Five Books and Waterstones present

Italian Book Club — Dante’s Divine Comedy

Waterstones, Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AF

6th December 2016

Italian Book Club, December 6th meeting: DANTE

The second meeting of our Italian book club will take place at 7pm on Tuesday, December 6th at Waterstones, Oxford. We’ll be talking about Dante’s Divine Comedy. 

Reading Notes

There are many, many translations of Dante. We like the one by Robin Kirkpatrick, but if you’re happy with a looser translation, then Clive James’s is highly readable. (NB For those who missed the first meeting, you can find 2 books which provide a wonderful introduction to Dante here.)

As not everyone will have time to read the entire poem, we’re going to be focusing on the following canticles:


5: Paolo and Francesca

26: Ulysses


16: Marco Lombardo (for Dante’s politics)

30: Beatrice’s appearance


30: Arrival in heaven

33: Final vision

One initial question we’d like to raise in our discussion: as Italy considers eliminating Dante from the school curriculum for being too out of date, is there an argument to say that he’s more relevant than ever?

Please join us!

Enquiries to Rosalinda Polato ([email protected]).