I have read the Commedia many times, in all of the editions I could find, and I have been distracted by the different commentaries, the varied interpretations of that multifaceted work. … I have found that in the oldest editions theological commentary predominates; in the nineteenth century, historical; and currently, aesthetic, which directs us toward the accentuation of each line, one of the great virtues of Dante.
–Jorge Luis Borges “Seven Nights”
As I’ve been preoccupied with Kierkegaard lately, I seem to read everything with reference to him. During a discussion of Dante’s Divine Comedy in my GR group, someone quoted Borges comment on the commentaries, which I find a bit depressing from the Kierkegaardian pov. This trend in the literary commentary (which is perhaps true not only with regard to Divine Comedy in particular, but also in general), shifting from theological to historical to aesthetic, seems to correspond well with Kierkegaard’s three spheres of existence, the religious, the ethical and the aesthetic. Apparently we’re descending from the highest sphere to the lowest. What’s next, I wonder?