Spring 1952 • Vol. XIV No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1952 |

The Other Journey

Wherefore, I too, desiring to furnish something by way of introduction . . . have thought that something concerning the whole work should be premised, that the approach to the part should be easier and more complete. Dante to Can Grande In his Letter to Can Grande, where he explains that his poem is polysemous and that its subject is twofold, Dante does not point to the allegory of a journey in the Comedy. More senses than one and a duality of subject he explains with respect rather to things seen beyond. The subject, he says, taken in the literal sense, is the "state of souls after death"; whereas, allegorically, it is (to reduce his longer statement of it) God's justice as that may be seen in the state of souls after death. We take him to mean this: the literal sense, so defined, will point beyond itself in the manner that we may in fact see it doing as we read the poem. Here are Francesca and Paolo, forever without peace, tossed on an infernal storm. This is the simp

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.