Another related question. I've just started reading this and I'm already starting to tell that a ton of references are flying over my head, even with the translation notes. Although I'm able to get the general gist of what's going on, I'm afraid that I'm not really getting the full affect of the work, since I didn't start with the greeks.
Should I go back and read up on the greeks and then come back to this, or am I just being autistic about this?
>>7574492 Eh, not really. I mean, with Dante, some stuff is just going to fly over your head unless you have extensive notes. He's probably the most erudite poet of all time. Reading the greeks won't cover 50% of it. Aside from there also being plenty if not more Romans, there's a lot of minor parts of the bible that aren't commonly read or told, (out-dated) astronomy, theology, history, politics, and even a famous geometry reference right at the end.
The everyman's library edition has really extensive and helpful notes for all of this, and world of Dante is also helpful.
But in spite of all this, if you're reading in English, the most important thing to remember, more important than any notes or references, is to always visualize what you're reading. A big part of Dante's charm is that he's a painter with a gigantic imagination.
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