Dante by R. W. B. Lewis
(Penguin Lives)

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An insightful biography of Florence?s famous son

Acclaimed biog rap her R.W.B. Lewis traces the life and complex development? emotional, artistic, philosophical?of this supreme poet-historian. Here we meet the boy who first encounters the mythic Beatrice, the lyric poet obsessed with love and death, the grand master of dramatic narrative and allegory, and his monumental search for ultimate truth in The Divine Comedy. It is in this masterpiece of self-discovery and redemption that Lewis finds Dante?s own autobiography?and the sum of all his shifting passions and epiphanies.


About R. W. B. Lewis

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R.W.B. LEWIS was a renowned literary scholar who garnered several awards for his book Edith Wharton: A Biography, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Bancroft Prize. In 2000, he was given the award for lifetime achievement as a biographer by the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Published November 24, 2009 by Penguin Books. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dante

The Guardian

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One "Nick Tosches" lives (as Tosches wrote of Louis Prima) in "a world in which everything came down to broads, booze, and money, with plenty of linguini on the side" - while another Nick Tosches, cusping the big five-0, sets himself to learning Latin, the better to deepen his understanding of Da...

Jan 25 2003 | Read Full Review of Dante (Penguin Lives)

The Guardian

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Lewis places Dante's life and writings firmly within their cultural sphere: a life of a 'literary man engagé' that is also a life of Dante's Florence, a city seething with violence, carnality, betrayal and retribution.

Aug 26 2001 | Read Full Review of Dante (Penguin Lives)

Publishers Weekly

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The detective story is well plotted, and Pearl's recreation of the contentious world of mid-19th–century academia is engrossing, even though some of its more ambitious elements—like an examination of intellectual hypocrisy and insularity in the Ivy League—are somewhat clunky.

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Publishers Weekly

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There could hardly be a more fitting biographer for Dante than Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Lewis, who has called Dante's native city of Florence his second home for 50 years.

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Book Reporter

Beatrice was a real person, Beatrice Portinari, whom Dante first met when they both were nine years old, and whom he held in a kind of quasi-religious Platonic veneration forever after, even long after the lady died at age 25 (both of them married others, but that detail did not stop Dante from a...

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Dante (Penguin Lives)

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