a very important English translation of the Divine Comedy is the one by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882), an American poet, author of classics like Evangeline.
After the tragic death of his wife, who died of burns due to a domestic accident, Longfellow sought solace in translating into English Dante's masterpiece.
A significant coincidence with the painful authobiographical circumstances Luzzi speaks about in this interview.
Here you have a few questions about the article you can reply to as English practice.
1. Is Joseph Luzzi an American or Italian author and teacher?
2. The book he wrote was recently published in Italy or in the US?
3. Does he believe that Dante in the US is videly or rarely read outside of an academic context?
4. In the interview, does he say that modern or medieval Tuscan is very precise and musical?
5. Did he first discover dante or Shakespeare while in Italy?
6. Where did his illiterate uncle quoted Dante's Divina Commedia?
7. Is Dark Wood the title of one of his lectures or books?
8. What does the selva oscura refer to, in Luzzi's opinion?
9. According to Luzzi, which one between the Divine Comedy and De Vulgari Eloquentia is about landing in crisis and finding your way out?
Liliana: thank you for your comment. So nice reading about your experience. Dante is one of the pillars we can bear on all the times we need to understand the human nature, the way only classics can let it happen.
Also I remember illiterate elderly people capable of quoting entire passages from classic authors. Also their lives and constant advice were inspired by classics, since everybody knew about them, either they had had the chance to go to school or not. Just and wise people, our ancestors. What about us?
See you in class,
Anna - Coordinator
Source: Speak Up, January 2016