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Dante’s Divine Comedy in India

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Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Mumbai and Literature Live! present Dante’s Divine Comedy for India a lecture/performance by actor and philosopher Franco Ricordi

Franco Ricordi will start by illustrating his philosophical interpretation of Dante’s Comedy, he will then analyze parts of some of the Cantos. In the second part of the lecture/performance he will recite extracts of the Comedy by heart, in order to express the theatricality of the text which, in an analogy with the great Poems of the Antiquity from Homer to Virgil, is an “oral” text above all. In this context Franco Ricordi will underline the difference between “Dante the Author” and “Dante the Character”: the latter, essential for the comprehension of The Paradise in particular, is in fact a dramatis persona, in a constant dialogue, only identified with the Author himself at the end of the Comedy. The lecture will also highlight the analogies with William Shakespeare, where “Dante the Character” seems similar and at the same time antithetical to Hamlet, often described by Shakespeare as his alter-ego. These analogies between the two greatest poets of what Harold Bloom describes as the “Western Canon” have also been observed by Thomas Carlyle and Thomas S. Eliot. The importance of India in the Divine Comedy will be underlined from “Inferno, Canto XIV”, “Purgatorio, Canto XXVI” and “Paradiso, Canto XIX”.

Date and venue:
Thursday, 21st March | 6.30pm
Little Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai

Franco Ricordi is a philosopher and essayist, but also actor and theatre director. He is currently working on one of the most original and evocative interpretations of the Commedia. The trilogy that Franco Ricordi has completed, after 7 years of work and performances on Dante in Italy and around the world, is the first and effective philosophical reading of the masterpiece; the author proposes a hermeneutical rethinking of Dante’s poetry, in reference to the most important motif that dominates the entire Commedia: love. Among his publications, with Mimesis Edizioni: Shakespeare Filosofo dell’Essere (2011); Pasolini Filosofo della Libertà (2013); L’Essere per l’Amore (2015); Il Grande Teatro Shakespeariano (with Elisabetta Pozzi, 2016).
  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Mumbai
  • In collaboration with: Literature Live!