Thomas Stearns Eliot considered the last songs of the Paradiso “The highest peak that poetry has ever reached”. Umberto Eco described it as «the triumph of pure energy (…), an exaltation of flows, of bodies without organs, a poem made up of novae and dwarf stars, an uninterrupted Big Bang». The third volume of “Dante” arrives on newsstands on 6 April, the series of “Corriere della Sera” born in collaboration with Salerno Editrice on the occasion of the seven hundred years since the death of the poet and of Dantedì, the day dedicated to Alighieri, which the Last 25 March it was closed by Roberto Benigni, live from the Quirinale in the presence of the Head of State Sergio Mattarella and the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, precisely with canto XXV of the «sublime cantica».

The cover of the third volume of the series

At school we often get to Paradiso with some difficulty: partly because of the tight schedule of teaching in correspondence with the final year of the cycle of studies, partly because of the approach to language and the theological-philosophical contents it conveys. The “Corriere” talked about it with the teachers of two scientific high schools to understand how to deal with the study of Paradiso in the classroom. Both were personally involved in the project “Adopt a song and bring it to your city … when you can”, created by Adi Scuola (Associazione degli Italianisti) for Monday, which involved one hundred classes of Italy in a reading at mosaic of the Comedy, in which each class has composed a video card of the song attributed to them lasting three minutes (visible on

«The study of Paradiso requires more effort because the language and contents are more complex – explains Alessandra Canali, who teaches Italian to the scientist Guglielmo Marconi of Carrara -. Unfortunately in the fifth part this part is not developed like the other two canticles, also because it accumulates in the study of the twentieth century and the times are limited ». The teacher continues: “As a scientific high school, we try to deepen aspects such as the theme of light or the cosmos, to integrate the humanities with the scientific-literary aspect. Obviously we also continue a work on Dante’s language, which began in the three years, even if in the fifth, the text is somewhat detached from the historical context that the children are studying. But there is an advantage: it is true that singing is linguistically more complicated, but the students are now used to and able to read, they are more autonomous ». For the Monday, the class of Canali, the 5th B, interpreted canto XVII of Paradiso, in which the protagonist is Cacciaguida and the theme of free will is central: «The students started from the idea of ​​vision, which they reworked; they were really good: they made the music and the filming by themselves in the Roman quarry of Carrara ».

“When I present Heaven, my students come from two previous years of studying the Comedy, therefore they are on average experts – says Elisa Maugeri, professor at the Archimede scientific high school in Acireale (Catania) -. It is a canticle that is considered a little more boring than theInferno, which is dramatically compelling, and even more difficult for the theological issues it faces. To make it more accessible, I try to present it for what it is: a narrative work. Normally, the difficulties arise from the habit of merging form and content of Comedy and this has given rise to a theologized interpretation, which portrays the third canticle as fulfilled, serene and consequently boring. I follow the approach of Teodolinda Barolini, who has given a deteologized interpretation of the poem, and this line in the end bears fruit; I put the children in front of the strategies used by Dante to represent what is not representable but is only thinkable. It might sound complex, but they are used to science fiction movies and novels, and to the Paradiso this key works, because it is not a trivial otherworldly vision, but it is a virtual reality. With this line, I try to show all the strategies that Dante the writer, with Dante theologian, uses to represent what is only thinkable ».

What remains most impressed, in the end, of this canticle? “Perhaps the experience of reading, the narrative situation represented, that is, recreating the eternal and the simultaneous through language”. With his class, the 5th C, they interpreted the VIII canto of the Paradiso, with the character of Carlo Martello, who «represents an access pick to their existence at a time when they are preparing to make important life choices – concludes Maugeri -. It is a song that also speaks of the need for difference in a society that often wants us all to be the same; an opportunity to reflect on what makes us different from others, on the importance of cultivating difference, and not marginalization ».

Eighteen volumes to explore the world of Alighieri

The third volume of the Dante series, produced by the newspaper in collaboration with Salerno Editrice, is on newsstands on 6 April with the «Corriere». The series collects eighteen volumes (at a price of € 7.90 plus the cost of the newspaper) with the works of Alighieri and essays by leading scholars dedicated to the poet. After the first two releases, The divine Comedy. Hell, and the Purgatory, now Dante’s masterpiece ends with the third volume on newsstands from 6: il Paradiso. After having crossed the infernal darkness and having known the ascensional path through the souls of Purgatory engaged in the process of atonement from sin, in this final stage Dante is guided by his beloved Beatrice in the celestial kingdom, dominated by the harmonious resounding of the celestial spheres and by virtuosic light effects. There Divine Comedy it is proposed in an edition with a revised text and accompanied by an essential but exhaustive set of notes, which takes into account the most recent results acquired by Dante’s criticism; a comment accompanies the reader. The first three volumes are edited by Enrico Malato, Emeritus Professor of Italian Literature at the Federico II University of Naples and President of the Scientific Commission responsible for the National Edition of Dante’s Comments and coordinator of the Necod (promoted by the Pio Rajna Center), who also signs the most precious Dictionary of the Divine Comedy (in two volumes, the first on newsstands on April 13, the second on sale from April 20) and the last three titles in the series. Among the upcoming titles to be released: The new life e The rhyme (April 27); The Convivio (May 4).

April 5, 2021 (change April 5, 2021 | 21:35)

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