Siria's Reviews > Vita Nuova

Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri
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's review
Jun 05, 07

bookshelves: poetry, italian-fiction
Read in June, 2005

This short little work is well worth reading if you want to know more about the origins of Dante's love affair with Beatrice - or, more accurately, if you want to read about the edited representation of the origins of his love which Dante presents. In many ways, this is my least favourite of Dante's works. Although to his contemporaries, Dante's inclusion of commentary upon the poems was revolutionary, to modern eyes, they appear rather trite and self-evident ("The first section of the poem appears on this line... the second section of the poem appears on this line"). As well as that, I am much less able to sympathise or empathise with Dante's love for Beatrice in this work. Dante's feelings for her seem even more obsessive in this work than in the Commedia. Frankly, by the end of it, I'm kind of urging Beatrice to get the medieval version of a restraining order - and that's not really the reaction you're supposed to get from what is supposedly one of the greatest collections of love poetry of all times.
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