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Anne F.

A beautiful and passionate post--especially today when so many of us are hopeful about new changes in marriage equality.

But I wonder if there isn't another way. Dante isn't my writer, but I teach plenty of texts that offend me and from which I wish to protect my students. I sometimes give prophylactic mini-lectures, but that doesn't feel right either.

Candace Barrington

Wow. You point out a problem many of us face when teaching literature from the medieval (or other) past. These texts abound with negative images that could dismay just about any student, especially women and non-Christians. Not teaching those texts doesn't seem to be the answer. It would be interesting to learn how others deal with these situations.


Although I do agree with Erick's point on the homophofic aspect of certain passages in the book, I strongly disagree in the radical view of erasing the text, so to speak, from classrooms. In that case, should we teach only Whitman due to his political correctness and not Yeats or Pound due to their political allegiances?

For example, denying the pleasure of the terza rima to students (or its translation in any case) would certainly hamper their views not just in the prosody of the rich verancular Italian of Dante, but of the richer scope of influence this particular rhyme stanza has had in the upcoming centuries. This type of procedures, I think, are in the borderline of the censorship: should we, as teachers, deny or select the politically correct texts in order to keep everyone happy? I think one of the solutions is for the students to grasp the downsides and discuss, with their teachers, of the use of this type of comments by Dante. I think it should prove a far more richer discussion than just simply erasing it from the courses.

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