Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Incipit Vita Nova

Listen to: will.i.am "This is Love" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I9Ar6upx34

"In that book which is my memory, On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words, 'Here begins a new life'."

Dante "La Vita Nuova" (Italian for "The New Life")

For some reason I was thinking about this excerpt today. While I've been agitated about my potential move, I think I am more frustrated with my current stance in life in general. I feel like I am still awaiting the day I can start the rest of my life. A while back I read a small part of the Divine Comedy (didn't finish it though, I got stuck in Purgatorio--Pun intended) but I do think it's necessary for one to proceed through the obstacles of the Inferno to eventually get to where you want to be. (Although, allegorically speaking, the end for Dante was an ecclesiastical Paradise free from sin/repentance.) I just wonder how far along in the journey I really am. I guess the point is to just keep moving forward and eventually you'll make it (hopefully.)

If memory serves me correctly, I think the quote from above are the first few sentences of La Vita Nuova which I believe was a collection of mainly love poems that Dante wrote about his eternal love Beatrice. I would like to publish my poetry collection one day too and I feel compelled to draw whatever minute parallels I can between his life and mine mainly because I have poetry that was written over the course of ten years that collectively work as a unit and should be published before I proceed to the next chapter of my life. What I find so endearing about Dante's La Vita Nuova is the everlasting devotion/love for Beatrice (I forget the backstory but I think he only met her once or something.) Over the past year or so I've realized the importance of having an enduring source of happiness and love in one's life. I hope anyone who reads this stops and thinks about what that is for them. (Perhaps one achieves that through work or through the people in one's life.)

Lastly,  an interesting factoid about Dante's writings is that they were among the first texts written in Italian instead of Latin. This renders significant because it allowed literature to be accessible to the masses by virtue of the language it was published in (Italian was the major language spoken amongst citizens during the early renaissance.) Back before the 13th century Latin was the primary language of literature, thus written texts (and essentially education) were usually only accessible to the upper class or clergy. Oh yea, the title of the post means "here begins a new life" in Italian.

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