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'Dante - Poet of the secular world' is both a comprehensive introduction to the work of one of the greatest poets and a brilliantly provocative and stimulating essay in the history of ideas. Here, Auerbach argues paradoxically but powerfully that it is to Dante, supreme among Christian poets, that we owe the concept of the secular world. Dante's poetry, Auerbach shows, offers an extraordinary synthesis of the sensuous and the conceptual, and individual and the universal, that redefined notions of human character and fate and opened the way into modernity. Contents - I. Historical introduction, The idea of man in literature; II. Dante's early poetry; III. The subject of the 'comedy'; IV. The structure of the 'comedy'; V. The presentation; VI. The survival and tansformation of Dante's vision of reality; Notes; Index.