At the beginning of the Commedia, Dante professes to be in the middle of the journey of our lives. As he recounts a tale of personal exploration he also maps a course for subsequent generations of authors to explore further. In this course we will read his poem in its entirety: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso to discuss the poet's ideologies concerning, history, knowledge, and aesthetic theory. After a close reading of the poem, we will discuss the way that nineteenth and twentieth century British and American authors translated Dante's ideas into their own works. Texts will include: Moby Dick, Heart of Darkness, All the King's Men, Deliverance, and The System of Dante's Hell
We will use a dual-language text when reading Dante, but no previous knowledge of Italian is expected.