Esteemed professor Joseph Luzzi addresses the place of classic literature in the modern world with this riveting series of lectures. Advocating “the art of reading” as a way to answer essential questions of day-to-day life, Luzzi delves into the works of such literary titans as Plato, Shakespeare, and Virginia Woolf. By doing so, he tackles such age-old questions as “How do we fall in love?” and “How do we confront evil?”
I'm not going to finish reading this, at least not until i finish many of the other things on my list, because i feel the title is misleading. I've listened to about half of it in full, and i've skimmed through the rest of it, enough to be confident in what i write here.
Luzzi's audio course claims to be about the art of reading, but in the very first lecture, he admits that one of his primary aims is to expose readers to his favorite works, and, he hopes, inspire them to read them themselves. There is nothing essentially wrong or dishonest about that in itself - practically every book or audio course i've read or listened to has the same aim, to a greater or lesser degree. Where the misleading nature comes in is that, in this case, Luzzi's aim is an Italian Nationalist aim, in that just about every example he uses to illustrate his points come from Italian authors. Even Italian cinema seems to come up more often than all non-Italian authors combined. (Excepting Homer and Virgil)
Dante seems to come up numerous times in every single lecture, and there have been no less than three references to Vittorio Alfieri, an author that Luzzi admits that few of his listeners outside of Italy will even have heard of. In fact, I think a more appropriate title for this course, to this point, would be "The impact of Dante on later Italian literature" - very few substantive changes would need to be included in order to make this title change.
Had that been the title, my rating would have been higher - Luzzi has a good voice for reading these books, and his knowledge of the subject matter is clearly top notch. Then again, had that been the title, i likely wouldn't have purchased this book in the first place.
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