Since the time of trivium and quadrivium, our desire to organize knowledge with the illusion of being able to do so in life has tended to separate human culture from scientific culture. But when they meet, confront and rediscover each other, the result inevitably opens up new horizons and new interpretations for even the most die-hard and disillusioned readers.
This is what happens when approaching the reading of Rodolfo Coccini’s new book “The Land of Dante” (Arras 2021), which will be shown on Saturday 9 April at 5 pm at the Agora Studies Center on Via del Corso in Corinaldo. The author, formerly a full professor of paleontology at the University of Urbino and enthusiastic as President of the National Earth Science Festival “Planet Week,” conducts a rigorous, multidisciplinary process with a structured approach that never becomes technical. The role of science, and in this case geology and its reflections on Dante Alighieri’s representation of the underworld in the Divine Comedy, shows the reader in a new light, dedicated to humanity, functionally to appeal to feelings, which can be disturbed by the thought of the “sad pit” in Hell and then down To Cocytus and the “Frost Lake” in which Lucifer immerses.
Thus Coccioni becomes our new Virgil to accompany us in an eclectic but coherent and progressive reading, sympathetically close to that of the great poet who was the supreme poet, to show us his communication strategies: a description of the places known to the reader as Pietra di Bismantova, Monte Catria and the many Italian geological regions Others, especially that part of Italy that the Fugitive Ghibellin sometimes knows in spite of himself, filter and support the reader’s imagination to better conjure up the imaginary places in the afterlife. Dante’s extraordinary icy power is revealed and better understood, thanks to which we imagine such frightening places as cliffs, abyss, storms, rivers of fire, overhanging rocks, and the hot iron walls of Hell. Stones that adorn heaven, from sapphires to sapphires lit by the shining sun over the empire. Cosmos and Microcosm are functional to accompany reading the comics as of this work, because you were “not made to live like savages, but to follow virtue and knowledge.”
Tiziano in Mancini
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