New permanent link
This morning I added a new permanent link to this blog. The site is called "Florence Live!" and, if nothing else, it will probably keep Erika and me occupied for hours on end. I learned about its existence only night before last, after I purchased the paperback edition of Heloise & Abelard, by James Burge, at Border's in Mesa. After I arrived home and started browsing through the book, I was delighted to learn that (1) the same author is about to publish a new book, titled Dante & Beatrice, and (2) that the first chapter of that book had been inserted at the end of the one I had just purchased, enabling me to have a sneak preview of it right there on the spot. I was up until nearly midnight reading that chapter, from which I learned of the existence of this website, one of whose features is a live webcam view of the north end of the Ponte Santa Trinita'. That location is traditionally held to be the site of Dante's fateful meeting with Beatrice and her two friends sometime in the year 1284. (Henry Holliday's famous, though inaccurate, depiction of this encounter may be found here.)
The chapter, by the way, concludes thus, offering some consolation to a Dante enthusiast who himself has had a rather checkered life:
"He ends the Vita Nuova by saying that from then on it was his intention to write about Beatrice in a way that no one had ever written about a woman before. Despite the fact that he was destined to lead a life that, for all his undoubted genius, was to be characterized by a pattern of repeated failures and disappointments, nobody could deny that he did indeed achieve that."
Truer words, in my judgment, have never been written.