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p. 112. Autobiographylocked

  • Peter Hainsworth
  •  and David Robey


‘Autobiography’ takes us through Dante’s works—including The Divine Comedy, Vita nova, and Convivio—and shows that they have one recurrent character, Dante himself. In the Comedy, he is the traveller through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise whose mission is to tell us what he saw and experienced in the course of his journey, and whose personality, role, and self-understanding undergo complex changes as the poem progresses. In Dante’s life-writing there is no continuous narrative, rather a series of retrospective examinations of phases in his emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and artistic life, with overlaps, shifts of emphasis, and some striking contradictions.

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