Dante in Translation - Audio
By Giuseppe Mazzotta
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(ITAL 310) The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of the Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attention paid to political, philosophical and theological concerns. Topics in the Divine Comedy explored over the course of the semester include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics; love and knowledge; and exile and history. This course was recorded in Fall 2008.
||01 - Introduction||Professor Mazzotta introduces students to the general scheme and scope of the Divine Comedy and to the life of its author. Various genres to which the poem belongs (romance, epic, vision) are indicated, and special attention is given to its place...||7/16/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||02 - Vita Nuova||This lecture is devoted to the Vita Nuova, Dante's autobiographical account of his "double apprenticeship" in poetry and love. The poet's love for Beatrice is explored as the catalyst for his search for a new poetic voice. Medieval theories of love ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||03 - Inferno I, II, III, IV||Professor Mazzotta introduces students to the Divine Comedy, focusing on the first four cantos of Inferno. Stylistic, thematic and formal features of the poem are discussed in the context of its original title, Comedy. The first canto is read to...||7/16/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||04 - Inferno V, VI, VII||This lecture examines Inferno 4 -7. Dante’s Limbo, modeled on the classical locus amoenus, is identified as a place of repose and vulnerability. Here, in fact, among the poets of antiquity, the pilgrim falls prey to poetic hubris by joining in ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||05 - Inferno IX, X, XI||In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta discusses Inferno 9-11. An impasse at the entrance to the City of Dis marks Virgil’s first failure in his role as guide (Inferno 9). The invocation of Medusa by the harpies that descend while they wait for divine ..||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||06 - Inferno XII, XIII, XV, XVI||This lecture focuses on the middle zone of Inferno, the area of violence (Inferno 12-16). Introductory remarks are made on the concentration of hybrid creatures in this area of Hell and followed by a close reading of cantos 13 and 15.||7/16/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||07 - Inferno XIX, XXI, XXV, XXVI||This lecture deals primarily with cantos 19 and 26 of Inferno. Simony, the sin punished in Inferno 19, is situated historically to point out the contiguity of the sacred and the profane and its relevance to the prophetic voice Dante established ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||08 - Inferno XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII||Professor Mazzotta begins this lecture by recapitulating the ambivalent nature of Ulysses’ sin and its relevance to Dante’s poetic project. Inferno 27 is then read in conjunction with the preceding canto. The antithetical relationship between ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||09 - Inferno XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV||The final cantos of Inferno are read with a view to the role of the tragic within Dante’s Comedy. Using Dante’s discussion of tragedy in the De vulgari eloquentia as a point of departure, Professor Mazzotta traces the disintegration of language...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||10 - Purgatory I, II||In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta introduces Purgatorio and proceeds with a close reading of cantos 1 and 2. The topography of Mount Purgatory is described, and the moral system it structures is contrasted with that of Hell.||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||11 - Purgatory V, VI, IX, X||This lecture covers Purgatorio 5, 6, 9 and 10. The purgatorial theme of freedom introduced in the previous lecture is revisted in the context of canto 5, where Buonconte da Montefeltro’s appearance among the last minute penitents is read as a critique.||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||12 - Purgatory X, XI, XII, XVI, XVII||In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta moves from the terrace of pride (Purgatorio 10-12) to the terrace of wrath (Purgatorio 16-17). The relationship between art and pride, introduced in the previous lecture in the context of canto 10, is pursued ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||13 - Purgatory XIX, XXI, XXII||This lecture deals primarily with Purgatorio 19, 21 and 22. The ambiguity of the imagination discussed in the preceding lecture as the selfsame path to intellectual discovery and disengagement is explored in expressly poetic terms. While the ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||14 - Purgatory XXIV, XXV, XXVI||Guest lecturer Prof. David Lummus discusses Purgatorio 24-26. On the terraces of gluttony and lust, the pilgrim’s encounters with masters of the Italian love lyric give rise to the Comedy’s most sustained treatment of poetics. Through Dante’s ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||15 - Purgatory XXX, XXXI, XXXIII||This lecture deals with Dante’s representation of the Earthly Paradise at the summit of Mount Purgatory. The quest for freedom begun under the aegis of Cato in Purgatory I reaches its denouement at the threshold of Eden, where Virgil proclaims...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||16 - Paradise I, II||Professor Mazzotta introduces students to Paradiso. The Ptolemaic structure of Dante’s cosmos is described together with the arts and sciences associated with its spheres. Beatrice’s role as teacher in Dante’s cosmological journey is distinguished||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||17 - Paradise IV, VI, X||This lecture deals with Paradiso 4, 6 and 10. At the beginning of Paradiso 4, the pilgrim raises two questions to which the remainder of the canto is devoted. The first concerns Piccarda (Paradiso 3) who was constrained to break her religious vows.||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||18 - Paradise XI, XII||Professor Mazzotta continues his discussion of the Heaven of the Sun (Paradiso 10-14), where the earthly disputes between the Franciscan and Dominican orders give way to mutual praise. The tribute St. Thomas pays to the founder of the ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||19 - Paradise XV, XVI, XVII||This lecture focuses on the cantos of Cacciaguida (Paradiso 15-17). The pilgrim's encounter with his great-great grandfather brings to the fore the relationship between history, self and exile. Through his ancestor's mythology of their native ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||20 - Paradise XVIII, XIX, XXI, XXII||In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta examines Paradiso 18-19 and 21-22. In Paradiso 18, Dante enters the heaven of Jupiter, where the souls of righteous rulers assume the form of an eagle, the emblem of the Roman Empire. The Eagle's outcry ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||21 - Paradise XXIV, XXV, XXVI||This lecture covers Paradiso 24-26. In the Heaven of the Fixed Stars, Dante is examined on the three theological virtues by the apostles associated with each: St Peter with faith (Paradiso 24), St James with hope (Paradiso 25), and St John with ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||22 - Paradise XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX||This lecture focuses on Paradiso 27-29. St Peter's invective against the papacy from the heaven of the fixed stars is juxtaposed with Dante's portrayal of its contemporary incumbent, Boniface VIII, in the corresponding canto of Inferno.||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||23 - Paradise XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII||Professor Mazzotta lectures on the final cantos of Paradiso (30-33). The pilgrim's journey through the physical world comes to an end with his ascent into the Empyrean, a heaven of pure light beyond time and space. Beatrice welcomes Dante into ...||10/5/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
||24 - General Review||The last class of the semester consists of a brief recapitulation of topics in the Divine Comedy addressed throughout the course, followed by an extensive question and answer session with the students. The questions posed allow Professor Mazzotta ...||10/22/2009||Free||View in iTunes|
Take a trip you will never forget
I have always wondered what the Divine Comedy was all about. And who Dante was. Now I know thanks to this wonderful class. The lecturer is passionate, eloquent, and accessible. Highly recommended journey from Hell to Heaven without having to die!
solid but boring
If you are Catholic or a genre lit (fantasy sci fi) writer maybe check this class. But otherwise, your time is better spend just reading inferno. The reason Dante is rated so high is because he was endorsed by the Catholic Church.
If you want good reads in the general ballpark read Ovid's Metamorphosis and Cellini's autobiography. The Orlando epics are highly entertaining. If you are adventurous (and want someing that rocks), read Gargantua. If you are an occultnik, read Hypnerotomachia. etc.
this class is a solid mainstream take on dante.
Wonderful and passionate. Thank You