Philosophy and Literature 36 (1):111-121 (2012)

William Franke
Vanderbilt University
By exposing itself as fiction, Dante’s poetry becomes true. Especially the Malebolge stages a relentless self-critique by Dante of his prophetic voice and the presumption of a human poet who imitates divine prophecy through merely human counterfeits. This self-deconstruction opens the poem to being informed from above and beyond itself by an authority not its own: divine grace can work the revelation of truth directly within interpretive acts of readers focused on the “doctrine hiding beneath the veil of the strange verses.” The apex (or nadir) of infernal irony is that Dante’s Inferno becomes prophetic revelation of truth by undermining its own merely human claim to be capable of delivering just such revelation.
Keywords Dante  Irony  Self-criticism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/phl.2012.0019
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,114
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Dante's Inferno as Poetic Revelation of Prophetic Truth.William Franke - 2009 - Philosophy and Literature 33 (2):pp. 252-266.
Traversing the Inferno: A New Direction for Business Ethics.Daryl Koehn - 2000 - Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (1):255-268.
Dante and Governance.John Woodhouse (ed.) - 1997 - Clarendon Press.
Dante As Philosopher at the Boundary of Reason.Christine O’Connell Baur - 2002 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:193-210.
Prophetic Experience as Revelation.Bernard Cooke - 1987 - Philosophy and Theology 1 (3):214-224.


Added to PP index

Total views
29 ( #392,037 of 2,499,055 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #419,059 of 2,499,055 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes