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Table of Contents

Introduction by Rachel Jacoff 1. The Prologue Scene 2. The Firm Foot on a Journey Without a Guide 3. The River of Death: Inferno II, 108 4. Pilgrim in a Gyre 5. Infernal Irony: The Gates of Hell 6. The Neutral Angels 7. Medusa: The Letter and the Spirit 8. Dante's Ulysses: From Epic to Novel 9. Bestial Sign and Bread of Angels: Inferno XXXII and XXXIII 10. The Sign of Satan 11. Infernal Inversion and Christian Conversion: Inferno XXXIV 12. Casella's Song: Purgatorio II, 12 13. Manfred's Wounds and the Poetics of the Purgatorio 14. An Introduction to the Paradiso 15. The Dance of the Stars: Paradiso X 16. The Final Image: Paradiso XXXIII, 144 17. The Significance of Terza Rima Notes Sources Indexes


Students and teachers worldwide will applaud this collection of Freccero's articles, destined to prove of lasting importance. In an arrangement based on the structure of the Commedia , the articles enable the contemporary reader to approach the astonishing poetic coherence of Dante's poems without sacrifice of the poem's rich historicity and detail. It is an indication of the inner unity of Freccero's arguments that the articles, though they span some 25 years, present a powerful cumulative effect even though reprinted nearly unchanged. Indispensable for academic libraries. Ronald L. Martinez, French & Italian Dept., Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis

A volume whose arrival must rank as one of the major events of Dante scholarship in recent decades... No summary can do justice to the subtlety, richness and learning of this invigorating book. * Times Literary Supplement *
Freccero writes with both elegance and authority. After reading him we know not only more about Dante and the Middle Ages, the making of poetry and the psychology of conversion, but about ourselves. I shall often return to this wise book. * Times Higher Education Supplement *
This Dante is the real right thing. Freccero is a masterly exegete with an uncannily fine ability to make his general insights blossom among real particulars. -- William Arrowsmith
John Freccero's readings of the Commedia achieve a power and intricacy altogether worthy of their subject. -- James Merrill

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