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American Philosophical Society
Dante & the Book of the Cosmos
John G. Demaray (au). Two fervent spiritual desires underlie Dante’s figural pilgrimage to Beatrice at the end of the “Vita Nuova” & in the “Commedia”: a passionate longing of love to overcome error & sin in this life by finding as a pilgrim the true pathways to the holiest temples in the holiest cities associated with this lady; & at the same time, an overwhelming yearning of love to transcend this mortal realm of suffering & death, to rise through spiritual pilgrimage to a vision of Beatrice in heaven. In its encyclopedic scope & its relation of earth to heaven, the “Commedia” is an analogue for pilgrimage “temples” & churches that in the late Middle Ages were widely considered architectural representations of the external physical & immaterial universe. Color & black & white illustrations.
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