IN PERSON: Everyone has heard of Dante's "Comedy” (popularly known as "The Divine Comedy”), but few have read it. Fewer still have read the troubadour poets from whom Dante drew. Some scholars have described "Comedy" as the greatest achievement of the human intellect — an encyclopedia of ethics, culture and history expressed through great poetry. We will read this great work and discuss its meaning and place in Western cultural history. Students will learn of its debts to ancient classic writers (Homer, Virgil), medieval church scholarship and troubadour poetry. Most important, we will experience and discuss the poem itself — a work with no rival. Our goals are: an understanding of the flow of thought about human destinies, awareness of the links from Dante back through the Middle Ages to antiquity, and appreciation of a monumental work of art. We will seek to become better readers, able to enjoy enriched experiences with all great literature. This discussion-based course will be in English. | Facilitated discussion.
Max enrollment: 15.
Location: Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham NC 27705
Bob Shaw graduated from Williams College where he nearly majored in literature and began reading Dante's "Comedy" and the troubadour poets. He has continued ever since. He has taught five different literature courses for OLLI and the forerunner of this course in 2014.