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Believing in Dante
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Book description

Alison Cornish offers a compelling new take on the Commedia with modern sensibilities in mind. Believing in Dante re-examines the infernal dramas of Dante's masterpiece that alienate and perplex modern readers, offering an invigorating view of the whole Divine Comedy, bringing it to meaningful life today. Addressing the characteristics that distance an author like Dante from the modern world, Alison Cornish shows the value of critically and constructively engaging with texts that do not coincide with current worldviews. She thereby reveals how we might discover constellations by which to navigate the process of reading. Written with incisiveness and sophistication, this landmark book elucidates Dante's eminently readable universe: one where we can and must choose what we want to believe.

Reviews

'Compelling, fresh and illuminating, this ought to become an important point of reference for scholars working on Dante in our time … this is certainly one of the best books on Dante I have had the privilege of reading.'

Vittorio Montemaggi - King's College London

'Alison Cornish rings the changes on the question of belief in Dante - belief in God, in Christian ‘revelation,’ in the Commedia’s veracity, in how what characters believe determines who and where they are for eternity. She offers a bracing view of the poem as an adventure in reading that has consequences. Cornish writes with clarity and elegance so that there is nary a dull sentence in the book. Her wide-ranging work is at once learned and accessible, written for Dantisti but open to a larger audience.'

Peter S. Hawkins - Yale Divinity School

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