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Title: Dante's Inferno: Difficulty and Dead Poetry
Author: Kirkpatrick, Robin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 2008
Paperback; ISBN: 9780521070522
Volumes: 1; Pages: 461
List Price in Paper: $55.00 Our price: $55.00
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This book represents a major re-assessment of Dante's Inferno, and of the place which the Inferno occupies in the plan of the whole Commedia. On evidence drawn also from the Paradiso and Purgatorio, Dr Kirkpatrick argues that Dante's thinking and poetry are subject to far greater internal tension than is commonly supposed. He then proceeds to analyse each of the thirty-four cantos of the Inferno, and to relate each canto in turn to its thematic and narrative context. Throughout, Dr Kirkpatrick is particularly concerned with features of language and structure which scholars have tended to overlook in emphasising the philosophical character of Dante's poetry. And while he chooses, for the sake of clarity, to write in the accessible language of interpretative criticism, he continually stresses the extent to which advances in modern critical practice may usefully be brought to bear upon Dante's writing.Contents1. Action and order: Cantos2. History, nature and philosophy: Cantos; 3 Narrative, myth and the individual: Cantos xii-xvi4. Comedy and identity: Cantos xvii-xxiii5. Signs in transition and the pathos of order: Cantos xxiv-xxvii6. Endings, tragic and comic: Cantos xxviii-xxxiii7. Conclusion: dead poetry: Inferno xxxiii and the Vita nuova.