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Please take a moment to introduce yourself in the Introduction thread; we'd love to know more about you!
*grin* I know how 'backing into' unexpected majors feels; it was much the same with me. Have you any favorite realms with in the Renaissance? I'm more of a Middle Ages gal myself, but I have a few 'old friends' in the Renaissance as well. Although I will admit, depending on how you and when you separate the two, some of them, such as Giotto and Fra Angelico, tend to straddle the line. And Machiavelli, of whom I'm inordinately fond, is not quite a poet...
I'm not directly familiar with either of your mentors, but from what I see here on LT, Dr. Fehl looks to have been an amazing mind to study with. I doubt you would know any of the scholars I studied Dante with, Dr. Thomas Van, Dr. Blake Beattie, and, indirectly, Arthur Slavin.
Dr. Van was an English professor who specialized in Chaucer, and ended up discovering Dante through the love of Italian (and/or a woman; I was never quite sure which, but he did compose some incredibly evocative lines in Italian...). His approach to the Commedia was based (not surprisingly) on never forgetting Dante the man—the lover, the courtier, the romantic and, on occasion, the ribald wit. Dr. Beattie never taught Dante per se, but I owe my rather profound appreciation of the nuances of medieval Christianity to him. And on that foundation, after all, the Commedia rests. And Dr. Slavin - well, he's just the most amazing mind I'ver ever met; I credit much of my ability to both read and think academically to him, to be honest. With him I was fortunate enough to study everything from St. Paul to Orwell, Ibsen to Machiavelli. Ironically, in was in Ibsen that I found a new reflection of Dante, by way of, of all things, Rodin....something else I'd be happy to discuss sometime, if you're interested.
And now I have blathered on entirely too much. Do pardon my tendency towards verbosity on those subjects about which I am most passionate....
Nice to see that there are three other lovers of Dante here.
Sorry I missed your message - end of the semester usually sees me buried in grading, so I don't get onto groups much. Thrilled to have you! Sadly, this group has not taken off as I might have hoped, but hope springs eternal, so I do hope you stay around. One never knows!
Just out of interest, has anyone read any Erich Auerbach on Dante?
I find the Hollanders' notes for The Inferno to be the most cogent of all the translations I read, but I read the Sayres version of The Paradiso so will have to re-read the Hollander version.