Dante & the Unorthodox: The Aesthetics of Transgression

Front Cover
James Miller
Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2005 M04 22 - 566 pages
2 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

During his lifetime, Dante was condemned as corrupt and banned from Florence on pain of death. But in 1329, eight years after his death, he was again viciously condemned—this time as a heretic and false prophet—by Friar Guido Vernani. From Vernani’s inquisitorial viewpoint, the author of the Commedia “seduced” his readers by offering them “a vessel of demonic poison” mixed with poetic fantasies designed to destroy the “healthful truth” of Catholicism. Thanks to such pious vituperations, a sulphurous fume of unorthodoxy has persistently clung to the mantle of Dante’s poetic fame.

The primary critical purpose of Dante & the Unorthodox is to examine the aesthetic impulses behind the theological and political reasons for Dante’s allegory of mid-life divergence from the papally prescribed “way of salvation.” Marking the septicentennial of his exile, the book’s eighteen critical essays, three excerpts from an allegorical drama, and a portfolio of fourteen contemporary artworks address the issue of the poet’s conflicted relation to orthodoxy.

By bringing the unorthodox out of the realm of “secret things,” by uncensoring them at every turn, Dante dared to oppose the censorious regime of Latin Christianity with a transgressive zeal more threatening to papal authority than the demonic hostility feared by Friar Vernani.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Have only skimmed the first pages of the Introduction and am hooked! Both on subject and by style - such a rich texture of allusions and sottintesi (what! no formatting bar on Google Books for italics?) is a rare pleasure.

Contents

Retheologizing Dante
1
Part ITrapassar
63
Part IITrasmutar
121
Part IIITrasumanar
249
Part IVTraslatar
327
Part VTralucere
367
Part VITrasmodar
489
Notes on Contributors
531
Index
535
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Page 40 - You are not called upon to believe what Dante believed, for your belief will not give you a groat's worth more of understanding and appreciation ; but you are called upon more and more to understand it. If you can read poetry as poetry, you will "believe...

About the author (2005)

James Miller teaches a cycle of courses on Dante for the Comparative Literature and Culture program at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. His other books include Measures of Wisdom: The Cosmic Dance in Classical and Christian Antiquity and Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis. He has also translated Andrew Pawlowski's play Dante on the Steps of Immortality. James Miller looks forward to a hot afterlife on the Seventh Terrace of Purgatory.

Bibliographic information