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I meant my note as a footnote to yours. The book I was referring to is _Dante & Philosophy_ by Etienne Gilson. He 'takes off' from a book by a Domincan who spins a huge web on a very little peg, as do p & cr on this list. Probably the footnotes to Dorothy Sayers's translation are a fine source of knowledge of Dante by those not Dante scholars.  (She does slip--  e.g., in her notes to Paradise 2 she confuses Dante's emphasis on sense perception with positivist science.) 

You are fighting a hopeless battle with those who confuse texts informed by Christian belief  with acts of worship. Eliot probably knew the difference between writing a poem and sitting in a pew.

Carrol

> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Nancy Gish
> Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2013 7:48 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Dantean Aesthetics in 'The Waste Land'
> 
> I could ask the same question of you. How do you know it was just Eliot's
> interest and not that Eliot also took up an interest others had expressed. It
> would take research to find out. Anyway, as of today, I think "popular" may
> not apply. For both, it is largely academics, students, and serious readers
> who really care about either. (Except in Italy I think, where people know
> about Dante and even know Dante--but that is not based on any statistics,
> just anecdote.)
> 
> We know that Eliot always was attracted to Dante and carried Dante or Virgil
> around with him all the time. And he wrote first about Dante in 1920. But he
> was introduced early and others, like Pound, also were seriously interested in
> Dante. I would be interested in knowing just when and how Eliot took up the
> idea of writing about Dante--and not being the first. When young, by his own
> account, he preferred the "world" of Virgil. But I have the major book here by
> an Italian scholar on Eliot and Dante, so I'll see what that tells me.
> 
> Random ideas without research tell us nothing of value. So do you know?
> And how? A history of Dante reception would seem to be the only real
> source that could tell us.
> 
> N
> >>> P 01/05/13 8:16 PM >>>
> Not all things are measured by books.
> What would the popular awareness of Dante and the academic interest in
> him be without TWL?
> P. M.
> 
> Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> Not likely: here are only three of many books on Dante in the early 20th
> century published before Eliot's essays. There are more and easy to find in
> Google.
> N
> 
> The Poetry of Dante <http://www.questia.com/library/685552/the-poetry-
> of-dante>
> 
> 	Contributors:
> 
> 	Benedetto Croce
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=author!Benedetto%20Croce!AllW
> ords>
> 	Douglas Ainslie
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=author!Douglas%20Ainslie!AllWo
> rds>
> 
> 	Publisher:
> 	Henry Holt and Company
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=publisher!Henry%20Holt%20and
> %20Company!AllWords>  1922
> 	Subjects:
> 	Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321--Criticism and Interpretation
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=subject!Dante%20Alighieri%2C%2
> 01265-1321--Criticism%20and%20Interpretation!AllWords>
> 
> 
> Read now <http://www.questia.com/read/6257840/the-poetry-of-dante>
> ...pres-ence of God. It has been said of Dante"Paradiso," that it should not
> have...expressive ofaspiration for I know not what of divine and in­tangible,
> a saying which...fear andhope, of distress and joy. But Dante, when
> hecomposed the "Divine Comedy," was not inthis narrow condition of...
> 18.
> Dante, How to Know Him <http://www.questia.com/library/7562600/dante-
> how-to-know-him>
> 
> 	Contributors:
> 
> 	Alfred M. Brooks
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=author!Alfred%20M.%20Brooks!A
> llWords>
> 
> 	Publisher:
> 	Bobbs-Merrill
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=publisher!Bobbs-
> Merrill!AllWords>  1916
> 	Subjects:
> 	Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321--Criticism and Interpretation
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=subject!Dante%20Alighieri%2C%2
> 01265-1321--Criticism%20and%20Interpretation!AllWords>
> 
> 
> Read now <http://www.questia.com/read/56725215/dante-how-to-know-
> him>
> ...forever. This, in brief, is the system onwhich Dante represents God as
> dealing with man­kind...well as the greatest.TWO WAYS OF READING THE
> DIVINE COMEDYIn The Divine Comedy Dante relates an imagina­tive
> experience, but...
> 19.
> Dante & Aquinas <http://www.questia.com/library/109921/dante-aquinas>
> 
> 	Contributors:
> 
> 	Philip H. Wicksteed
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=author!Philip%20H.%20Wicksteed
> !AllWords>
> 
> 	Publisher:
> 	J. M. Dent & Sons
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=publisher!J.%20M.%20Dent%20%
> 20%20Sons!AllWords>  1913
> 	Subjects:
> 	Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=subject!Dante%20Alighieri%2C%2
> 01265-1321!AllWords>
> 	Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=subject!Thomas%2C%20Aquinas
> %2C%20Saint%2C%201225%3F-1274!AllWords>
> 	Philosophy, Medieval
> <http://www.questia.com/searchglobal?q=subject!Philosophy%2C%20Medie
> val!AllWords>
> 
> 
> Read now <http://www.questia.com/read/1004165/dante-aquinas>
> ...particularcase it is), more happy than in Dante's treatmentof what he
> regards as the...namely, of the humanwill.Aquinas and Dante are equally
> emphatic in theirinsistence...are impossible, and thevery idea of divine
> justice perishes.Many passages in the "Comedy" will occur tothe reader's
> mind in which Dante dwells upon this
> 
> 
> 
> >>> P 01/04/13 10:24 PM >>>
> Could it be said that Eliot, Virgil-like, led Dante into the 20th Century?
> P. M.
> 
> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> The Poet in Transformation: Dantean Aesthetics in T.S. Eliot's The Waste
> Land (2012)
> 
> By Jamie Berlin
> 
> Abstract
> 
> 
> Dante was a seminal influence in T. S. Eliot’s poetry. Many scholars have
> acknowledged Eliot’s professed debt to Dante and have examined Eliot’s
> explicit imitations of Dante; however, few have pinpointed Dantean
> influences in non-explicit references to Dante, and few have credited the
> influence of a Dantean progress narrative across Eliot’s poem The Waste
> Land. This thesis broadly analyzes the principles of Dante’s aesthetic in the
> poem while analyzing the Sibyl, the Hanged Man, and the Prajapati parable
> for their relevance to Eliot’s aesthetic theory. When Dantean aesthetics and
> close readings of The Waste Land are compared with Eliot’s contemporary
> essays on art, a fuller view of the aspects of Dante’s fundamental influence
> emerges. In particular, the prominence of Dante in the sub-text of Eliot’s The
> Waste Land reveals the nature of their shared aesthetic—that art is a moral
> work by virtue of a spiritual transformation endured by the artist, which
> involves both a sacrifice of self and a substantiation of self. A deeper
> examination of Dante’s influence on T. S. Eliot yields a vaster understanding
> of Eliot’s aesthetics while helping to elucidate one of the central mysteries in
> Eliot’s theory of art, the role of “personality.”
> 
> 
> http://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1794&context=these
> s
> 
> 
> CR
> 
> 
> CR