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By David Bezmozgis

The most expected foreign debuts of 2004, David Bezmozgis's Natasha and different tales lives as much as its buzz with a variety of award differences and a sheaf of compliment from reviewers and readers. those are tales that seize the immigrant event with wit and deep sympathy, recalling the early paintings of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth. An exquisitely crafted assortment from a talented younger author.

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When the pilgrim, in the heaven of Mars, is told by his ancestor Cacciaguida that during his approaching exile he will experience "what a hard path it is to descend and mount by another's stairs" (Par. 58-60), his basic images for the poet's journey to God-the way or road, and the stairway-are fused in the description of the pain of exile. ) Such a nexus of words, images, and rhymes is another link in the chain. In this profoundly Boethian passage, misfortune is recast as blessing, and one of Dante's most heartfelt insights into how his life and his poem have become unified crystallizes around the figure of the stairway of being.

As C. H. , Isidore, Brunetto Latini, Vincent of Beauvais, Bartholomew of England), which brings together information on all subjects; and finally, the supreme work of the medieval theologian, the comprehensive presentation of theological knowledge in a summa. Dante frames a number of problems in the poem as scholastic quaestiones; but the parallel with scholastic method goes deeper. We might here recall Erwin Panofsky's thesis that the same principles governed the scholastic sum mae and the great Gothic cathedrals: the cathedrals, like the highly rationalized sequence of topics of a summa, exhibit clarity for clarity's sake, manifesting the exhaustive articulation of their parts; but, like the balancing of authorities and reason in the scholastic response to a question, they also embody a principle of concord, or reconciliation of contradictory views, in that the history of solutions to specific problems (like the insertion of a rose window into a markedly vertical facade) begins by sharpening and concludes by reconciling opposing tendencies.

Gilson, Etienne. 1936. The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy (Gifford Lectures, 1931-1932). Translated by A. H. C. Downes. New York: Scribner. Holmes, George. 1980. Dante. Past Masters. Oxford: Oxford University Press. - - - . 1986. Florence, Rome, and the Origins of the Rel1aissance. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hughes, Robin. 1968. Heaven and Hell in Western Art. New York: Stein and Day. 23 Introductioll Jacoff, Rachel, ed. 1993. The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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