The Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

In our exploration of Dante’s Inferno I wish to highlight, in some greater detail, what has already been referenced to in our previous posts, but also bring additional emphasis upon Catholic teaching and how it impacts the construction of Hell from Dante’s pen. Why is hell cold and dark? Color and Image Symbolism Dante’s hell is … Continue reading The Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

In continuing our examination of some of the themes of Dante’s Inferno, we now turn to examine the transformative relationship between Virgil and Dante within the first part of the Divine Comedy.  The theme of guide and relationship runs throughout the Divine Comedy.  Virgil is Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory.  Beatrice takes over for Virgil and … Continue reading The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

Confessions of a Literary Romantic

What is the value of great literature in an age of intrusive technology, endless distraction, and the impossible perpetual pursuit of fleeting pleasure? This notwithstanding the concerted and intense action of the professoriate and professional literary class, critics and their pupils, who cull and destroy the greatness of the arts in the name of multicultural … Continue reading Confessions of a Literary Romantic

Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Dante’s three-part epic poem the Divine Comedy, or Commedia, is one of the most influential and dense works of poetic literature in the Western tradition.  Building off Homer and Virgil, and influencing the likes of Chaucer, Milton, Blake, and Tennyson, as well as bringing to popular consciousness and form the modern Italian language, Dante’s epic delves into … Continue reading Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

In this episode of Literary Tales, we examine the dialectical development of Greek theogony and theodicy from Hesiod and Homer down through Pseudo-Apollodorus with concluding remarks on this tradition's supersession by Virgil. In starting from Hesiod's Theogony and exploring the role of the gods, their birth and divine decrees, through Homer and the Bibliotheca, I … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

Reading “War and Peace”: The Tyranny of Historicism and Tolstoy’s Philosophical Reflections

Philosophy of History is a major sub-theme that runs through the work; it begins to appear more readily in the second half of the story and a dedicated second epilogue by Tolstoy is nothing more than reflections on the philosophy of history. War and Peace, therefore, is more than just a story, more than a … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: The Tyranny of Historicism and Tolstoy’s Philosophical Reflections

Reading “War and Peace”: Kutuzov and Napoleon

There are many “great men,” or historical figures, who appear throughout Tolstoy’s work. Many have single appearances, like the Austrian general Karl von Mack. Others appear repeatedly; their shadow sort of hanging over the principal characters. Two such great men stand out, and both are dialectically contrasted with each other: The French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: Kutuzov and Napoleon

Reading “War and Peace”: Natasha and Helene

The two of the most prominent female characters in War and Peace are Natasha and Helene. The two women couldn’t be more starkly contrasted with each other. And in their stark contrasts, the two move toward different destinies like the two unfolding cities in St. Augustine’s masterpiece The City of God. Like Andrei and Pierre, … Continue reading Reading “War and Peace”: Natasha and Helene