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Dante and the Medieval Other World

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A major study of the Divine Comedy, this book offers an original perspective on Dante’s representation of the afterlife. Dr Morgan departs from the conventional critical emphasis on Dante’s place in relation to the learned tradition of such
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    Dante and the Medieval Other World  Dante e l ’ aldila medievale Revd Dr Alison Morgan First edition Cambridge University Press 1990, reprinted 2007. Dante and the Medieval Other World   remains the standard text on the subject of the relationship between Dante's Divine Comedy   and earlier, popular representations of the afterlife. The English Edition A major study of the Divine Comedy  , this book offers an srcinal perspective on Dante’s representation of the afterlife. Dr Morgan departs from the conventional critical emphasis on Dante’s place in relation to the learned tradition of such representations by undertaking a thorough examination of the poem in the context of popular beliefs. Her principal sources are thus not the highly literary texts (such as Virgil’s  Aeneid    or Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae ) which have become a familiar context for the poem, but rather the visions of the other world found in popular writings, painting and sculpture from the centuries leading up to its composition. The view of Dante which emerges from this investigation calls for a radical revision of modern critical opinion concerning the nature of his srcinality.   The book will be of interest to non-specialists as well as to scholars of Dante, since it offers a clear preliminary account of the other world tradition, supported by appendices giving a chronology of its principal representations and summaries of the major texts. Fully illustrated throughout, it integrates with the literary and theological aspects of Dante’s heritage the important but hitherto neglected dimension of art history.   The Italian Edition Translated into Italian by Luca Marcozzi and published by Salerno Editrice in 2012. Il libro di Alison Morgan offre una nuova e srcinale prospettiva sulla Commedia di Dante e la sua rappresentazione dell’aldilà. Le descrizioni del  mondo dei morti hanno percorso la letteratura occidentale fin dalle sue srcini: una tradizione di visioni e rivelazioni, sia colta sia popolare, che costituiscono un genere letterario coerente. Il saggio pone il capolavoro dantesco in relazione con le ra ppresentazioni popolari dell’aldilà che hanno percorso il Medioevo occidentale, dalla Siria all’Irlanda, dall’Italia alla Germania. Da questo ricco e documentato studio emerge un’idea della Commedia che invita a una radicale revisione del concetto stesso d ell’srcinalità di Dante: essa non va ricercata nella struttura dei regni ultraterreni, nell’ “invenzione” del Purgatorio (un luogo intermedio di espiazione temporanea è sempre esistito nelle rappresentazioni dell’aldilà), o nell’accuratezza con cui è predisposta la punizione dei peccati, quanto nella natura stessa dell’impresa poetica di Dante, che è incommensurabile, nella sua grandezza, con gli stringati e spesso colloquiali resoconti del mondo ultraterreno offerti nelle precedenti ‘visioni’.  Available from Cambridge University Press, from Salerno Editrice, from www.alisonmorgan.co.uk or from Amazon and other online retailers.
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