Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dante's Divine Comedy

Well as promised this blog post is all about Dante. It is really a listing of a bunch of places you can go to read about him, and of course the divine comedy. If you have never read it, or have only read the inferno, you should put it on your to do list!

“Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy”

The Digital Dante Project:
The digital Dante project was put out by the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University. It is an online source with lots of information on Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy. On the homepage you have multiple options to choose from that range from Dante, to the comedy itself, to image collections that were done on the comedy. Under the comedy section you can read three different translations of Dante along with the original Italian text, simultaneously. In the library section, it not only gives you the text for the Divine Comedy, but also a link called “useful classics,” which gives you Paradise Lost, the Decameron, and Republic. Under the library tab is also scholarly work that has been done on the Divine Comedy, as well as student’s work that has been written on it. Under the link for image collections there are artwork that has been done on the Divine Comedy by Gustave Dore, Sandro Botticelli, Salvador Dali, and a few others. The images really help to bring the work to life. Under the tab for Dante himself you can find a short biography on him as well as a chronology of his life and works. It also provides links to other studies that have been done on Dante and more web resources. Overall digital Dante is a great site for research and has almost everything imaginable that has to do with Dante. It was obviously a project that took a lot of time and effort. On the whole I would have to say that if they don’t have it (which I doubt) then they probably have a link that will lead you to what you are looking for.

The Electronic Literature Foundation (ELF)’s Research Edition of the Divine Comedy:
This site features 27 full editions of the Divine Comedy including the original Italian text, English translations by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Rev. H.F. Cary, and translations in German and Finnish. There are also annotations from the Cary and Longfellow editions. The texts can be viewed in a variety of facing page, or parallel, formats. Along with reading the text itself graphics from Gustave Doré, Salvador Dali, and Sandro Botticelli are linked and they help to visualize the picture the text brings to mind. There are also maps of the afterlife, and sample illuminated manuscript pages from printed versions of the Divine Comedy. The maps of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradisio, really help to bring together the works as a whole. This site also gives a brief chronology of the life and works of Dante Alighieri and it gives links to other Dante sources, though only a few. It also gives links to its main homepage and to other works of literature. This is a good research site.

The link for ELF’s main page that gives you many authors is: http://www.thegreatbooks.org/

The University of Texas at Austin’s Inferno Page:
This site gives you a great visual of hell as a spiraling Inferno. In the spiral you click on each spiral within the whole to link to the different cantos and circles of hell. Each link takes you through different symbolism and allusions the story brings out. It also gives you a visual to look at as it is breaking down the text. This site is great for someone who is having trouble understanding all that is going on in the Inferno. It is also a good site to use if you just want to learn more about the Inferno.

The University of Texas at Austin’s Purgatorio Page:
Just like with their Inferno page this site gives you different images and allusions throughout the story. It opens with the mountain of purgatory. It gives you different religious symbolism and show multiple meanings for the characters and references within the text. It also gives you study questions to answer on the story itself. You can look at the images in a gallery view or as you go through the sections of each canto.

The University of Texas at Austin’s Paradisio Page:
As with the other two pages this site takes you through the religious symbolism, the allusions, and meanings behind the text through visuals. Paradise is shown as a ring of colorful planets and you click on each to begin your journey through the stars. The images are quite beautiful and within each image are smaller images that make up the whole. This site is again a great resource for learning about Dante’s Paradisio and all three sites are great learning tools for the whole Divine Comedy.

A visual tour of hell:
This site is literally what it is called. It is a visual tour of hell. It opens with spirals and words from the text. Then you click on each circle of the spiral to go through hell. Within each circle you can click on “Dante,” to read the text, “Virgil,” for Virgil’s opinions, “Beast.” For the many beasts within hell, “Holy,” for a holy person or a holy occurrence, “Soul/Sinner,” to find out more about a lost soul or one of the damned, and there are various other symbols as well. Along with the small amounts of text are images that have been done on the text. This site does a great job of taking you through hell with pictures and short explanations that make it simple and easy to follow.

Dante Alighieri on the web:
This site is all about Dante, his time period, and the Divine Comedy. It has links about the author and his time period, along with a glossary of terms and people from the time period. This site has lots of information that would help in researching as well as an art gallery with lots of descriptions. It also helps to define the time period with its glossary of people and terms from the time period. While this site was made by a student there is a section that states who he is and that he is only a student and all the information is from what he learned at school. However it is also information he took the time out to copyright and reproduce and link. Also for interpretation purposes sometimes reading things on another student’s level can help with understanding.

Random amusing Dante site:

This site is a link that takes you to a test you can take to see what level of hell you would end up in.

You tube movies on Dante: