Mayflower Bookshop presents a series of lectures on international masterpieces: GREAT BOOKS.
Poet and performer Leo van Zanen kicks off this series on Sunday May 28th with his lecture “DOOR HEL EN HEMEL IN HONDERD HOOFDSTUKKEN” (Through Hell and Heaven in a Hundred Chapters) on Dante’s La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy).
In The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri (Italy, 1265 – 1321) describes a journey he makes through the various departments of life after death. Over the course of 14,233 verses, he finds old friends and foes, meets historical and mythological figures, and is shown around by his favourite writer, Virgil, eventually finding solace with his deceased lover, Beatrice.
Who are all these people Dante describes? Why does this work still captivate readers after seven centuries? In what literary and historical context does this early masterpiece of Italian and European literature stand? By discussing these issues, Van Zanen hopes to show the audience the importance of Dante and the magic of his work.