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Friday 18 June 2021

The window on the courtyard Celebration with a start

Celebration with a start

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For us ex-students of the classical high school, this tugging of Dante with the upheavals of vestals and parliamentarians is a question that goes straight to the vascular system.  

In recent days I have eased the inner tension with two short posts on the net that I reproduce here in my column. The last time I "had spoken to him" - one could imagine - he had repeated to me (he does it with everyone) the seventeenth triplet of the third canto of Hell, dedicated to the indolent: "Let's not think about them, but look and pass".

Does the Arno overflow?

FB 29.3.2021 

We have been talking about nothing else for days. The German attack on Dante.

Widmann, an intellectual-journalist who was part of the great Zeit, Adorno's pupil and Echo's translator, allegedly attacked the “Supreme” as Shakespeare's plagiarist, careerist and sub-brand. Media and institutions are mobilized. Salvini and Meloni lead the crusade. Then Saviano goes to look for the reprobate on the phone for Corriere and it turns out that he - with an intact spirit of admiration for Dante for a lifetime, according to a well-known German cultural model - has never dreamed of writing that nonsense and, even, he laughs.

Misrepresented by rumor, for the miserable need of enemies, without even having read (obviously) the article on Frankfurter Rundshau. Amazing detail, the intellectual passed off as the enemy of the runaway Florentine is called Arno. Many would have fallen for it, including Minister Franceschini. For now we point out the quiproquo (which resembles things already seen) but in conscience we will try to look for a correct and complete translation before saying the last word.

In the meantime, however - in harmony with the antagonistic tradition of Dante's Italy (white Guelphs and black Guelphs, etc.) it is another true German who opposes Widmann, the director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt who, on a Florentine radio, defines Widmann only as "a provocateur and an isolated voice in Germany". "He - he claims - argues that Dante's importance on the Italian language was not so great, because children at school would have difficulty understanding his texts. But that's not the case at all. Dante's language is still perfectly intelligible today, unlike what happened with English or German in the fourteenth century, which are practically incomprehensible to today's English and Germans.. "

The colds of Oddi

FB 30.3.2021


I return to the shields regarding the article on Dante's 700th anniversary written by Arno Widmann (I again underline that the German journalist, a pupil of Adorno and translator of Eco, is a scholar of Dante and is called Arno by name) in the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundshau which has sparked controversy mostly (but not all) among those who have not read the article but have heard others say that they had heard about it from others up to the vibrant League question in the European Parliament.

Eventually I tracked down the text and used a translation. However, I took the opinion that even if there had been only a blink of an eye someone would have shouted in treason.

Dante is much more than the Carabinieri. It is true that in many cases it is studied at school as an extension of the hour of religion rather than as part of an extraordinary inventory to be submitted to the critique of time and the interpretative evolution of literature. But it is also true that his mythology and his poetics have a stature that must also be protected a little (in the end this remains my devoted position as a former classical high school student) from destructive pressures sometimes made of pure protagonism, for this reason which represents an example of substantial modernity at the watershed between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. So the XNUMXth anniversary must be an occasion mainly for pride and knowledge.

However, I would like to point out (Tuesday 30 March) the page that Piergiorgio Oddifreddi dedicates to the newspaper Tomorrow to each other. Oddifreddi manifests himself for his anti-dogmatic and mostly anti-religious scientific position. Therefore his intervention could be placed in this view. Which instead remains substantially respectful of the cultural enormity of the poet. But he points out to the Italians that there are pages of Italian history and above all of Italian cultural history that move such a number of vestals as to make any critical gaze difficult, even if only a child of the passing of time.

In this case, Oddifreddi's reference is to the dated character, now widely revised, of the three pillars of Dante's cultural approach: "the philosophy of Aristotle, the science of Ptolemy and the theology of Thomas Aquinas". Revision does not mean destruction. But which allows the author to say that "his ideas are daughters of a time that is no longer our time: from abroad it is easy to see, from inside it is not".

I also seem to understand that Widmann does not say even a part of this, if not to note that the three centuries that separate Dante from Shakespeare reveal the time that passes with respect to the postulates of knowledge. It is rather the newspaper "Domani" itself that puts a load of fifteen in it, which perhaps even exceeds the intention of Oddifreddi: "Dante is not all that great".

And it is on this that the dances will reopen, more than the questions of the Lega Nord supporters who, as is well known, do not read the Tomorrow because the articles are too long and usually match the subjunctives.

For the weekly magazines (female and not) I point out in the article by Oddifreddi the long quote from "Treatise in laude by Dante”By Boccaccio (who was eight years old when Dante died, but who is still closer to him than we are) from which emerges a physical portrait of the devastating Poet.

A little monster. Mamma Mia.

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