Alison Cornish Reading Dante's Stars

ISBN 13: 9780300076790

Reading Dante's Stars

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9780300076790: Reading Dante's Stars
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This book makes a sustained analysis of Dante's use of astronomy, not only in terms of the precepts of medieval science but also in relation to specific moral, philosophical, and poetic problems laid out in each chapter.
For Dante, Alison Cornish says, the stars offer optical representations of invisible realities, from divine providence to the workings of the human soul. Dante's often puzzling celestial figures call attention to the physical world as a scene of reading in which visible phenomena are subject to more than one explanation, Cornish contends. The poetry of Dante's astronomy, as well as its difficulty, rests on this imperative of interpretation. Reading the stars, like reading literature is an ethical undertaking fraught with risk, not just an exercise in technical understanding. Cornish's book is the first guide to the astronomy of Dante's masterpiece to encompass both ways of reading his work.

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About the Author:

Alison Cornish is assistant professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan.

Review:

"This is an elegantly concise, lucid, and beautifully written book. It is fresh Dante criticism of the first order." David Quint, Yale University

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Alison Cornish
Published by Yale University Press (2000)
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Alison Cornish
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ISBN 10: 0300076797 ISBN 13: 9780300076790
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