The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso

Massimo Verdicchio

© 2010

Paradiso, the conclusion to Dante Alighieri's masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, is an exploration of the nine celestial spheres of Heaven. A highly original and comprehensive reading, The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso challenges established scholarly interpretations to demonstrate that the intricacies of Dante's text reveal a subtle irony, employed to deliver a sharp critique of the corrupt church and empire of his own time.

Massimo Verdicchio's canto-by-canto analysis focuses on the subversive undercurrents created by poetic allegory and irony and relates Dante's ordering of the heavens to the Arts and Sciences of the Trivium and Quadrivium (the major subjects taught at medieval universities). This new reading highlights Dante's use of language to expose the earthly flaws of the saints and denounce the illicit and destructive alliance between the House of Anjou and the church. The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso is thought-provoking, tenacious, and sure to stimulate discussion amongst all students of the Commedia.

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  • Page Count: 192 pages
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Quick Overview

A highly original and comprehensive reading, The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso challenges established scholarly interpretations to demonstrate that the intricacies of Dante's text reveal a subtle irony, employed to deliver a sharp critique of the corrupt church and empire of his own time.

The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso

Massimo Verdicchio

© 2010

Paradiso, the conclusion to Dante Alighieri's masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, is an exploration of the nine celestial spheres of Heaven. A highly original and comprehensive reading, The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso challenges established scholarly interpretations to demonstrate that the intricacies of Dante's text reveal a subtle irony, employed to deliver a sharp critique of the corrupt church and empire of his own time.

Massimo Verdicchio's canto-by-canto analysis focuses on the subversive undercurrents created by poetic allegory and irony and relates Dante's ordering of the heavens to the Arts and Sciences of the Trivium and Quadrivium (the major subjects taught at medieval universities). This new reading highlights Dante's use of language to expose the earthly flaws of the saints and denounce the illicit and destructive alliance between the House of Anjou and the church. The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso is thought-provoking, tenacious, and sure to stimulate discussion amongst all students of the Commedia.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    'In the world of Dante scholarship, there is a real need for studies such as The Poetics of Dante's Paradiso, which challenge our notions of the principal souls of the Paradiso. Rooted in a close analysis of the poem, Massimo Verdicchio's intelligent interpretation is supported by relevant textual evidence and provides an important counterpoint to the canonical readings of the cantica.'
    Lloyd H. Howard, Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, University of Victoria
  • Author Information

    Massimo Verdicchio is a professor of Italian and Comparative Literature in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Prologue I: DXV and Paradiso
    Prologue II: The Poetics of Paradiso

    1. Heaven of the Moon: Grammar (II−IV)
    2. Heaven of Mercury: Dialectics (V−VII)
    3. Heaven of Venus: Rhetoric (VIII, IX)
    4. Heaven of the Sun: Arithmetic (X−XIV)
    5. Heaven of Mars: Music (XV−XVII)
    6. Heaven of Jupiter: Geometry (XVIII, XIX, XX)
    7. Heaven of Saturn: Astronomy (XXI−XXII)
    8. Fixed Stars: Physics and Metaphysics (XXIV−XXVII)
    9. Primum Mobile: Moral Philosophy (XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX)
    10. Empyrean: Theology (XXX−XXXIII)

    Conclusions

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