Using Shelter in Place as a Time to Learn

Pandemic Diary Day 9

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April 2, 2020

It is said that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague… no pressure.

At the same time, the New York Times had an article in today’s paper titled “Stop trying to be Productive”.

I am trying to find a happy medium.

I said that I had the absolute privilege of reading for most of my day. I am a widow so I live alone, and due to widowhood I no longer have a place of business, again, giving me the privilege of spending my days reading.

So in my down time I have decided to structure my day with at least one hour of learning. For this I plan to dive into Dante. This means attempting (with a capital A) to reread Comedia, or Divine Comedy as it has been published in English. I am doing this with a handful of other sources at my side to help me decipher what I am completely incapable of understanding without a lot of far more educated people explaining it all to me.

I am using the Portable Dante edited by Paolo Milano for this project.

The word reading might be a misnomer here. Yes I am re-reading this elegant work of art, but with reading I think one should have more than a meager grasp of understanding, comprehension and well the simple “get it”, concept. So that is why I am filing this under the learning category instead of “What I am Reading”. I don’t think I will ever have more than a whisper of understanding as to the complexity of this symphony, and maybe that is why I keep re-reading it, some day I may “get it”.

Why Dante? I believe that it is because I am sure that I am supposed to do so. Oh hell no, not because it is a divine calling (no pun intended), but because no well rounded education is complete without a “general” understanding of this incredible work of art.

I am sorry that I don’t have the skill set to read this in Italian as I understand that reading it in the demanding Italian verse form called terza rima is to read poetry at its abolute finest. The 100 cantos (literally, “songs”) average 140 lines each and are made up of three-line units called tercets. This poem rhymes easier in Italian, because almost all the words end in vowels, thus giving Dante more words that rhyme with each other. The translation into English loses this rhyming ability, although the poem is still one of the greatest in the world.

What better to study during this horrible period in history than a narrative poem/book/14,233 line, three part cantiche, where at Canto III it reads ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’.

Dante by RWB Lewis

The Lecture series Dante’s Divine Comedy from The Great Courses

Open Yale Courses

Trivial Things

My Horoscope for today: He may not have a lot of zeroes after his salary figure now, but you’d be amazed at what your love and support can do to get him to clamber up the ladder of success.

The NYT Crossword Puzzle: A tough one today, especially with the number of rebuses

San Francisco weather: 58 degrees and sunny

NYSE DOW opened at: 20819

Italian word of the day: distribuzione (allotment)

Spanish word of the day: renovable (renewable)

OED word of the day: chicken scratch

Days under Shelter In Place: 20

Reading: The King Must Die by Mary Renault

A Special Something: The Hundred Millions Mask Challenge . The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum announced a bobblehead to honor Dr. Anthony Fauci, and will donate $5 from every Dr. Fauci bobblehead they sell to the American Hospital Association in support of the challenge.

My Black and White Picture of the Day

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School Is Out Indefinitely

If you like this please give me a clap and let me know. Thank you.

My travel blog www.PassportandBaggage.com and my www.ArtandArchitecture-sf.com blog are quiet due to the Pandemic. I need to write, so here I go.

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