Toni Morrison’s Jazz and Dante Alighieri’s Purgatorio: Out in the Open

As Erin Herbst‘s and Brianne Briggmann‘s posts indicate, we along with Ron Herzman are taking the first steps towards a collaborative essay exploring how Toni Morrison’s Jazz recapitulates and revises Dante Alighieri’s Purgatorio.

The project is an offshoot of Fall 2016’s Toni Morrison’s Trilogy course where the class concentrated on the relationship between Morrison’s Paradise and Dante’s Paradiso, and we hope to do much of the thinking towards it in public.

There are risks to doing so, of course. For instance, anyone from anywhere can read this, scrape our interpretations, and use them elsewhere without credit or citation.

But there are also benefits. Academic thinking and conversation in the humanities are often seen as mysterious. Humanities folks don’t always do a great job in showing the larger public how careful and slow our work so often is, and why it is careful and slow of necessity. We hope that doing this project out in the open proves worth the risk and yields benefits both expected and unexpected.

 

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