Thursday, December 17, 2009

6. Dante Alighieri: "Jumalik komöödia" (La Divina Commedia, 1308–1321)

The Divine Comedy (Italian: La Divina Commedia), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central poem of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature.The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the Christian afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church.

The Divine Comedy is composed of over 14,000 lines that are divided into three canticas (Ital. pl. cantiche) — Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — each consisting of 33 cantos (Ital. pl. canti). An initial canto serves as an introduction to the poem and is generally considered to be part of the first cantica, bringing the total number of cantos to 100. The number 3 is prominent in the work, represented here by the length of each cantica. The verse scheme used, terza rima, is hendecasyllabic (lines of eleven syllables), with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, ded, ....

The poem is written in the first person, and tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition which is highlighted in Dante's earlier work La Vita Nuova.

In Northern Italy's political struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines, Dante was part of the Guelphs, who in general favored the Papacy over the Holy Roman Emperor. Florence's Guelphs split into factions around 1300, the White Guelphs, and the Black Guelphs. Dante was among the White Guelphs who were exiled in 1302 by the Lord-Mayor Cante de' Gabrielli di Gubbio, after troops under Charles of Valois entered the city, at the request of Pope Boniface VIII, who supported the Black Guelphs. This exile, which lasted the rest of Dante's life, shows its influence in many parts of the Comedy, from prophecies of Dante's exile to Dante's views of politics to the eternal damnation of some of his opponents.


Inferno.
Leave all hope, ye that enter. (Inferno, Canto III)
Jap, tõde, sellist inglise keelt 600lk on lootusetu lugeda, ütleb esimene mulje.

...aga nii irooniline kui see ka poleks, ei häiri vanakooli inglise keel ja ühekaupa grupeerituna, aga lausetena tõlgitud värsid (see on naljakas, eesti keeles on asi rohkem värsivormi jäetud) lugemist, väikesed veidrused rikastavad seda.

Dante on üks nendest autoritest, keda tuleb ikka ja jälle lugeda ja tänu tema mitmekihilisusele ei lõpe vihjed antiigile, kristlusele, autobiograafilisele tasandile, ajaloole, astroloogiale et cetera. Pole ime, et iga peatüki lõpus on sama pikk rodu seletusi viidetele teistesse kontekstidesse. Sümboolika on lõputu.

Põrgu kirjeldus ei üllata sel määral, et karistused, mida patused kannavad, kohati võikalt kirja pandud said. Kahepoolne on asja kristlik dimensioon – loogiline, et kõige madalamale on paigutatud Juudas, samas on väga madalatel ringidel ka paavstid-vaimulikud. Leiame antiikeeposte tegelased – kas saakski imestada, kui Dante teejuhiks on suurmeister Vergilius isiklikult? –, Piibli parimad pärlid. Purgatorios ja paradiisis ei üllata kohatud tegelaskujud eriti - heasoovlikkust me ju eeldame, see, et Dante kellegi põrgusse pistab, ajab ju rohkem muigama. Paradiisist leitavad on juba üpris etteaimatavad, kes vähegi Piiblit lugenud ja kirikulooga veidi tutvunud - illustratsioon allpool.

Nii muuseas - lihtsalt "Comedia" oli teose nimi algselt, "Divina" lisas Boccaccio, kes Dantest suures vaimustuses oli ja temast eeskuju võttis, oli ka Dekameroni üheks peamiseks eeskujukski Dante Komöödia. Sealt siis ilmselt ka vormistuslik eripära alustada iga peatükki resp. juttu lühikese kokkuvõttega. Kokkuvõttest saab sissejuhatus. Milline võrratu paradoks!

Lõppu jõudes kordab Dante oma eesmärki – tuua lugejad välja (vaimu-)viletsusest ja juhtida neid õnnistuse suunas („to remove those who are living in this life from the state of wretchedness and to lead them to the state of blessedness“ – Paradiso, Canto XXXIII) ja selle ta ka väga hästi saavutab. Millised värvikad kirjeldused nii patu kui vooruse viljadest ja elust põrgus ja paradiisis läbivad teost ja milliseid emotsioone nad lugejas tekitavad – põrgu kirjelduste peale vajub suu hämmeldusest lahti, paradiisi jõudes lähevad silmad särama.

Tagantjärgi soovitan eelnevalt lugeda Ovidiuse Metamorfoose, millega ma oma nimekirjas hiljem kohtun, mille lugudest aga väga paljudele viidatakse.

Lõppkokkuvõttes – tegemist on tohutult kompleksse organismiga täis päevapoliitikat, ajalugu, mütoloogiat, (religiooni-)filosoofiat, emotsioone, spekulatsioone, huumorit, häbematust ja tohututes kogustes ilu ja emotsiooni. Pole küsimustki, kas peaks kuuluma raamaturiiulisse.

Kuna Dante poolt visandatud maailmapilt on niivõrd kompleksne, soovitan uurida teemakohaseid illustratsioone:


Inferno
Purgatorio
Paradiso


Ja lõpetuseks viimase, kõige ilusama Canto kokkuvõte, Dante rännaku viimane samm.


Dante: Paradiso, Canto xxxiii

The final goal of divine Providence, the mysteries of the incarnation and the redemption, the contrast between earthly hope and heavenly fruition, the whole order of the spiritual universe epithomized in the poet’s journey, the crowning grace still awaiting him, the need of yet further purging away of mortal dross if he is to receive it, the high obligation that will rest upon his life hereafter, the sustaining grace that will be needed, to enable him to meet it by keeping his affections true to so great a vision, and the intense sympathy with which all the saints enter into his aspiration and plead for the fulfilment of the utmost grace to him as a part of their own bliss [---] and Dante [---] looks right into the deep light. Memory cannot hold the experience that then was his, though it retains the sweetness that was born of it. But as he gropes for the recovery of some fragment of his vision, he feels in the throb of an ampler joy the assurance he is touching on the truth as he records his belief that he saw the whole essence of the universe, all beings and all their attributes and all their relations, no longer as scattered and imperfect fragments, but as one perfect whole naught else than one single flame of love.

So keen is the light of that flame that it would shrivel up the sight if it should turn aside. But that may not be, since good, which is the object of all volition, is whole and perfect in it, and only fragmentary and imperfect away from it, so that a free will cannot by its nature turn away; and the sight is ever strengthened that turns right into it. As when we look upon a picture or a script, glorious but at first imperfectly mastered by us, and as our eyes slowly adjust themselves, the details rise and assert themselves and take their places, and all the while that the impression changes and deepens the thing that we look upon changes not nor even seems to change, but only we to see it clearer, so Dante’s kindling vision reads deeper and deeper into the unchanging story of the triune Deity, [---] – but his powers fail to grapple with the contradiction till the reconciliation is brought home to him in a flash of exalted insight. Then the vision passes away and may not be recalled, but already all jarring protest and opposition to the divine order has given way in the seer’s heart to oneness of wish and will with God, who himself is love.


(The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, The Carlyle-Wicksteed Translation. 1944. lk. 602j)

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