Beth Coggeshall and Deborah Parker on Purg. 16 for “Canto per Canto”

Deborah-Parker-Beth-Coggeshall-Purgatorio-16-Canto-per-Canto“’When I teach this canto I always like to get my students to think with me by analogy of other determining factors or determining forces that are external to ourselves, that we think of as placing some kind of condition or constraint on our free moral agency.’ To think about Purgatorio 16 ‘in light of the conversations about systemic racism and systemic injustices that we are confronting as a culture right now’ means to ask the right questions. Just like those that Dante asks Marco Lombardo. But it also means to entrust someone or something (Virgil? Reason?) in the dark, with our eyes bound to the fog, and with the intimate conviction of reaching the light, sooner or later, through questioning. Join Deborah Parker and Elizabeth Coggeshall in conversation about the compelling richness of this canto: the moral architecture of the poem, the visual aspects and its visual reception, the encounter with Marco Lombardo, the dichotomy ira bona (good anger)/iracondia (irascibility), the singing of penitents, the vacuum of leadership. All aspects that will lead to a concrete questioning of our modern society.”  –Maria Zilla

Watch or listen to the video of “Purgatorio 16: The Poem’s Moral Center” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

James Torrens and Brenda Schildgen on Par. 23 for “Canto per Canto”

“While in the two preceding cantos Peter Damian and Saint Benedict vehemently incriminate the corruption of prelates and monastic orders, in Paradiso 23 invective gives way to rhapsody. The canto begins with Beatrice looking up eagerly at the saints – a looking up which is part of the outside of the mind experience that Dante’s guide encourages him to have. In their conversation on the canto, James Torrens and Brenda Schildgen discuss the various registers that Dante uses to express this experience of going beyond the mind as well as to speak of the Virgin Mary. The language goes from sublime to humble for ‘the Virgin herself represents that humility, on the one hand, and the sublime on the other’. As Dante uses a wide range of poetic registers, so does he use a wide range of images of the Virgin – early images as well as images drawn from the vernacular versions. Enjoy!” —Leonardo Chiarantini

Watch or listen to the video of “Paradiso 23: Preview of the Finale” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

Olivia Holmes and Véronique Plesh on Purg. 19 for “Canto per Canto”

“Dante has a strange dream in which he is visited by a Siren, who is not all she seems. Professors Olivia Holmes and Véronique Plesh unpack this strange apparition and the many ups and downs in this canto, as Dante reaches the terrace of the avaricious and the prodigal, where the souls, including a former Pope, lie facing the ground to atone for their sins. Olivia and Véronique reflect on what the opposition between movement and stasis means for us, living in the confinement of Covid-19 precautions, and consider the racist paradigms of beauty and virtue that underpin Dante’s vision in Purgatorio 19.” – Kate Travers

Watch or listen to the video “Purgatorio 19: Stasis and Motion: False and True Images” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

Ron Herzman and Bill Stephany on Inf. 27 for “Canto per Canto”

Bill-Stephany-Ron-Herzman-Inferno-27-Canto-per-Canto

“‘What do you need to be a member of Dante’s afterlife?’, Ron Herzman asks in conversation with Bill Stephany. To receive the privilege of being immortalized in the pages of the Inferno, one has to be, of course, dead by 1300 and an unrepentant sinner. The ‘mechanics of repentance’ in Hell is based on a subtle rhetoric of self-justification and reciprocal accusation hidden behind a submissive, noble or miserable attitude. Distinguishing between false and true repentance, as well as between false and true conversion, is as complicated as it was essential for Dante. The ‘exercise in reading’ required to orient us in this mechanics is complicated by the empathy for sinners and by the particular ‘foxiness’ of some of them. A prime example is that of Guido da Montefeltro in Inferno 27. The lacrimetta that redeems a life of sins is the same impalpable difference that separates falsehood from truth, Hell from Purgatory and Paradise. Because what can be feigned will never be in God’s eyes, and with him in Dante’s: Francesca, Paolo, Brunetto and, here, Guido are all, after all, in Hell.” –Maria Zilla

Watch or listen to the video “Inferno 27: An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

Danielle Callegari and Akash Kumar on Par. 19 for “Canto per Canto”

“Dante has just reached the heaven of Jupiter when the shape of an eagle, made by the gathering souls, lights up before his eyes. To the eagle Dante poses a question he had thought about for a long time: how can somebody who is utterly virtuous be excluded and condemned for having been born out of the boundaries of Christianity? Dante’s doubt concerning God’s inscrutable justice is followed by a reflection on the necessity for earthly rulers to act justly and by an attack against those who do not. While considering the issue of justice in Paradiso 19, Danielle Callegari and Akash Kumar explore the relevance of the canto to our time and its pressing questions. As human beings, across time and space, we must ask ourselves what is the extent of our communities, of our forms of justice, and of our responsibilities. Dante appears to suggest that what binds us is not an answer to such questions, but the posing of the questions itself. The message he appears to convey in this canto is the same our times are giving us: ‘we all fall short, but by engaging we do the work that is to be done’.” – Leonardo Chiarantini

Watch or listen to the video “Paradiso 19: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

 

Paola Rodriguez and Raymond Capra on Purg. 1 for “Canto per Canto”

“Paola M. Rodriguez and Raymond Capra discuss Dante’s arrival on the island of Purgatory. Although this canto explores themes of liminality, it is central to Dante’s journey. This is the moment when Dante encounters Cato, the enigmatic figure who died by suicide and who now watches over the souls on the shores of Purgatory. Join us as Rodriguez and Capra investigate this innovative representation of the renowned Roman and the significance of the reed belt Virgil gives Dante, as he begins his journey to the top of Mount Purgatory.” – Kate Travers

Listen to/watch “Purgatorio 1: Cato the wise poet/prophet and the humble reed of exegesis” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

Dan Christian and Alex DeWeese on Inf. 2 for “Canto per Canto”

“Something extraordinary about Dante is his ability to talk to anyone. In different languages, at different times, in different contexts, we are all here because Dante has put us in conversation with one another. This specific conversation on Inferno 2 celebrates the encounter of two generations: a former high school teacher, Dan Christian, and a former student of his, Alex DeWeese, whom Dante has once again reunited. Let Dante continue to create networks, let Dante work his magic over and over again: buona visione!” – Maria Zilla

Listen to/watch “Inferno 2: ‘A Thundering Velvet Hand: Virgil’s Teaching Strategy” here.

Canto per Canto: Conversations with Dante in Our Time is a collaborative initiative between New York University’s Department of Italian Studies and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, and the Dante Society of America. The aim is to produce podcast conversations about all 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy, to be completed within the seventh centenary of Dante’s death in 2021.

Casey Chalk, “How Dante Can Help You Become A Better Reader And Thinker This Year”

“If this new year is anything like 2017, we can expect more of the same: high-octane political quarrels, nasty public feuds, and the bane of many attempted productive work days and aspired leisurely evenings: controversial online articles and their commensurate comboxes.

“These are often ground-zero for some of the lowest, most base forms of human interaction. Many of us complain about social media’s negative effects on communication, yet we often allow ourselves to be dragged into those same pits of spiraling degradation, even if as amused witnesses.

“If we have any inclination to add “improved Internet behavior” to our New Year’s resolution list, three intellectual giants of our past can help guide us into becoming better readers and communicators. The first of our guides is that greatest of Italian poets, the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri.” […]    –Casey Chalk, The Federalist, January 10, 2018