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In the middle of my journey through 2018, I found myself in a dark wood, and a bit more literally I found myself ready to teach Dante once more to a group of undergraduates.  Between the Commedia’s powerful central narrator and the ongoing inquiry into the nature of the soul, sin, redemption, and divine glory, this is a book that I love to teach as much as any other, but Dante is a poet we best encounter alongside a teacher, someone to explain the obscure bits and to pose the right questions.  Jason M. Baxter is one of those teachers, and his new book A Beginner’s Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy, from Baker Academic, gets us ready to take on Dante, situating Dante’s life and questions and literary tendencies before we cross over those dark rivers.

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