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The journey with Dante and his spiritual guides through the afterlife concludes appropriately with Paradiso Written around 1319 to just before he died in 1321, it is his ultimate vision of God and Heaven and a wild ride The pace is much faster or at least it seemed to me than Inferno and Purgatorio and he and Beatrice fly through the Heavenly Sphere yes, you need a lot of suspension of disbelief and lots of Scholastic philosophy even Aquinas himself is a tourguide at one point , so it is almost like a science fiction space travel book At times, it reminded me of the incomprehensible end of 2001 A Space Odyssey with colors and light and memories flooding by It requires perhaps the least use of footnotes see my lamentations in my Purgatorio review and was fun to read I felt like I was really surfing sometimes and enjoyed the conclusion with as in the other two canticles stars in the sky It gave me pause to think that as Dante was writing this, the Pope was in Avignon, Giotto was working on his frescoes in Padua, and Copernicus had not yet talked about the sun being the center of the solar system Quite a time warpTo describe this with a painting, no less than Mathias Gr newald s Isenheim mantlepiece could do particularly the inner panel with Christ shown in a blinding glow of light I went to Colmar this year to finally see this piece in person and it gave me the same giddy, light headed feeling as Paradiso did. I m only reading the poems, and the preceding brief clarifying outlines, this first time through I find the long critical sections to be almost wholly poem killing I am not a Christian, so my view is literary and anthropological All literature for me, the compelling stuff, delineates a lost or wholly imagined world or parallel sphere J.G Ballard s off beat work comes to mind The Divine Comedy wonderfully creates just such an imagined existence It is, in fact, a dystopia, very ancient and chilling There are stanzas that take the breath away Just two here Oh you, eager to hear ,who have followed me in your little bark my ship that singing makes its way, turn back if you would see your shores again.Do not set forth upon the deep,for, losing sight of me, you would be lost.The old prejudices are here strong as ever Especially, the killing of Jesus by the Jews Missing as usual is Jesus s Jewish birth Also, the ridiculous dogma of Original Sin, which was an invention of Augustine of Hippo, and adopted by the early church, late in the 4th century Yet the beauty of the verse allows us to glimpse something of the relevance and immediacy the poem must have had for readers of Dante s day One gets a similar effect when viewing El Greco s portraits of the saints It is the style that transfixes. What little I recall is to be told,from this point on, in words weak than those of one whose infant tongue still bathes at the breast Canto XXXIIINote When your eyes glaze over at any point while reading this review, simply skip ahead to the solid line Dante wrote his Divine Comedy as a didactic poem He wanted to teach his fellow citizens about what could await them after death Inferno Purgatorio Paradiso He also wanted to teach a lesson in Faith and Morals He wrote it in the Italian dialect of his region so that they could easily access it He included historical personages, including many still living at the time so that they could recognize their neighbours and themselves And he created a stunning and beautiful work of poetic art so that they would want to read it over and over again The very poetry carries the message in its form and structure And here we are, 700 years later, still reading it but do we learn what he tried to teach Do we even understand the Divine Comedy Can any modern reader immerse herself in Dante s late medieval world to catch an inkling of his message I think not Perhaps there are a few, somewhat na ve, Catholic scholars locked away somewhere who can grasp it all, but to really be the audience Dante intended, no The social imaginaries have changed and no one can get back to Dante So why do so many somewhat educated, non believing or at least living a totally different belief western thinking GR members continue to read the Divine Comedy Well, some 107 000 GR members say that they have read the Inferno That s Best Seller status A lot of the reviews cite that the notes were necessary for identifying all those characters who Dante was critical of and had condemned to an eternity of suffering Reviewers also cite their interest in the stories of these persons in life and, even so, their delight in Dante s imagined torments I suspect that few of us are frightened by these torments Nor do we feel a particular sense of satisfaction or revenge that any of these souls What s a soul are so condemned But, we have scored Inferno at 3.98 stars Pretty good, even if we didn t really get where Dante wants us to be Now, almost 16 700 ratings are in for Purgatorio Quite a drop in readership considering the high ratings for Inferno But these readers are quite happy with a rating of 4.01 stars Obviously, those who stick with it are those who are most devoted Again, the comments are focused on the