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犹太女孩谱写别样《神曲》

2006-05-16 16:33

  Book on Divine Comedy does Dante differently

  What's a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey whose first language was Yiddish doing writing a book about history's greatest Catholic poet, Dante?

  Perhaps trying to convince the world that his epic poem, the Divine Comedy, is not just for Ivy League intellectuals but for the common man and woman on life's journey.

  Harriet Rubin's "Dante in Love," published by Simon and Schuster, may not become required reading in the hallowed halls of Oxbridge academia. But that's just fine with her.

  "This book is aimed at people in hell," said Rubin. "And how do you get out of hell if there is no exit sign anywhere? The book is aimed at people who are in some kind of quandary. People with passion."

  Quandary? Passion? Dante ate them for breakfast.

  Banned from returning to his beloved Florence in 1302, Dante roamed from city to city in Italy and France, from noble court to grubby back streets until he died in Ravenna in 1321.

  Through the exile, the wandering and the angst, he created The Divine Comedy —— divided into Hell, Purgatory and Paradise —— a poem many consider the greatest ever written.

  Rubin, the daughter of a window cleaner and housewife from New Jersey, already had experience in writing about an Italian luminary from centuries past.

  She is author of the highly provocative and acclaimed 1998 book "The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women," in which she discusses how to become powerful without becoming like a man.

  Now she is doing Dante differently from many previous works on the poet considered to be the father of the Italian language.

  It is by no means a "Divine Comedy for Idiots."

  But in its own way it does take Dante off the pedestal of poetic sanctity and explain as simply as possible the immense tapestry of religion, art, architecture, cosmology, theology and history that provided the backdrop for the work.

  犹太女孩谱写别样《神曲》

  一个来自新泽西、母语为依地语的犹太女孩创作了一本关于历史上最伟大的天主教诗人但丁的书,不觉得她很可爱吗?

  这或许是为了向世人证明,但丁的史诗《神曲》并不仅仅是写给长青藤联盟的学者看的,同样也适合跋涉在生命旅程中的普通男女。

  哈里特·鲁宾的《爱中的但丁》一书由西蒙和舒斯特出版集团发行,这本书可能并不会成为牛津和剑桥大学神圣厅堂里的必读书,但对她来说这样已经很好了。

  鲁宾说:“这本书的受众对象是那些在苦难中挣扎的人们。如果在任何地方都找不到出口标志,你怎样才能脱离困境呢?这本书是专为那些陷入某种困境、却仍怀有激情的人们而写的。”

  困境?激情?但丁拿它们当家常便饭。

  1302年,但丁被禁止回到他深爱的佛罗伦萨,于是他周游意大利和法国,从一个城市游荡到另一个城市,从高雅的宫廷徘徊到肮脏的后街,直到1321年,他死于拉文纳(意大利东北部港市)。

  在流放、游荡和痛苦中,他创作了《神曲》,这部被很多人视为有史以来最伟大的诗篇分为《地狱》、《炼狱》和《天堂》三部。

  鲁宾,一个新泽西的擦窗工人兼家庭主妇的女儿,在写作方面已小有经验,她曾写过一本关于几个世纪前的一位意大利大师的书。

  1998年,她创作的《女君王论: 女人获取权力的战略、战术与武器》一书出版了,这本书非常富有煽动性、赢得了很高的评价。在书中她讨论了(女人)怎样才能变得强大,却不必像男人一样。

  现在,她正在用一种和以往许多描写但丁的著作不同的方式来诠释这位被认为是意大利语言之父的诗人。

  这决不是一本“为愚人而作的神曲”。

  但是,她独有的写作手法确实使但丁的圣洁诗歌不再那么高高在上,她尽可能用最简单直白的方式来阐释这部作品深厚的背景,那是宗教、艺术、建筑、宇宙哲学、神学和史学共同编织出的巨大织锦。

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