divine Comedy
    It is divided into three parts, the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
    Is it Ok for you to post a couple of lines of your favourite from PARADISO?
  19. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    It's just the way the youth partied in Ancient Greece I suppose. But about it being a ritual of 'Madness', you have a bunch of kids getting drunk and wondering around naked. You don't need to go very far before that does become a wild situation. Plus, it's contrasted against the sanity and sterility of the 'Civilized'.

    You can't honestly expect me to pick a favorite few lines from an entire book, from two different translations. And especially not from Paradiso, in which the reader meets the Christian God. But if you are interested: one of my favorite stages is on Mars between Cantos XIV and XVIII, during which there is Dante's opinions on his contemporary culture. Because it was dealing with actual events I found it very interesting, I'm greatly interested in history in general.
  20. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I would stage my favourite lines this way
    The opening lines into the Inferno, the climax and then the exit lines.
    The same with the Purgatorio and Paradiso.
    It is a rather intriguing paradox about one has go through inferno then purges oneself then go to Paradiso.
    Is this do you a reflection on how we live today?

    About the Mars between Cantos XIV and XVIII,
    it is interesting the way it is divided


    1) Mars: Heaven of Martyrs

    E'en so, constellate in the depth of Mars
    Those rays displayed the venerable sign
    Traced in a circle by quadrant-bars.


    This so enamored me that well I know,
    Nothing I'd seen till then had bound my breast
    With such sweet fetters or enthralled me so."


    ILove and intelligence
    Achieve equipoise [equilibrium] in each of you
    When first you saw the Prime Equivalent."

    I picked up these few lines.



    2) Caccuiguda on Florence

    3) Caccuiguda Prophecy



    4) Jupiter:Heaven of Just Ruler

    For the Eternal Joy, its radiance bent
    Directed on Beatrice and from her eyes
    Reflected, held me in entire content. ...
    And saw her eyes so clear, so lit all through
    With rapture, that her loveliness outshined
    All earlier wont, yea and her latest too
    .


    In the fifth tier of the tree,
    Which takes life from the top and which bears fruit
    Forever and which never sheds its leaves,
    Bloom blesses spirits who, before they came
    To heaven, had below such wide renown.


    I like these lines in particular.

    I am intrigued about who Beatrice is still.
    and also I haven't got to cacciuguda prophecy yet.
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Supporter Contributor

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    No.

    You might want to actually read The Comedy before really talking about it, because Beatrice is the most important characters in the entire series.
  22. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I will do..I am definetely onto right now because I want to understand it but there is a lot to take on.
  23. Hollowly
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    I almost bought a copy of this that had Dore's illustrations through out. But wasn't sure of the translation and if it would be better buying the books in a 3 set instead of all in one. Does anyone know the best translation to get/isbn number? There's always so many diffrent copies of each part at the bookstore.
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    Lemex:

    What do you think of the Dorothy Sayers translation? That is the one I read, and I like the structure and word choice better than some of the others I've seen. But of course, I can't read Italian so I can't really compare translations myself.
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis magnetismus Contributor

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    Here is the first part of Canto I, Sayers translation. You'll see it is a bit different from the others. Something about the flow sits well with me.

    I like that she preserves the rhyme.

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