Dante: Commedia

**This course is now full**

A towering masterpiece of Italian and world literature, Dante Alighieri’s epic trilogy literally and metaphorically encompasses the entire universe as it was known around 1300 AD, at the height of the Middle Ages in Europe. The reader is invited to accompany a fictional pilgrim named Dante from this earth, through hell and purgatory, all the way to paradise into the presence of the source of all being, aided and guided by figures called Vergil, Beatrice, and St. Bernhard, a pagan poet, a contemporary of Dante from Florence, and a saint. The modest introduction provided by this course will serve as further guidance to some of the structural and philosophical riches of this text and to the intriguing ways the poet chooses to present his stories. We will focus on selected passages from all three parts. Of the many available English translations of the entire comedy you may want to consider those of John D. Sinclair (prose), Allen Mandelbaum (blank verse), John Ciardi (terza rima), or Robert and Jean Hollander (blank verse)

Instructor: Herb Arnold

Five Mondays:  March 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24 

4:30–6 P.M. Wasch Center Butterfield Room $120 

Limited to 18 students

Herb Arnold
Herbert Arnold is an emeritus professor of German Studies and Letters and associate director of the WILL program. After more than 40 years of teaching at Wesleyan, including the MAT and GLSP programs, he is revisiting some of his early research interests, including the European Baroque era, and continuing work on a biographical-historical investigation of Central European history in the 20th century. Most of his work in the past has centered on the intersection between history and literature in a pan-European context. His publications range in time and subject matter from late 15th century manuscripts to contemporary popular culture.