Dante's Vita Nuova: A Translation and an Essay
A small book which relates in prose and often very beautiful verse the story of the youthful Dante's love for Beatrice. The essay which follows the translation provides new insights into this puzzling thirteenth-century work. Musa regards Dante's intention in this so-called "Book of Memory" as a cruel and comic commentary on the youthful lover. He argues that Dante, using the tradition of love poetry current in his time, points up the foolishness and shallowness of his protagonist, a self-centered and self-pitying youth who only occasionally in the progress of his suffering catches even a glimpse of the true nature of Love, or his beloved. "The sensitive man who would realize a man's destiny must ruthlessly cut out of his heart the canker at its centre [i.e. self-pity], the canker that the heart instinctively tends to cultivate." According to Musa, this is one of Dante's central ideas. Dante scholars, libraries and students of the Italian classics will welcome this distinguished translation and its provocative commentary. [Back cover].
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Amore anguish appealing to Pity appearance Aspect of Love ballata Beatrice's death beauty ben lui bliss called canzone ch'io Chapter XII cielo color core cosi d'amore Dante Dante the author Dante's death of Beatrice decided to write described desire divided Divine Comedy divisioni dolce donna eyes feelings figure of Love Florence gentil glory glossator gracious lady Greater Aspect greeting grief hear heart Heaven inspired lady's Latin Lesser Aspect look madonna meco mente miraculous narrative occhi offered parea parole passed perb piangendo pianger pieta pilgrims pity poet poetry Proem prose protagonist quale quatrains reader reason screen-lady scribe second I tell second part begins seemed sighs significance simulacra Singleton sonnet which begins sospiri soul speak spirit stanza sweet tears tercets theme thinking third thought tion vede vedea veder vertute vision Vita nuova weep words written wrote this sonnet XXIV young lover