characters and the suffering than on the message that Dante intended Finally, there is the Paradiso with some 11 800 ratings That suggests that the majority of the readers of the Purgatorio persevered And then, having made it all that way, they assigned an average of 3.98 stars Now that is only.03 stars fewer stars than were awarded to the Purgatorio Statistically significant I suspect so given the high numbers of raters I also suspect that there is a lot of the well known Damn it I ve read all of this and I m going to appreciate it factor at play here So the rating is likely skewed a bit on the high side What is interesting here is that many of the reviews, while positive, do note a lack of action Perhaps the higher rating is due to the fact that Dante has made fewer references to historical personages who mean nothing or little to the reader Of course, this group of readers may include those most likely to read and enjoy endnotes However, it is noteworthy that few of the reviews say a great deal about the theological or philosophical discussions which abound in this volume Dante s messages are apparently not getting through, even to the most devoted readers Why not Because we lack the background The problem for most of us is that we are not born with an a priori knowledge of classical literature and mythology, medieval philosophy and theology, and Dante s personal genius Now I m going to reveal myself as the pedantic, intellectual snob that I ve always striven to be I m going to to tell you that I spent months reading up on medieval philosophy and theology and then read up on Dante I should note that others have outdone me and have demonstrated a much greater depth of knowledge and insight Actually, I suspect that their knowledge is a priori , perhaps divinely ordained All of the above to say that I studied my way through the Paradiso , rather than reading it I made as many connections with classical and medieval thought as I could and reconnected with those sources, which is why I spent months on this volume And, it was fun I will note, however, that I understood a great deal than I would have done otherwise but the majority still evaded me Also, I did not convert to Catholicism nor to Christianity Not even to some vague spiritual belief like, uhh, I don t really believe in any religion, ya know, but like, I think there s something out there, like, a god or something Nope No epiphany I m still the same Except I was blown away by Dante s genius Wow That guy had an enormous amount of information at his disposal No internet His own intellect had all of this within his grasp We really should honour Dante So what did I get out of reading the Paradiso Finally If you ve read this far, you ll probably be disappointed I learned a great deal about Dante s worldview If you re into German thought, that s Weltanschauung I learned about his chain of reasoning which took him from the eyes and smile of Beatrice to love, to light, to the Sun, to all of creation, through to truth to the suffering and resurrection of Christ and then to the perfection of God In Dante s world, not only is all of this united but, finally, it is all one, eternal and infinite His development of this path is one of both logic and scripture He uses his knowledge of medieval theology and his poetry to bring his reader to this perfect knowledge, to a moral and intellectual Wisdom The only wisdom possible To support this development, Dante has himself in Heaven addressed by a veritable army of saints, theologians and philosophers He also calls forth Kings and Biblical persons as well as characters from Roman and Greek mythologies It is all of the above who develop the imagery and the arguments necessary to lead his readers to Christ and to Wisdom Dante presents himself as little than a scribe chosen by Christ to bring the message to humanity As such, of course, he can be seen as a prophet But Dante, who was aware of his tendency to the sin of pride, and has been berated for it by Beatrice at their first encounter, often reminds his reader of his humble role That a man of such genius has assumed this role seems somewhat unbelievable But that may be part of his genius My advice to anyone wishing to read and enjoy the Divine Comedy is to immerse yourself in Dante s world as much as you may have patience for As well, there is so much that I have not touched upon. . ( READ BOOK ) ♐ Paradiso ⚒ Best EPub, Paradiso Author Dante Alighieri This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Paradiso, Essay By Dante Alighieri Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh versus The Divine ComedyMy propositions are elucidatory in this way he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it He must surmount these propositions then he sees the world rightly Ludwig WittgensteinOne by one, all the other animals had left the Great Expotition Rabbit had been first, in the Sphere of Mercury then Kanga and Roo, in the Sphere of Venus Tigger had joined the Holy Warriors in the Sphere of Mars, and Owl and Eeyore the Wise in the Sphere of the Sun Christopher Robin had not been able to tear himself away from the Fixed Stars They re too beautiful, he d muttered apologetically as