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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dante and his time

Since 1800, a book a year has been edited, only in  English language, on Dante's masterpiece "The Divine Comedy",  which shows the great interest English culture has reserved to the "Supreme Italian Poet".
Is not a case that Dante Alighieri is enumerated between the six best poets of any time in the mondial literature.
Recently one more book has been published on the matter: Dante in love by A.N. Wilson.
Despite his title, it's not a book neither on Gemma Donati's love affairs, nor on Beatrice's. His right title could have been "Dante and his time", 'cause it's reckoned by his same author that the book deals with the social and political life in Florence during the poet's life (1265-1321).
May be that's the main reason why the book has had conflictual and opposite reviews by English critic and reviers.
As matter of fact while the Telegraph (both Daily and Sunday's) and the Times have expressed good opinions on the last Wilson's work, other papers, like The Observer and The Guardian show perplexities and douts on the reaching of his purposes and objectives by the book.
In Italy Angelo Ruggeri, a well known writer, very fond on classical studies, is working on Dante in love book's review.
Angelo Ruggeri believes that Wilson's Dante in love is well documented and solidly founded (as English, he affirms, have a great tradition on Dante's studies). He therefore underlines, according to Wilson's convictions,  the contradictions between  Dante's theories and his life, mostly because the Poet, while beloging to the Guelf's Party (thus being loyal to the roman Pope), nevertheless he vowed and wished the coming of an Universalistic  Empire (under the German power) able to gather and include old the states and all the world since then known.
He shares Wilson's statements quoting his book at page 118:
His treatise written in exile, when he had changed his mind about being a papalist Guelf and became an ardente supporter of a universal monarchy, would strike many modern readers as bizarre and the open letters he wrote to the Emperor Henry VII would strike most dispassionate readers as deranged”.
Angelo Ruggeri gives evidence that Wilson's statement on Dante's incoherence and madness (of course in his political behaviour) was rightly confirmed by the judgement that Roman Church gave on Dante's treaty book  "The Monarchy".
But Angelo Ruggeri, at a certain point, leaves the Wilson's path and chooses his own ground:
" And if we  suppose "- asks the italian writer - "that Dante was neither Guelf nor Ghibeline, just wanting to be a mere and pure republican against both the papalist and the foreigner imperialists besieging Florence at the same time?"
... to be continued...

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