[A group of consultants for the United Nations has] called for the Divine Comedy to be removed from schools and universities

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2 Responses to “Finito la Commedia! or: How the United Nations Spends Money”

  1. NGO attacks . . . Dante? | The Cranky Professor Says:

    [...] Prof. Soltan. This entry was posted in Dante, The World by crankyprofessor. Bookmark the [...]

  2. jim Says:

    Well, there is a problem. It’s the same problems as with Milton. There’s a disjunction between the language and the thought. With Milton, we talk about the way he uses language, the way he constructs his poem, that he can hold so many ideas in suspense before he has to end his sentence. But we don’t talk, or talk as little as possible, about Milton’s theology.

    So with Dante. There are passages in the Commedia which defy translation. (All courses on Dante should use dual language texts; Mandelbaum’s is my favourite, but your mileage may vary.) Modern Italian owes its existence to Dante. But we cannot defend Dante’s cosmology, nor his moral philosophy. I have read what purport to be defenses of Dante which support their claim that it isn’t true that Dante put his friends in Heaven and his enemies in Hell by citing Brunetto Latini. But for many of us, Dante cannot be forgiven for subordinating his admiration for Brunetto, quelli che vince, to his Church’s teachings that Brunetto’s loves were vice.

    No. It should not be removed. But it should be taught with much greater sensitivity than is often displayed.

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