24 gennaio 2011 di casalinopierluigi
THE CASE OF THE DIVINA COMMEDIA AND THE LIBRO DELLA SCALA
In the case of Divina Commedia and the Libro della Scala (Liber Scalae) he parallel to quote is not supported by any casual nexus, but its curious points of coincidence fully merit to be placed on record for the benefit of future investigators of literary influences and in memory of the distinguished Dante’s Italian scholar Maria Corti. The little known poem of Sana^’i^’ (d. circa 1150) called sayr al-‘ibad^d ila^ l-mi’a^d “The journey of God’s creatures of the Afterworld” was first described by prof. R.A.Nicholson (d. 17 August 1945) in the 1943 in the “Transactions of the Bombay Branch of the R.A.S.” As no offprints were available during the II World War, Nicholson had his article reprinted privately in Wales (Town-on-Sea, 1944, 8 pages) under the title “A Persian Forerunner of Dante”. In Nicholson‘s words: “in this masterpiece of grotesque imagination Sana^-i^ depicts to return of the fallen soul to its Divine origin and ultimate home. Like Dante, he tells how in the dark wilderness he met a Guide who escorted him through all the limbos of mortal anguish and terror”. In a latter to Vladimir Minorski (15 May 1944), Prof. Nicholson referred to important differences between Sana^’-i^’s poem and the Divina Commedia; he thought it “unlikely that Dante had…even the remotest acquaintance with (Sana^’-i‘^’s work): the source of the correspondence of ideas lies farther back in the so-called “tradition” of the Prophet witch embody popular Moslem conceptions of “Hell and Paradise”. Nicholson’s rendering of a small number of Sana^’i^’s verses (arranged in 45 terzine) is exceptionally fortunate. He himself, despite all his usual modesty, wrote: “I myself believe that artistically it is one of the best things I have done”. We can speak of nothing more than a parallelism of thought of the two poets, divided in Time by the span of the two centuries, and in Space by the distance between Ghazna in Afghanistan and Florence, but to conclude, I wish particularly to stress the detail that Sana^’i^ speaks not the Prophet’s mi’ra^j of the Ascent of a simple mortal being. This is the most curious detail the text discovered by Nicholson.
Casalino Pierluigi, 24.01.2011.
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