A Singular and Individual Vision: Dante's Commedia, Clive James, Hybridity and the Search for Love

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Dante's Commedia: An introduction

Memorable for its exploration of universal questions encompassing doctrinal,
political, philosophical, literary and scientific themes, Dante's Commedia offers
an intense exploration of the labrynthine workings of the human psyche, its
affective peregrinations and most deep-seated desires, with the fictional souls
in the afterlife expressing their views, often pointedly, from a standpoint wherein the compound of human body and soul has been divided. When
articulating and re-casting past vicissitudes, a number of the shades who speak
at length about their lives on earth engage in deeply personal exchanges with the fictional wayfarer who, as a transient visitor to their allocated territorium, will
be a repository of their confessional tales upon his return to the world of the
living. Thus the souls recall past events through a faculty of memory that is no
longer shaped by experiential consciousness on earth but rather is expressive of
distilled desire and longing existing in an out of body context; forged in the
maelstrom of Hell or perceived with the light of salvation as the ultimate goal.
This lends the narrative a unique and dramatic quality of individualised voice
and fragmented discourse set in a model of dehumanised and revelatory truths
and untruths whose characterisation has continued to reflect its influence and
purpose over the centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationItalian Identities
EditorsDiana Glenn, Graham Tulloch
Place of PublicationLeicester, UK
PublisherTroubador Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781838594473
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Italian identity
  • linguistic identity
  • Dante’s Commedia
  • environmental studies
  • Italian literature
  • hybrid identity in a migration context
  • regional identity
  • Sicily
  • Sicilian identity


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