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Love and Death in Dante: Reading Inferno with Dr. Joseph Luzzi

Love and Death in Dante: Reading Inferno with Dr. Joseph Luzzi


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

What makes Dante’s Divine Comedy such essential reading today, even though it was written seven centuries ago? And why have so many readers throughout history rapturously praised its poetic majesty? This seminar, led by Joseph Luzzi, the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature at Bard College, will explore the fascinating world of Dante’s epic poem in all its cultural and historical richness, as we consider Dante’s relation to his beloved hometown of Florence, his lacerating experience of exile, and his lifelong devotion to his muse, Beatrice, among many other issues.

Our focus will be on Dante’s first canticle, Inferno, which has enchanted readers for centuries because of its gorgeous language, meditations on human joy and transcendence, and extraordinary development of characters including himself and his guide, Beatrice. Throughout our seminar, we will pay special attention to the originality and brilliance of Dante’s poetic vision, as we see how he transformed his great poem into one of the most influential works in literary history, both in Italy and throughout the world.

Joseph Luzzi received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, where he has taught since 2002 after being a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. A frequent contributor to publications including the New York Times, TLS, and Chronicle of Higher Education, he is the author of 5 books, including "My Two Italies," a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and "In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love," a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection. His work has been translated into multiple languages and his many awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard's Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 2017 he was named Cittadino Onorario/Honorary Citizen in Acri, Calabria, his Italian parents' birthplace. His next book is "Botticelli's Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance," which will be published by W. W. Norton. Professor Luzzi is the founder of the Virtual Book Club, an online community of readers dedicated to exploring some of the best books ever written. Learn more at JosephLuzzi.com.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
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B
Barbara Kummerer (Oak Park, US)
Dante with Dr. Joseph Luzzi

This seminar was beyond my expectations. I never read the Divine Comedy but felt that I 'should' read it. Now I want to read it and can't wait to buy the book at our local book store What an engaging lecturer! I came to the session late today and missed Dr. Luzzi's introduction, where he teaches, etc. But I was left so wanting more, to be one of his students wherever he was. Do sign him up for more lectures, perhaps a series which would last weeks of months!

M
Matt Knowlton (Long Beach, US)
Excellent Intro to Dante

Very informative. Dr. Luzzi was engaging and methodical in his instruction. Loved the use of Italian to enhance his presentation.

G
G.P. (Montreal, CA)
The wonder of Dante

I've attended a number of lectures on Dante with Context, and Dante is so rich that there's always more to learn about his wonderful Divine Comedy.
I love the Italian reading that Dr Luzzi does -followed by the English translation as I don't understand or speak Italian - but the sound gives me a sense of the musicality of the poem. Dr Luzzi is our Virgil guiding us through the erudite complexity and the sound of Dante's language.
A pleasure to spend this time with Dr Luzzi and Dante .

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
B
Barbara Kummerer (Oak Park, US)
Dante with Dr. Joseph Luzzi

This seminar was beyond my expectations. I never read the Divine Comedy but felt that I 'should' read it. Now I want to read it and can't wait to buy the book at our local book store What an engaging lecturer! I came to the session late today and missed Dr. Luzzi's introduction, where he teaches, etc. But I was left so wanting more, to be one of his students wherever he was. Do sign him up for more lectures, perhaps a series which would last weeks of months!

M
Matt Knowlton (Long Beach, US)
Excellent Intro to Dante

Very informative. Dr. Luzzi was engaging and methodical in his instruction. Loved the use of Italian to enhance his presentation.

G
G.P. (Montreal, CA)
The wonder of Dante

I've attended a number of lectures on Dante with Context, and Dante is so rich that there's always more to learn about his wonderful Divine Comedy.
I love the Italian reading that Dr Luzzi does -followed by the English translation as I don't understand or speak Italian - but the sound gives me a sense of the musicality of the poem. Dr Luzzi is our Virgil guiding us through the erudite complexity and the sound of Dante's language.
A pleasure to spend this time with Dr Luzzi and Dante .