• To expose you to a different school of interpreting Dante’s Commedia from the more academic one we have pursued in class.
• To give you the opportunity to review, assess, and critique a commentary on the Commedia as an informed readers
• To model a form of “existentially or personally engaged” reading of classical texts, and provide a model for the final reflection assignment
• To be able to articulate accurately Dreher’s goals for writing this memoir, and to summarize and assess Dreher’s approach to reading the Commedia in a way that made a difference to his life;
• To charitably but critically engage Dreher’s interpretation of the Commedia based on your informed reading of the poem earlier in the semester.
1. What kind of book has Dreher written and
why? What is this book’s purpose?
2. A brief summary of the book’s narrative/
1. At least one or two strengths of Rod’s approach to reading and interpreting Dante
2. Include specific examples of those strengths and explain why they are strengths
1. Same as “Strengths” but focused this time of
the weaknesses of Dreher’s approach to interpreting Dante. D. Conclusion
1. Summary of the review
2. An assessment of the book’s value and suggested readership
Suggestions for Success:
• Do not call Dreher’s book a “novel.” It is a “memoir.” A “novel” is a work of fiction; this does not apply to Dreher’s book.
• Make sure that you are reviewing the book, not the author. Dreher’s disagreeable personality comes through the writing; take care not to review him (as tempting as it may be!).
book review of Rod Dreher’s How Dante Can Save Your Life. This review will be 2-3 pages and
involve a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Dreher’s book.
Instructions and Grading Rubric for the Book Review of Rod Dreher’s How Dante Can Save Your Life
• Review Dreher’s book according to the following prompt: “What is Dreher’s purpose in writing a memoir about reading Dante’s Commedia, what are the strengths and weaknesses of his personal memoir approach to interpreting Dante?”
• 2-3 double-spaced pages; size 12 Times New Roman font, 1- inch margins.
• Include your name on the top of the first page only; no further identifying information is needed.
• Submit the completed essay through the link on Moodle.