Monday, May 24, 2004

More housekeeping

Are there any Dante links that ought to be included in the sidebar? When I have time (it always takes me awhile to figure out where the links go in each new template) I plan to add the basics--Torrey, my Classical Education blog, and The Academy. Any other ideas?

No Reasonable Figure for "Beatrice"

You're not likely to find The Figure of Beatrice for anything like a reasonable price online (the Internet has been a great blessing to the used book business while it has been something of a mixed blessing to the business of acquiring used books).

Williams is difficult because he's too simple to be easily understandable. He is also something of a visionary who sees more than he can say. But he says the same things again and again in different ways so that getting to know him in one place helps you to understand him in another.

My practical advice is therefore twofold. First, borrow Beatrice from the library, photocopy it onto good paper and teach youself the craft of bookbinding. Ironically, a text can be well worth spending money, time, and care to elegantly hand bind when it is emphatically not worth spending the market price to buy a cheap trade paperback copy of.

Second, get to know Williams with a guide. C.S. Lewis can be your Virgil through the rich landscape of Williams' mind. Get the Eerdmans edition of Williams Taliessin Through Logres and the Region of the Summer Stars with the commentary by Lewis. Then, with your head stuffed full of Co-Inherence, Substitution, the Law of Exchange, Byzantium, the City, etc., you can return to The Figure of Beatrice better equipped.

Incidentally, if you're going to take my excellent first suggestion, you should probably make two photocopies as you're likely to make a few mistakes on your first try at binding. Then you can correct the things you didn't like about the first one (which we can call my copy) when you make your own. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that you have a friend who's experimented with illuminating manuscripts, yes?

Figure of Beatrice?

I'm having a hard time finding a copy of Williams' The Figure of Beatrice. Anyone know where I can get a reasonably priced copy? I'd like to own one, not just borrow it, since I've a feeling its something I'll want to refer to more than once.

Who here has read it? Any suggestions? The little bits of Williams that I've read were really hard.

Also, can anyone recommend other Dante books that weren't in our syllabus?


If anyone has suggestions for the name of the blog or the description underneath, post them. Leaving a comment for this post ought to work well for that. I picked the name and description off the top of my head, so is someone has a better idea, that's fine.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Re: Mandala

I did a google image search on mandalas, since I'm not familiar with the term. I found lots of different versions. Can you find a picture of what you're talking about and post a link? I'm just curious.

Captain Jung's Mandala

I have been procrastinating on studying for finals by reading a book that Adam lent me called "From the Dark Wood to the White Rose." It compares Dante's journey to Carl Jung's psychological theory. The book therefore focuses on the journey of the soul throughout the commedia, till it reaches the Beatific Vision, or according to Jung "Individuation". I haven't finished it yet, in fact, I'm only just out of hell. But I had this interesting thought.

Carl Jung was obsessed with mandalas. Those are those weird shapes with squares and circles superimposed on each other. They were used as a method of Buddhist meditation, people would stare at them and contemplate how the macrocosm of the cosmos related to the microcosm of the soul. (Sound familiar yet?). Supposedly the mandala is based on the attempt to square the circle. (Canto XXXIII anyone)?

I haven't read the end of the book yet, so I don't know what it has to say... but I thought that this is an interesting perspective on some of the topics that we discussed about in class. Any thoughts?

Friday, May 21, 2004

My profile

Since this will hopefully be a group blog, I don't like having my bio on the sidebar. Maybe a post will make it go away...