AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Katherine Anne Porter's 'Flowering Judas' and Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy' and 'Monarchia':: Personal Testimony in Political and Religious Discourse

by Leigh Dr Johnson

Institution: Marymount University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Politics; Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321 Porter, Katherine Anne, 1890-1980 Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984 (Subject)
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2100881
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1961/graduatethesesandprojects:66


By using Michel Foucault’s observation of discourses over time as a way to view works by Dante Alighieri and Katherine Anne Porter, one can see not only the mark of the cultures they come from, but also the persistent influence of Dante’s words and the way in which literary history holds within it each step in the evolution of linguistic meaning. Porter’s hovering, haunting, and internalized perception of evil, is reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, which analyzes all aspects of evil and its ultimate punishment. Porter uses religious language and imagery that is also reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno and yet the meaning is different in reference to words such as savior and saint, faith and devotion. While Dante uses religious imagery with its intended religious meaning, separate from the political, just as he separates religious and political authority; Porter uses religious imagery in a comparison to the political, not as a separate entity but in reference to or replacement of an almost interchangeable institution of power. Each from their own place in history, borrowing from and adding to the ongoing literary discourses, they addressed these themes from perspectives fueled by cultures that are separated by hundreds of years.