The Divine Comedy" /> <span>Dante's “Paradiso": A 700th-Anniversary Exploration of <span style="font-style:italic">The Divine Comedy</span></span> fullscreen background
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LIT 60 — Dante's “Paradiso": A 700th-Anniversary Exploration of The Divine Comedy

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Mar 29—May 24
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Mar 31
Units: 2
Tuition: $495
Instructor(s): Nicholas Jenkins
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Mar 29—May 24
9 weeks
Refund Date
Mar 31
2 Units
Nicholas Jenkins
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The Divine Comedy is the story of the soul’s progress away from sin and toward God. “Paradiso” is the culmination of this extraordinary inner voyage. In this, the poem's third and final part, Dante experiences a journey through the nine concentric spheres of Heaven and gains access to Elysium, where he comes face to face with God. “Paradiso” is the most visionary and mathematical part of this tripartite masterpiece. The science of number and the art of poetry converge as Dante reaches outside conventional categories of understanding to present glimpses beyond our world of a dazzling universe that is the home of "the Love which moves the sun and the other stars." Like the first two parts, “Inferno” and “Purgatorio,” “Paradiso” is both radiant and dark, literal and abstract. Here, as in each stage of his journey, Dante needs a companion. Likewise, for the journey through studying “Paradiso” one needs fellow travelers: people with whom one can discuss the strange philosophical meanings, reflect on the place of the mystical in our own largely secular world, and ponder how this religious paean is at the same time one of the world’s most poignant love poems. Creating that group of engaged enthusiasts will be the purpose of our course.

The reading for this course will be in English.

Note: Students may also be interested in the course, "Dante at 700: His World, Works, and Legacy." For more information, please visit the course page.

Nicholas Jenkins, Associate Professor of English, Stanford

Nicholas Jenkins is the primary investigator for Kindred Britain, a digital humanities website that traces relationships among nearly thirty thousand British people. He has contributed to the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. He received a DPhil from the University of Oxford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Robert M. Durling, Ronald L. Martinez (Ed.), Purgatorio: The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Vol. 3: Paradiso (ISBN 978-0195087468)
(Required) Dante Alighieri, Mark Musa (Trans.), The Divine Comedy, Vol. III: Paradiso (ISBN 978-0140444438)