A Reading of Dante's Inferno

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University of Chicago Press, May 15, 1981 - Fiction - 237 pages
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This work is a guide to the reading of Dante's great poem, intended for the use of students and laymen, particularly those who are approaching the Inferno for the first time. While carefully pointing out the uniqueness, tone, and color of each of Dante's thirty-four cantos, Fowlie never loses sight of the continuity of the poet's discourse. Each canto is related thematically to others, and the rich web of symbols is displayed and disentangled as the poem's unity, patterns, and structures are revealed.   What particularly distinguishes Wallace Fowlie's reading of the Inferno is his emphasis on both the timelessness and the timeliness of Dante's masterpiece. By underlining the archetypal elements in the poem and drawing parallels to contemporary literature, Fowlie has brought Dante and his characters much closer to modern readers.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Dark Wood
17
The Three Ladies
24
The Vestibule Acedia in Baudelaire and Eliot
31
Limbo First Circle
38
The Carnal Sinners Second Circle
43
Ciacco Third Circle
50
The Avaricious and Prodigal Fourth Circle the Wrathful and Sullen Fifth Circle
57
Tiresias Fourth Bolgia
131
The Barrators Fifth Bolgia Note on Becketts Malacoda
136
The Barrators Fifth Bolgia
143
Dante Rescued from the Fifth Bolgia the Hypocrites Sixth Bolgia
147
Vanni Fucci
153
The Thieves Seventh Bolgia
159
Ulysses and Diomedes Eighth Bolgia
164
Guido da Montefeltro Eighth Bolgia Eliots Prufrock
172

Wrath and the Gates of Dis
62
The Furies and the Angel
67
Farinata Sixth Circle
73
The Plan of Hell
79
The River of Blood Seventh Circle
85
Pier della Vigna
90
Third Girone of the Violent
97
Brunetto Latini Eliots Little Gidding
102
The Wheel of the Three Florentines Dantes Cord
110
Geryon the Usurers the Descent to the Eighth Circle
115
The Panders and Seducers First Bolgia the Flatterers Second Bolgia
119
The Three Popes Third Bolgia
125
Bertrand de Born Ninth Bolgia 111
177
Falsifiers of Every Sort Tenth Bolgia
183
Virgil Reproves Dante Twelfth Bolgia
187
The Giants Ninth Circle
193
The Zones of Caina and Antenora
198
Antenora Ugolino Ptolomea
202
Judecca Lucifer the Ascent out of Hell
209
Note on Reading Dante Today
217
Selected Bibliography
231
Index
233
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About the author (1981)

Wallace Fowlie is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus at Duke University. He is an eminent scholar-teacher whose books include highly regarded studies of Mallarme, Rimbaud, and Proust.

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