Let’s start in the middle (of things)

In the beginning was the word. In the middle was the story. Many ancient epic poems are known to begin in the middle of things, in medias res. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid all begin ‘into the thickst’ (Thomas Drant), at a point in the narrative where things had already moved significantly from the beginning. … Continue reading Let’s start in the middle (of things)

Dante on the beach (and the migrants)

One of the most beautiful expressions of mankind’s common condition and destiny is in the second canto of Dante’s Purgatorio. It also represents Dante’s criticism of xenophobia and nativism, themes which resonate, most loudly, with us today. Canto 2 of Purgatorio is set on the beach between the funneled Hell and the conical Purgatory. It … Continue reading Dante on the beach (and the migrants)

Dante, Virgil, Minos and the hall of mirrors

My developing interest in Dante led a few weeks ago to a reflection on his narrative powers of expression and the way he breaks the canons of storytelling in order to bring out new possibilities and new narrative angles of attack. This is noticeable in the way he programs (or better yet engineers) his own projection in the … Continue reading Dante, Virgil, Minos and the hall of mirrors

When Dante’s Commedia became divine

Dante may have been the most imaginative and transgressive medieval poet, but he was also one of the most immodest authors since Antiquity. It is well known that what we came to call ‘The Divine Comedy’ (“La Divina Commedia“) was initially known simply as ‘La Commedia di Dante Alaghieri di Fiorenze‘. It was Boccaccio who later … Continue reading When Dante’s Commedia became divine