• Góry i wspinaczka w „Boskiej komedii” Dantego

Góry i wspinaczka w „Boskiej komedii” Dantego

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19195/2084-4107.15.3
Jacek Kolbuszewski
Google Scholar Jacek Kolbuszewski


The study uses a variant of the geocritical methodology combined with humanistic mining studies. It was pointed out that in Dante’s poem there were numerous references to the realities of real space (the Alps and the Apennines, which, appearing as a separate part of the mountain world, in the poem at the same time constitute a kind of props room of mountain motifs, used in the construction of Purgatory Mountain). Also, the journeys of the heroes, Dante and his guide Virgil, can be perceived realistically as an actual journey, made in a difficult mountain terrain. It was specified in the realities of Hell, Purgatory Mountain, and Paradise. In this way, using specific Earth realities, Dante created a powerful vision largely made of mountain realities. Mount Purgatory, the target of Dante’s ascent, created when Lucifer, thrown from the heavens, struck the depths of the Earth deep into its center, which changed the hemisphere and pushed up the land masses, throwing them over the surface of the ocean covering the southern hemisphere. Locating the Mount of Purgatory in the center of the southern hemisphere, and at the antipodes of Jerusalem, as a mountain rising on a small island from the vastness of the seas covering this part of the world, Dante used elements of the Muslim tradition (perhaps known to him) with its notions of a lofty, pyramidal shape, which is considered to be the holy Mount of Adam (2243 m) in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The poet, however, never once described the Purgatory Mountain as a whole, creating a vision of its enormity seen from under its steep walls, but he introduced into the poem numerous details about the surface of this mountain and how to climb it. He filled his abstract vision with real details. From the very first songs of Purgatory, the narrative runs in the order of the characters’ ascent towards the summit Paradise. The work hypothesized that the famous poet Bismantova became the prototype of the Dante Mountain of Purgatory, such a judgment is almost universally approved. That Dante saw this mountain is certain: he was in Lunigiano and Casentino (Bismantova rises right next to it) in 1306, and certainly before 1315, at the time when Divine Comedy was being written. For the accuracy of this hypothesis, the shape of this vast rock mass (culmination in 1047), rising above the level of the surrounding valleys by about 400 m in height with almost vertical rock walls, is of great importance for the accuracy of this hypothesis. The peak landscape largely corresponds to the ideas of an ancient idyllic grove. These realities of the mountain landscape meant that the thought about them found literary expression in the pages of Dante’s poem, which prompts me to share my opinion that the sight of the boatswain and his presence in it gave Dante a vision of the Purgatory Mountain as a “hybrid” creation, partially a description of a real landscape and in part a fantastic, syncretic vision based on elements of ancient literary tradition. The description of climbing this mountain leads us through a narrow chimney, overhang, and other rock formations, forming terraces in the structure of the mountain. The conclusion of the work are the words of Italian literary researcher Filippo Zolezzi, who wrote that “Mount Purgatory appears as an absolute ideal of a mountain, because on its top there is an earthly Paradise — a space of direct contact with the divine, hence even the most beautiful earthly mountains are merely a copy of them. However, the very fact that a poet — a man — to reach this summit, has to climb, climb, makes it an ideal prototype for mountain climbing”.

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