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Very good companion to Dante. Worth reading.
I have yet to read Dante's "Divine Comedy". I know it is something I need to read, but I have never managed to read it. As an attempt to move myself towards that goal, I picked up Peter Leithart's guide on Dante's Divine Comedy. I recommend it very highly for anyone who wants to understand better the method of writing and the structure of Dante's works. The first two chapters set the stage for understanding medieval literature and courtly love and then the politics and times in which Dante wrote...
Dr. Leithart is the Virgil to the modern reader as Virgil was to Dante, leading the reading through all the twisting paths from Hell to Heaven. His explanations help the reading as he gives information regarding some of the characters a modern reader would not know if they hadn't done research on the history of time in which Dante was writing. Because of his careful explanations, the entire work comes alive in beauty, wisdom, and depth. What a treasure!
Good but I have such high expectations every time I pick up Leithart I was a little underwhelmed with this one. The fault could all be mine. I was hoping for more help with the many mythological allusions in the Comedy and Ascent to Love was pretty scant on that front. In regards to overviewing the cantos & giving insight into the structure of the work, Leithart's work is top rate (as always)!
I don't believe that any one book could completely encapsulate all the nuances of the Divine Comedy. However, this guide by Peter Leithart would make an excellent companion on a journey through Dante's poem. The study questions are also suitable for classroom discussion. I have often thought that Leithart is at his best when writing about literature. This book is a good example of that.
Leithart has taken a difficult, obscure, and tedious work--The Divine Comedy, and made it understandable, relevant, and interesting. This is a great introduction and summary of The Divine Comedy and I recommend it much more than the actual work itself. This will give you the flavor and understanding of the classic work without actually having to read the long, mind-numbing work itself. He almost makes me reconsider my opinion of the work. But I'm not sure that is possible.
This is a solid, if somewhat basic, overview of the Divine Comedy. A lot of it was familiar to me, but Leithart's discussion of the different structural elements in Dante were eye opening and excellent. I'd definitely recommend this - along with Dante Worlds - to a new Dante reader or someone looking to reread with some guidance.
This book reads as if it is geared for High School seniors or College Freshman. That statement is not a putdown but a compliment. It is an introduction (including reflection and review questions) to this great work of literature. I read it immediately after I had read the comedy. The book faithfully explained the importance and context of the poem. To me what was most helpful was the exegesis of the underlying structure of the poem.
Helpful as a guide through Dante's Divine Comedy.
Good for what it is.
Really good. Helpful guide to the Comedy.
Fantastic book. Hard to believe how many areas of knowledge Leithart weaves together in this book--literature, theology, history, and philosophy--kind of like the Divine Comedy itself!
I believe this is directed at high school/undergraduate readers (evidenced only by review and thinking questions at the ends of sections, a few authorial comments, plus the description on the back cover), but as a new reader of The Divine Comedy I found this guide to be very helpful. Leithart shows how the literature of courtly love, medieval philosophy and theology, classical literature and philosophy, and politics come together in the work. He gives an excellent, short overview, showing links
Unless you are a literature professor or certified theologian, do not attempt to read Dante's Divine Comedy without this book!(My understanding is that Leithart happens to be both!) My teenage daughter and I attempted to work our way through the trilogy without Leithart's excellent guide. Finally, I just set it aside until Leithart's book was published. What a difference some guidance makes. Many view the Divine Comedy as merely a theological examination of the "places" of hell, purgatory, and h...
Leithart has succeeded in this slim volume in offering much insight into Dante's masterpiece. He explains why the Inferno is the most popular part of the Divine Comedy. He shows how the corruption of love is the source of much pain in life. The delineation of levels of sin, from the least damaging sins which come from fleshly lust to the deplorable sins of pride and treachery, would surprise most non-christians. More interesting to christian readers would be the difference between those sufferin...
I think this is an excellent guide to a very difficult book (Divine Comedy). Leithart picks out many of the meaningful characters and explains much of the "feeling" and imagery that Dante was trying to piece together with those characters. Admittedly, there are many names and figures in Dante's work which Leithart doesn't touch upon, but for all of the difficulty of Dante's book, I don't think I would have made it as far without this guide. I give four stars because it was very, very helpful for...
This is Leithart's book about The Divine Comedy of Dante. It has a lot of really helpful ideas on the structure of the work and gives a lot of good big picture details of the books. It doesn't have a wealth of information on all the individual characters who show up in the books, but it does put the work into a recognizable pattern and theme, which helps tremendously.
A helpful, accessible guide to the Divine Comedy that gives the big picture and doesn't get bogged down in too many details. Excellent starting point for those interested in getting deeper into the Commedia.
I like this as an overview and brief analysis of Dante's Divine Comedy but don't like it as well as either Reading Dante or the Dante section of Heaven and Hell by Louis Markos.
A first-rate companion and guide to Dante's masterwork.
There are a couple great chapters on Francesca and Ulysses.
Very helpful again. Dr. Leithart obviously writes from what he's taught much about already and he remains very clear, very insightful, and very enjoyable to read. Driving me back to Dante.
A helpful commentary on Dante's Divine Comedy that gave me more understanding and appreciation for the poem.