Learn node: The Triple Fool by John Donne

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Posted on 12th January 2009 by Judy Breck in literature

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Scholars and sippers of poetry can find most any literary verse, ode, or rune with a click or two to marvelous online collections. None of these surpasses the work of Anniina Jokinen at her “labor of love” Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature. Click the image above to read John Donne’s The Triple Fool while enjoying an image from Vermeer to suggest its origin. You can hear the poem read by opening the audio clip.

The Luminarium has been a major resource for scholars and lovers of English literature since 1996. It is not a product of academia or educational publishers. With a few ads, a knowledgeable store, and a few friends for support, Luminarium is the creation of an individual 21st century literary devotee.

Learn node: Dante’s Divine Comedy and digital labyrinth of wondrous works

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Posted on 19th February 2008 by Judy Breck in history | literature

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dantefront.jpgThis learn node is a digital landing page that points to a virtual paradise of open material online about the works of Dante Alighieri. The above image is from the magnificent multimedia collection at the University of Texas called Danteworlds. The materials in the UT project combine “artistic images, textual commentary, and audio recordings–through the three realms of the afterlife (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise) presented in Dante’s Divine Comedy.” A links page points to four Dante websites that contain the text of the great poem (and much more!) at: Columbia University, the University of Virginia, Princeton University, and Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze’s Dante Online – which calls it subject:

The greatest poet of Italy, generally acclaimed with Shakespeare and Goethe as one of the three universal geniuses of western European literature, Dante Alighieri was also a prose writer, rhetorician, theorist of his own Italian vernacular literature, moral philosopher, and political thinker, with an immense variety of literary output.

Truly a wondrous labyrinth, Dante open Internet resources are formed by the rich interlinking of ideas and information among the major sources mentioned above, and to myriad more facts and facets of that can be connected, like this one from a Yale University open course on Modern Poetry transcript:

And the endnotes we have here are worth contemplating. In a sense, Eliot’s notes are a kind of extension of the poem, part of the poem. These lines bear the note “four”:

“And below I heard them nailing shut the door / of the horrible tower.” [The speaker of those lines that Eliot is alluding to, half-quoting, is Dante's Count Ugolino in the thirty-third canto of The Inferno.] The traitor Ugolino tells Dante that his enemies imprisoned him and his children in a tower to die of starvation.

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