they said goodbye You ll have to tell me what you find higher up And now Pooh and Piglet followed Beatrice into the final Sphere.The rest of this review is in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations As much as you have to admire Dante for his knowledge spanning over so many fields philosophy, cosmology, history, theology, mythology, poets, politics, whatever is the word for the science of torture Dante should be called father of that science , about local crimes etc one can see why Borges considered it the best thing ever written still I didn t particularly like Paradiso It is mostly saintly souls in large groups moving in different shapes And despite all those souls telling us everything about right and wrong the only thing that I liked are the parts where Dante and Beatrice are flirting with each otherOpen thine eyes and look at what I amThough hast behold such things, that strong enoughHas thou become to tolerate my smileorWere I to smile, then you would belike Semele when she was turned to ashes,because, as you have seen, my lovelinesswhich, even as we climb the steps of thiseternal palace, blazes with brightnesswere it not tempered here, would be so brilliantthat, as it flashed, your mortal facultywould seem a branch a lightning bolt has crackedI mean get a room, right But that is another thing missing from Paradise No rooms Souls just move around in closed shapes all the time, singing prayers Sounds boring To be fair, there are some religious celebrities especially towards the end which might interest the faithful But still, isn t paradise supposed to be really,really attractive I can t imagine anyone being sold on this idea of Paradise I, for one, can t imagine myself climbing the stupid purgarito mountain for that.Not that I know of too attractive an idea of paradise Even Hindu idea of paradise with all its riches never tempted me It is this monotony which must accompany eternity everything becomes boring in long run Whats the point of having your favorite food, if you have been having it for last thousand years I could rather prefer their alternative of cycle of rebirth and death over it, which Hindu saints are trying to free themselves from The cycle of rebirth and death means, as I see it, the opportunity of doing things repeatedly without burden of the memory of having done it before Think of all the first loves, first kisses, first sight of your children you can have in that scenario Another defect of heavenly life is we will probably lose our personality, our individuality too along with our pleasure as was the case in Borges short story Immortal There is thus no Paradise that is not boring and that doesn t make us dull The only incentive a paradise has is a negative one it is not hell, so one need not suffer except from boredom And so, the best thing that can happen would be if we were reborn again or didn t have a soul at all A soul doomed to live eternally must choose between suffering of hell and monotony of paradise I know, pretty philosophical, is my it I should be a theologian.I think for us, goodreaders, choice can t be clear There is only one suffering we can t bear boredom I mean we chose he books that might make us make us cry, suffer along with its protagonists over sitting idly And if we know a book that has made someone cry, we give preference to that book Not that there is anything wrong with that If you shall Google soul destroying , it shall offer monotony as its meaning We focus our activities on saving our souls and we must continue to avoid monotony read paradise even after death No, the money I received from Satan for making a sale pitch for his resort has nothing to do with this Let us face it, hell has all the interesting people I mean where do you think all the Lawerences, Nabokovs, Calvinos are So, feel free to commit all the sins you want In the end, that is what will save you soul On the other hand, the Islamic Paradise with its proposal of four virgins tempting.And of course, to quote Nemesis stars. Infinite order rules in this domain.Mere accidence can no enter inthan hunger can, or thirst, or grief, or pain Now comes this man who from the final pitof the universe up to this height has seen,one by one, the three lives of the spirit I have been reviewing each canto separately, but that is not how the poem was constructed Dante planned his timeless masterpiece to the last detail, leaving nothing to chance or improvization His supreme deity is one of order and meaning, and only our limited intelligence stops us from understanding His master plan My limited intelligence also made me struggle with the last Canto much than with the previous two The Florentine poet urges me to put aside everything I gained through the powers of reasoning and observation of the natural world and rely on Faith for the last leg of the journey, to look inward and examine what I believe in and how strong is my conviction More than in the other two cantos combined, I relied on the the translator s synopsis and endnotes to explain the subtleties of the text says CiardiDante warns back the shallow reader only those who have eaten of the knowledge of God may hope to follow him into the last reaches of his