In his description of Ulysses in Canto XXVI of the Inferno, Dante subjected the legendary Greek hero to a thoroughgoing revision. The Homeric Ulysses, after ten years of war and a further ten of fabulous adventures throughout the Mediterranean, returns home to Ithaca and resumes his position as son, father, husband, and king of the island. In contrast, Dante’s Ulysses—and that of Tennyson, inspired by Dante and so beloved in America—is an ingenious but profoundly restless character who, in his unceasing quest for knowledge, novelty, and happiness, finds not fulfillment but death. His tragic story embodies the dilemma that human intelligence poses for our civilization today, torn between the endless pursuit of innovation and its ever more catastrophic risks. Ulysses and the Limits of Dante’s Humanism / Ulisse o dei limiti dell’umanesimo dantesco offers a bilingual English and Italian examination of that revision.
- 80 pages
- 5 x 8 inches
- Villa I Tatti
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