Art and Culture 31: Dante Aligheri Vs. Shakespeare

29 Mar

-For the Uncensored!            

It’s always a odd debate when you pit Dante Alighieri and Shakespeare against one another. There’s always a cringe factory brewing on a legacy media site, like The Guardian, that wants to create conversation about which dead author is better. The Guardian states, “In a comment piece in Frankfurter Rundschau, Arno Wildmann wrote that even though Dante “brought the national language to great heights”, Italian schoolchildren struggled to understand the antiquated verse of his Divine Comedy, which was written in 1320.

The epic poem, which is split into three parts and traces a pilgrim’s journey through hell, purgatory and heaven, was written in the vernacular Tuscan dialect to make it accessible to the masses, instead of Latin. His choice had such a great impact on writers at the time that the Tuscan dialect formed the basis for modern Italian, hence why the poet is known as “the father of the Italian language.” (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/29/italians-defend-dante-from-claims-he-was-light-years-behind-shakespeare)

            It’s almost a comment as to the southern writers and who really added more dialect to the southern writers oeuvre, as whether Faulkner, Flannery O Connor, and to be honest, Cormac McCarthy, who everyone thinks is a southern writer, is not by birth. He is merely a transplant to Texas. 

            Dante, according to Wildmann, “was beholden to French medieval troubadours, the poet-musicians who wrote verses on love. “One important difference tends to be overlooked,” Wlidmann wrote. “The troubadours were pop singers, of whose masterpieces only the lyrics survive; Dante aimed to achieve the same effect – without music. He always felt in competition.”

            Now considering the idea that Dante was in competition with anyone is beyond me because in the 1300’s Dante did not have Internet access. Yes, this may be an unfair point, it proves to me that anyone could make this argument if one was so willing, and if Dante was inspired by any outside influence, those influences had to be found by local distributors who allowed Dante access to read the French troubadours.

            It’s mostly about access, and not about whether Dante was in outright competition. To assert that Shakespeare was light years beyond Dante seems Wildman wants to create controversy rather than make real valid points between the two authors. 

            But between Dante and Shakespeare, it’s a debate of how two cultures see there writers as more dominant in the overall culture of writers and how they both offered different skills. Shakespeare. Shakespeare was an actor and Wildman’s reaction is like intellectual dick wagging at who is the better writer or not.

            I would argue that Dante and Shakespeare totally incomparable. Dante was a poet while Shakespeare was a bard, or playwright. It’s typical that Europeans are fighting about this, when we all know American literature is the best.  As Shakespeare said, “To thine ownself be true,” in Hamlet, and I think both writers are both great in there own respects (personally, I would say Paradise Lost by Milton is better than Dante, but that’s for another article).  This is a reminder why when trying to compare two completely different writers, in both form and style, doesn’t always make the best argument.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDA5ZDY3MC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

https://pca.st/504t7jxr

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