Dante

A Life in Works

Robert Hollander

View Inside Price: $32.50


April 10, 2001
240 pages, 5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 9780300084948
Cloth

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Out of Print

The Divine Comedy, completed around 1320, is a supreme work of the imagination. None of Dante’s other works, nor even all of his other works taken together, can rival the Comedy. How did the Florentine exile come to create this masterpiece? What steps in his development can explain the making of this extraordinary poem? In this book, a preeminent Dante scholar turns to the poet’s body of works—the only real biography of Dante that we have—to illuminate these questions. Through an exposition of Dante’s other writings, Robert Hollander provides a concise intellectual biography of the writer whom many consider the greatest narrative poet of the modern era.

Hollander writes for those who have already encountered the Comedy, suggesting to these readers how Dante’s other works relate to the great poem and inviting them to reread the Comedy with new interest and understanding.

Robert Hollander, Professor in European Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University, is one of only three Americans ever to receive the gold medal of the city of Florence for their efforts on behalf of Dante.

"Hollander's lucid and brilliant discussion. . . is a joy to read."—Bernard Knox, New York Review of Books

"A biographical sketch and an excellent summary of Dante scholarship through the ages."—Book Forum

"Hollander is now the doyen of Dante studies in America, so it comes as no surprise that this study is masterful, coherent, engaging, and completely reliable."—Richard Lansing, Brandeis University  may edit 



















 

“In this book Robert Hollander brilliantly condenses his forty years of research on Dante, including anything of value that has been added to Dante studies by other scholars. The result is an invaluable guide to Dante’s oeuvre with particular attention to the so-called ‘minor works’—the most complete and up-to-date introduction to Dante available in any language today.”—Lino Pertile  no changes without consultation 

“It is a cause of wonder to see that new books can be written on Dante; it is even more amazing to see that an ‘indispensable’ book can be written after centuries of intense critical work. Robert Hollander has given us such a book which reconstructs ‘the life of Dante through his works.’ It is an ‘intellectual biography’ that has all the drama of heroic lives spent fighting in defense of the highest values. Only a major Dante scholar could have written this book with that confidence and elegance that come from a superb scholarship, from the mastery of the immense bibliography on Dante. Robert Hollander has found a ‘narrative’ and elegant tone which saves us from another ‘academic’ essay on Dante without having to give up the fruits of rigorous philology. This a scholarly and delightful book which presents a refreshing ‘whole Dante.'"—Paolo Cherchi, University of Chicago  may edit

“In his usual feisty and erudite fashion, Robert Hollander usefully synthesizes Dante’s ‘life in words’ for the uninitiated, thus making us the beneficiaries of this quite personal and opinionated testament to a lifetime of devotion to the Florentine poet.”—Teodolinda Barolini, Lorenza Da Ponte Professor of Italian at Columbia University  may edit /author does not like this blurb, do not use

“An ambitious intellectual biography. Hollander looks at all of Dante’s works and has useful and illuminating things to say about them individually and in relation to one another.”—Rachel Jacoff, Wellesley College may edit 

“Hollander writes with brevity, clarity, and a confidence that comes from his mastery of the vast scholarship and a lifetime of reflection. This book is an important contribution to scholarship, yet readily accessible to the general reader.”—Library Journal

“A biographical sketch and an excellent summary of Dante scholarship through the ages.”—Book Forum

“Hollander’s lucid and brilliant discussion of the problems presented by this enigmatic work is a joy to read. . . . The precious core of Hollander’s book is a series of thoughtful, enlightening essays on various aspects of the Commedia.”—Bernard Knox, New York Review of Books

Providence Sunday Journa
“Hollander is one of the greatest living Dante scholars.”—Robert Royal, First Things

“Fruit of 40 years of teaching and research, Hollander’s Dante has the excitement of a detective novel along with the cold conviction of detached scholarship.”—Tom D’Evelyn, Providence Sunday Journal

“Unlike similar books, this excellent—and expert—introduction to Dante’s oeuvre surveys not only the Divine Commedia, but also considers Dante’s poetry and his theoretical work, so that a comprehensive picture emerges. Both beginners and specialists will read Hollander’s fine study with much profit—and some will even enjoy visiting the various Dante websites.”—International Review of Biblical Studies

“[This] fine book reflects the author’s admirable scholarship and will find its rightful place among those thoughtful and thought-provoking volumes that engage readers and make them consider the benefits that come from a reading and understanding of the whole, interrelated body of an author’s works. Dante certainly expected that of his readers, and we are well rewarded by such a critical approach.”—Christopher Kleinhenz, Sixteenth Century Journal

“The book is written with a light hand, in a quick, engaging style. . . . It synthesizes a distinguished career of deep engagement with Dante and his poem by a major scholar. In twenty-eight pages of crisply written endnotes and an extremely efficient two-page bibliographical note it also provides beginners with access to the critical issues generated by Dante’s poem.”—John Ahern, Speculum

“Hollander is now the doyen of Dante studies in America, so it comes as no surprise that this study is masterful, coherent, engaging, and completely reliable.”—Richard Lansing, Brandeis University

Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2001