Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy is a reappraisal of the poem by an international team of thirty-four scholars. Each vertical reading analyses three same-numbered cantos from the three canticles: Inferno i, Purgatorio i and Paradiso i; Inferno ii, Purgatorio ii and Paradiso ii; etc. Although scholars have suggested before that there are correspondences between same-numbered cantos that beg to be explored, this is the first time that the approach has been pursued in a systematic fashion across the poem. This collection – to be issued in three volumes – offers an unprecedented repertoire of vertical readings for the whole poem. As the first volume exemplifies, vertical reading not only articulates unexamined connections between the three canticles but also unlocks engaging new ways to enter into core concerns of the poem. The three volumes thereby provide an indispensable resource for scholars, students and enthusiasts of Dante.
While all the essays are well-considered and extraordinarily illuminating, the strength of the collection lies in the willingness of the contributing scholars to look for correspondences in the parallel cantos that they might not otherwise have noted. […] The results of this exploration have enormous implications for Dante Studies as we move into the new millennium.
"George Corbett and Heather Webb, editors. Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy: Volume 1". Quaderni d’italianistica (2293-7382), vol. 37, no. 1, 2017. doi:10.33137/q.i..v37i1.28284
This volume has its origin in a series of thirty-three public lectures held in Trinity College, the University of Cambridge (2012-2016) which can be accessed at the ‘Cambridge Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy’ website.
Editions Followed and Abbreviations
Notes on the Contributors
Introduction by George Corbett and Heather Webb
1.i. Pagan Dawn of a Christian Vision by George Corbett
1.ii. Orientation by Heather Webb
2. Reading Time, Text and the World by Matthew Treherne
3. The Bliss and Abyss of Freedom: Hope, Personhood and Particularity by Vittorio Montemaggi
4. Virtuous Pagans, Hopeless Desire and Unjust Justice by John Marenbon
5. Massacre, Miserere and Martyrdom by Robin Kirkpatrick
6. Divided City, Slavish Italy, Universal Empire by Claire E. Honess
7. The Wheeling Sevens by Simon A. Gilson
8. Civitas and Love: Looking Backward from Paradiso viii by Brenda Deen Schildgen
9. ‘Without Any Violence’ by Zygmunt G. Barański
10. Humility and the (P)arts of Art by K P Clarke
11. The Art of Teaching and the Nature of Love by Paola Nasti