Neue Dantebücher

bespricht der Economist – darunter „ON ESSAYS“, Dante by modern poets, it begins with Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, the founders of English modernism, who between them did more than anyone to keep Dante on the up-to-date poets reading-list. Their Dante, thoughts Seamus Heaney points out in a gripping lecture not quite the same as Ossip Mandelstams, whose jaggedly futuristic Conversation about Dante is also included. Persecuted by Stalin, he speaks from the bookless wastes of internal exile and identifies with the embittered Florentine, driven from his native city by political conflict. Mandelstams Dante is vividly particular, local and spontaneous, his emotion resounding still in the sounds of his words. Eliots Dante, by contrast, is Latinate and Olympian, evoking in the mind of Europe a sublime vision of universal order.

The truth is that Dante is all these things and much more besides.

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