infinite voyage, for it will reveal such wonders as only faith can graspThe three lives of the spirit Inferno shows us the punishment of those who only live for themselves and for material gains Purgatory shows us there is a path to salvation of our souls, a tortuous and exhausting climb up from the gutter Now Paradise is the proof that Man s spirit was made to soar up into the immaculate sphere of pure thought and unreserved Love Ciardi, my erudite and patient guide through the intricate swirls of Dante s argument, remarks on how the poet achieves his goals analogies and metaphors that are started in the first Canto and are followed up and developed throughout the journeyDante climaxes the master metaphor in which purification is equated to weightlessness Having purged all dross from his soul he mounts effortlessly, without even being aware of it at first A second master metaphor I have identified is the use of light from the darkness of Inferno to the night and day alternance in Purgatorio and now to painting with light on a white canvas The spiris Dante meets in the celestial spheres are differentiated only by the intensity of their shining shapes, an ever increasing value that leads to the need for Dante to have his eyesight upgraded than once in order to observe his surroundings without being burned to a crisp he sees spirits dancing even in the middle of the Sun To finish with the poem wide projects, I should also make a note of the soundtrack From the groans, wails and screams of the condemned souls in Inferno or the individual songs of praise in the Purgatory we have graduated now to hearing the celestial chorus, the synchronized dance and music of the stars, as free of the weight of routine concerns as the body of the poet is free of gravityO heavenly love in smiling glory wreathed,how ardently you sounded from those flutesthrough which none but the holiest impulse breathed Paradise starts at the top of the Purgatory mountain, when Dante leaves behind his ancient philosopher companion literally and spiritually and is handed down into the hands of Beatrice, the incarnation of Divine Love The distances the poet travel increase exponentially as he visits the celestial spheres nested one inside the other like Matrioshka dolls, but thanks to his above mentioned weightlessness after the shedding of all sinful and impure thoughts, he covers the space in a blink of an eye Yet, for all the declared goal of writing about a spiritul voyage, I couldn t help but notice that Dante cannot help himself from showing off his interest in astronomical observations, zodiac symbols and mythical recollections even as he visits the spheres of Air, Moon, Mercury, Sun, Venus, Jupiter, up to the final destination The Empirean As he cannot renounce, not even when facing the highest authorities in Heaven, his right to criticize the religious excesses and the political betrayals that have sent him in exile As a side note, beside Ciardi I am extremely grateful to the Divine Commedy reading group here, who provided excellent illustrations and commentary to each canto The most intriguing, and in my opinion appropriate observation was linking the journey of Dante to contemporary Arab texts describing the spiritual journey of Mohammed on the back of a winged donkey The implications are many and I am in danger of getting derailed, but I really liked to notice how the two major religions are not so different as modern haters want me to think, and how in early Renaissance the oriental wisdom played as major a part as the Greek and Roman philosophical heritage.Paradisio though is focused on the Christian saints and myths, and I am less familiar with their names and their histories than with the people Dante met in Hell or Purgatorio Yet I recognized the major influences Aquina, Bede, Boethius, St Bernard, St Benedict, St Augustine The higher Dante ascends, the closer he gets to the apostles, the Virgin and the Saviour The ultimate revelation which amusingly for me comes only after Dante is questioned about his faith like a schoolboy reciting his catechism is about the nature of the Trinity that is One Despite being often confused by the sophistic arguments, I cannot help but be in awe at the conviction and passion Dante puts into this final affirmation of his creedThere was not, nor will be, from the first dayto the last night, an act so gloriousand so magnificent, on either way.For God, in giving Himself that man might beable to raise himself, gave even than if he had forgiven him in mercy God has given us a choice in our salvation Dante sees worth in devotion that is freely given instead of a general amnesty that forgives everybody or lip service that comes out of fear of punishment or desire for rewards Punishment and rewards are still a major part of the poet s project, but for me the most important question remains this one regarding free will I was curious about how Dante would reconciliate the opposing concepts of freedom of thought with the total obedience to the tenets of the church I found the solution weak, especially after Virgil exclaims at the end of Purgatory Lord of yourself I crown and mitre you For a second I thought Dante will be consistent