“A 21st-Century Man: Why is Dante Hot All of a Sudden?”

a-21st-century-man-why-is-dante-so-hot-all-of-a-sudden“. . . What the poets find, in other words, is a postmodern Dante, a text that each reader collaborates in writing. This Dante has power but not authority; he is a great artist but not a commanding model, and certainly not a compelling religious example. This fits perfectly with the eclectic spirit of contemporary poetry, in which no one style is dominant and each poet must invent his own language and idiom.
Dante’s appeal to ordinary readers seems more mysterious. After all, TheDivine Comedy is suffused with Aristotelian philosophy, medieval astronomy, and the petty political rivalries of 13th-century Italy—not exactly best-seller material. What is it about this difficult masterpiece that would make today’s readers want five different Infernos and three Purgatorios?” [. . .]    –Adam Hirsch, Slate, March 26, 2003