Dante’s Paradiso

An Art of Thinking

Starts Tuesday, October 20th
2134 Allston Way
Instructor: Prof. Steven Justice

The Paradiso is a longish work, but the edition we’re using makes it look a lot longer than it is. Each week we’re covering between seven and ten “cantos” of it, which means between 25 and 40 pages of reading. If you have time, just read through the cantos for that week quickly; of course you’ll miss out on a lot, but that’s fine; this is a book to come back to again and again. (But if you don’t have time, come to the seminar anyway!)

Here is the reading schedule, along with a list of the passages I think we’ll look at in detail each week:

October 20Paradiso, cantos 1-9. Most of the discussion this week will describe the work in general–why it is important, what it offers, what makes it difficult, why its difficulties are beautiful–but I hope to spend at least a little while looking at these passages in detail: 1.1-12 (= Canto 1, lines 1-12); 3.1-90; 4.31-39.

October 27Paradiso, cantos 10-17, with closer attention probably given to 4.118-135, 13.37-108.

November 10Paradiso, cantos 18-27, with closer attention to 20.67-148, 26.1-45, 26.97-142

November 17Paradiso, cantos 28-33, with closer attention to cantos 28-29, and to 31.43-5, 31. 102-111, 30.46-145.

– Prof. Steven Justice