By Oldcorn, Anthony; Ross, Charles; Mandelbaum, Allen; Dante Alighieri
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This new severe quantity, the second one to seem within the three-volume Lectura Dantis, includes professional, targeted observation at the Purgatorio by way of thirty-three overseas students, each one of whom provides to the nonspecialist reader one of many cantos of the transitional center cantica of Dante's certain Christian epic.
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Additional info for Lectura Dantis : Purgatorio
The Trilogy; or Dante’s Three Visions. W. Thomas. London: H. G. Bohn, 1859–1866. Thompson, David. Dante’s Epic Journeys. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974. Tommaseo, Niccolò (1837). La Divina Commedia. Con le note di Niccolò Tommaseo e introduzione di Umberto Cosmo. Turin: UTET, 1927–1934. Reprint of second deﬁnitive edition, Milan: F. Pagnoni, 1865. Venturi, Pompeo (1732). La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri. Col commento del Pompeo Venturi. Florence: L. Ciardettti, 1821. Vitali, Guido.
His sin in listening to the song will be described as a “petty fault” at Canto III, 9. Cato’s rebuke does not apply to him, because he is not there purging himself in order to see God. But it applies with telling force to the vacillating pilgrims. The language of the rebuke is biblical; the slough is undoubtedly to be interpreted as the skin shed by the maturing snake. Cato would have the pilgrims put off the old man and put on the new. Old Cato stands for the New Law; the newly arrived saints-to-be backslide, led on by Dante and his portavoce, toward the old.
Their ﬁrst purgatorial action is to be inactive (“as if they had / forgotten to proceed to their perfection,” 74–75). The innocent-sounding little phrase in fact prepares the reader for Cato’s thunderous rebuke some ﬁfty verses later. 16 The meeting with Casella is so charmingly presented that few of those who have dealt with the scene have been sensitive to its negative implications. Beginning with the failed attempt at a friendly embrace between Dante and Casella, the behavior of the protagonist, now acting on his own initiative at center stage for the ﬁrst time in the Purgatorio, is subtly ironized by his author.