in his support for the ideaOf all creation s bounty realized,God s greatest gift, the gift in which mankindis most like Him, the gift by Him most prized,is the freedom he bestowed upon the will But immediately after this exclamation comes Beatrice and tries to demonstrate that Man should use his freedom to give the gift back to God and act only in accordance with what the scriptures require of him A second and third disappointment comes later when Dante s inquisitive Renascentist mind can t help but ask to understand the nature of Divine justice for example why are countless innocent people killed in natural catastrophes Again Ciardi expresses the theme better than meDante is afire to understand the nature of Divine justice and begs the Eagle to explain it, but he is told that the infinity of God s excellence must forever exceed his creation, and that none may fathom His will, whereby it is presumptuous of any creature to question the Divine Justice Man must be content with the guidance of the Scripture and with the sure knowledge that God is perfect, good, and just Not even these enormously elevated souls can know the full answer Likewise, in the sphere of Saturn The mystery of predestination is beyond the reach of all but God, and man should not presume to grasp it Can you spell copout This goes against all I admired in the first two cantos and all I loved about the Renaissance men they liberated our spirit from the shackles of dogma I need to think about how Dante arrived at his conclusion, but for the moment colour me underwhelmed.I got a couple of quotes that reiterate the position of Dante as a political militant, railing against the corruption of his home city and against the sins of the Pope and of his antourage I ve discussed the subject in my previous two reviews, so I will not spend time on itFlorence brings forth and spreads the accursed flower of goldthat changes the shepherd into a ravening wolfby whom the sheep are scattered from the fold and,For all the goods of the Church, tithes and donations,are for the poor of God, not to make fatthe families of monks and worse relations and once ,The bride of Christ was not suckled of oldon blood of mine, of Linus, and of Cletusto be reared as an instrument for grabbing gold I don t want to say goodbye to the Divine Comedy on this negative note I kept one last stanza to express my awe and gratitude for the fantastic journey that keeps giving us food for thought and moral support after so many centuries, a masterpiece that sees scholars dedicate their whole lives to the study and interpretation of the poet s verses, that has dramatically influenced the vision of countless authors who borrowed and used the fruit of his imagination, a ray of hope and of joy about the future of mankindContemplating His Son with that Third Essenceof Love breated forth forever by Them both,the omnipotent and ineffaable First Presencecreated all that moves in mind and spacewith such perfection that to look upon itis to be seized by love of the Maker s grace For and outstanding collection of illustrations to the cantos, please visit the Divine Comedy reading group Thanks again for pushing me to read the books and for providing a one stop cornuccopia of knowledge and enthusiasm. The Paradiso is the third and final part of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri As the name implies, this part contains Dante s version of Paradise Dante s Paradise is influenced by medieval views on Cosmology Accordingly, it has nine concentric spheres that surround the earth Above the spheres is the Empyrean which is where God resides In Paradiso, Dante journeys through Paradise Here his guide is Beatrice Virgil is no longer there and I missed dear old Virgil who guided Dante through the Inferno and Purgatorio Unlike in the Inferno and Purgatorio where literary influences also could be seen, Paradiso is based almost completely on Christian theology and religious history so far as I understood it It is said that allegorically Beatrice represents theology So it is all but natural that Beatrice is his guide here and that Virgil has no role to play The beautiful metaphors, the detailed descriptions and lyrical beauty of the verses that I loved in both the Inferno and Purgatorio, are found here as well I really enjoyed reading them However, when compared with the other two, Paradiso was a heavy read for me At times, especially in the middle, I found the read a little exhausting But towards the last third cantos, the contents were lighter and I was able to get in to a comfortable pace of reading Now that I have read all three parts, I can safely conclude that my favourite out of them all is the Inferno I findInferno to be creative and imaginative than the other two Nevertheless, I enjoyed them all With this read, I have completed my read of the Divine Comedy I cannot say that I understood the entirety of it, but for me, poetry is to feel than to understand. Paradise Too bright and too noisy Not my choice for a good retirement spot.I have decided to settle for the Earthly Paradise atop Purgatory, with its meadows, light music and pleasant breeze Seems like the best long term investment at the end of this cosmic tour.