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Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture$
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Teodolinda Barolini

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227037

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823227037.001.0001

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Q: Does Dante Hope for Vergil's Salvation? a: Why Do We Care? For the Very Reason We Should Not Ask the Question

Q: Does Dante Hope for Vergil's Salvation? a: Why Do We Care? For the Very Reason We Should Not Ask the Question

Chapter:
(p.151) Chapter 7 Q: Does Dante Hope for Vergil's Salvation? A: Why Do We Care? For the Very Reason We Should Not Ask the Question
Source:
Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture
Author(s):

Teodolinda Barolini

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823227037.003.0008

The overarching plot requirements of the Commedia undergird Vergil's damnation and suggest that to think in terms of his salvation is to opt for the lectio facilior, in the sense of the reading that is easier for us emotionally. Why does the critical literature ask only whether Dante hopes for Vergil's salvation? Does no one else's matter? Why do we care only about Vergil? The answers, to this way of thinking, are: no, no one else's salvation does matter, because the problem is less intellectual than emotional, and the response has been dictated by the text.

Keywords:   Commedia, damnation, Dante, Vergil, salvation

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