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  • 20 October 2021 The Place of Men "Purgatory is a lovely place. It is our place and that of Dante, who was convinced that we must atone for the sin of pride. And to reinforce ... +
  • 20 October 2021

    The Place of Men

    "Purgatory is a lovely place. It is our place and that of Dante, who was convinced that we must atone for the sin of pride. And to reinforce the idea that it really is a nice place to be, he constantly compares it to what he himself referred to as the Bel Paese: Italy." These are the words of Aldo Cazzullo in "Il posto degli uomini" or "Dante in Purgatorio, dove andremo tutti" (The Place of Men or Dante in Purgatory, where we will all end up), published by Mondadori. After "A riveder le stelle. Dante, il poeta che inventò l’Italia" (To See the Stars Again: Dante, the Poet who Invented Italy), the journey continues, through the most pivotal work in Italy's literary canon - an extraordinary, compelling tale of the human condition that still manages to move us and make us think, even after seven centuries. Hell is darkness, eternal punishment, pain. Paradise is bright, destined for the saints. Purgatory "is always changing"; it is the path to salvation, the ascent towards God. And it is the place where we can reflect, better than anywhere else, on our essence as imperfect men and women, on the quest for perfection and the absolute. Cazzullo insists: "Purgatory is a place of friendship, meekness, courtesy. Where we smile at one another." Indeed, Dante met friends there - the musician Casella, the poet Guinizelli, Giotto. He re-evaluated controversial figures of power disliked by the Church, such as Manfredi, "blonde, handsome and of refined appearance", the son of Federico di Svevia (Frederick II of Swabia), "stupor mundi" (marvel of the world). He is moved when he comes across Pia de' Tolomei. With a clear passion for social values, he continues to recount the dramas of Italy the "enslaved", the "abode of misery" (Ahi serva Italia, di dolore ostello, Purgatory, VI, v. 76). And he is always looking, "pure and prepared to reach the stars" (puro e disposto a salire a le stelle, Purgatory, XXXIII, v. 144), towards Beatrice, who is waiting for him at the gates of Paradise. The journey continues. Il posto degli uomini Aldo Cazzullo Mondadori, 2021

    The Place of Men