By Christine O'Connell Baur
Widely one in all the best works produced in Europe in the course of the center a long time, Dante's La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) has stimulated numerous generations of readers, but unusually few books have tried to give an explanation for the philosophical relevance of this nice epic. Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation takes in this bold project.
Turning to Heidegger to supply a theoretical framework for her learn, Christine O'Connell Baur illustrates how Dante's poem invitations its readers to adopt their very own existential-hermeneutic trip to freedom. because the pilgrim progresses in his trip, she argues, he strikes past a in basic terms literal, 'infernal' self-interpretation that's grounded on current attachments to objects on the planet. If we readers accompany the pilgrim during this hermeneutic conversion, we'll see that our personal existential commitments can assist divulge the that means of our global and our personal finite freedom.
A paintings of substantial value either for and academics and scholars of Dante stories, Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation also will end up important to students operating in medieval experiences, philosophy, and literary theory.
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Extra info for Dante’s Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in The Divine Comedy
The problem that Dante the poet may be unable to remember or transcribe what he has seen, a problem that is especially prevalent in the Paradiso, is Dante’s poetic expression of the alleged gap between the eternal and temporal orders and between ‘things as they really are’ and our limited human perception and memory of them. Augustine had already discussed this problem in terms of the difference between human language and God’s language. Augustine writes in Book IV of the Confessions: ‘Our own speech, which we utter by making sounds signifying meanings, follows the same principles [as created beings that come into and pass out of existence].
Merely reproducing the words of a poem will not help us to understand it; only other words can do so. Travelling back in time (if this were even possible) to the author’s day would not help us to understand the poem in ours. Conversely, the application of already schematized/understood categories to a poem (as in the present assimilating the past) does not promote understanding. We cannot become the poem (or enter into the poem), nor can we force it to accommodate itself to us. ’13 To understand a text always means to apply it to ourselves – this Language, Mediation, and Salvation in Dante’s Commedia 19 is a moment of Bildung (cultivation of mind or spirit) in which the interpreter is altered not so much by acquiring new information as by interpretive self-realization, that is, conversion: becoming who one is and ought to be through interpretive activity.
Not only is Augustine’s journey to salvation (the Confessions), like Dante’s pilgrimage to paradise (the Commedia),24 recounted as a narrative. Salvation itself is linguistic. 25 Narrative for Augustine and Dante symbolizes a kind of interpretive journeying through space and time, recapitulating the events of one’s life in order to disclose their meaning as part of a larger whole. The fact that one must attempt to interpret the meaning of individual events without first knowing the whole is problematic only if one believes that meaning must be revealed all at once, as opposed to unfolding in time.
Dante’s Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in The Divine Comedy by Christine O'Connell Baur