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Bloomsbury presents Why Dante Matters by John Took, read by Victor Vertunni.
The year 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, a poet who, as T. S. Eliot put it, ‘divides the world with Shakespeare, there being no third’. His, like ours, was a world of moral uncertainty and political violence, all of which made not only for the agony of exile but for an ever deeper meditation on the nature of human happiness.
In Why Dante Matters, John Took offers by way of three in particular of Dante’s works – the Vita Nova as the great work of his youth, the Convivio as the great work of his middle years and the Commedia as the great work of his maturity – an account, not merely of Dante’s development as a poet and philosopher, but of his continuing presence to us as a guide to man’s wellbeing as man.
Committed as he was to the welfare not only of his contemporaries but of those ‘who will deem this time ancient’, Dante’s is in this sense a discourse overarching the centuries, a discourse confirming him in his status, not merely as a cultural icon, but as a fellow traveller.
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- T. Norwood
Read Prue Shaw's book instead. This is verbose and longwinded. It may be that it is designed for the academic, though I believe Dante has much to offer everyone. Respect to the reader who does try to make some sense of the sentences. I had to give up. This is another circle ...