review º The System of Dante's Hell



10 thoughts on “The System of Dante's Hell

  1. says:

    Perhaps one of the best books I had ever re read My initial exposure was as a gregarious teenager looking for answers to uestions no one wanted to address Amiri did Relevant Enlightening Explosive


  2. says:

    Amiri Baraka's The System of Dante's Hell is a brilliant little book I am grateful to have discovered I had previously read Baraka's criticism eg Blues People published under the name LeRoi Jones and was generally familiar with his reputation as a poet To my knowledge this is Baraka's only novel originally published ca 1965 and one of only two of this prolific writer's published works in the fiction categoryThe newly published small paperback volume of just 160 pages belies the depth of the novel's thematic content as well as the complexity of its form Baraka riffs on the structure of hell originally set forth by Dante to outline his perspective on humanity's faults which is set forth in an unorthodox stream of consciousness style In addition to a pretty fascinating formal presentation Baraka's work features ideas that command the reader's attention due to their particular boldness and poignancy I highly recommend this work to prior readers of Baraka those interested in exploring his work's particular political and social themes at this time in his career or generally as well as to any lover of bold ideas in brilliant literary form Baraka's prose always punches through to strike the audience with his meaning as it were and yet it also rewards close scrutiny of its textual nuances by readers so inclinedThank you for reading my thoughts I hope they can be useful as you evaluate this prospective read Note It was my great good fortune to win a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program


  3. says:

    Written in an unconventional poetic prose that if to be converted to music would sound like an experimental chaotic jazz piece composed by the legendary Sun Ra a seminal piece of art in Amiri Baraka's then Leroi Jones body of work The book chronicles the life of an unnamed protagonist whom may or may not have been inspired by Baraka himself or a person whom he intimately knows as under Jim Crow oppression in both the rural south and the urban north With it's visual and descriptive writing one can smell cluttered littered Northern ghettoes as well as the fresh scent of Southern poplar trees that of course bore Strange Fruit In penning this work Baraka was inspired by concepts of Dantes Infernoalluding to dimensions of hell applying those to the black experience where one is both an invisible and hypervisible object marginalized by the overall society on the basis of human rights yet tokenized while in white dominated spaces Amiri painted a vivid picture of Black then Negro Life in America that while readers who aren't of African descendants may not readily resonate with those of us who are will as it will reflect our current conditions or read like an older relative reflecting on old times I enjoyed this very much a wild but all too familiar ride into the dark life of the black man


  4. says:

    I can't decipher this The writing is definitely expressive but I can't get a solid impression If I heard it as spoken beat poetry maybe I can put together a picture I'm not leaving a rating; I don't feel like I have the standing to Baraka's done SOMETHING and many people have recognized the value I can tell it's inside but can't unbox it Maybe I'll try again one day


  5. says:

    An experimental work of free writing; lyrical fragmentary riffs on race class sexuality and Dante's structure of hell


  6. says:

    ultimately Baraka demonstrates how he’s pretty much guilty of every sin imaginable


  7. says:

    I generally like Baraka's work This book was a bit tough to get through Surreal Different for sure But too disjointed to be his best


  8. says:

    Extremely well written highly recommended


  9. says:

    I'd read Dante's The Inferno in English a couple of times and was very much looking forward to reading this book Baraka wrote it in 1963 when he was still LeRoi Jones; Woodie King Jr producer and director of the writer's plays points out in his introduction this was a time when America had not yet witnessed the Watts Riots Malcolm had not been assassinated the the Black Arts Movement was not in ascendance Though I'd heard of Baraka's last play The Most Dangerous Man in America about WEB DuBois I haven't seen it nor did I know the writer's name — unfortunately a big gap in my educationKnowing that this experimental work had for its writer an intense connection with Dante's gave me a place to start The language and imagery of The System of Dante's Hell are powerful and vivid and forcefully push forward even an uninformed reader It is both poetry and novel free form yet it corresponds with the structure of Hell in Dante's workThere is freedom however and there is freedom Baraka’s form of writing can be called free in that it is not in accordance with any classically European poetic form like that with which Dante wrote Even without such a rigorous set of rules to constrain his expression however his words and meaning are imbued with imprisonment the imprisonment of his lifeDante used a constraining form of writing to express imprisonment in the tortures of Hell for eternity as the conseuences of choices made in life Baraka whose time place and conventions of writing are different makes what choices he can Terrifyingly for a black person in America those choices are made in a life that is already HellI have to confess that there is a lot that I don’t understand in this book If I have misread it please forgive me; know that I am moved and impressed by what I have read and no disrespect is intended


  10. says:

    An empty fight against the sogginess that had already crept in thru his eyes A bare bulb on a cluttered room A dirty floor full of food particles and roaches Lower middle class poverty In ten years merely to lose one's footing on a social scale Everything else that seriousness past passed Almost forgotten Amiri Baraka


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The System of Dante's Hell

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Ts linguistic slipperiness Baraka's language conveys the feelings of fear violation and fury with a surprising potency A pungent and lyrical portrait of mid '60s black protest Kirkus Reviews With a new introduction by Woodie King JrThis 1965 novel is a remarkable narrative of childhood and youth structured on the themes of Dante's Inferno v. An experimental Let God Guide You Daily remarkable narrative of childhood and youth structured on the themes of Dante's Inferno v. An experimental

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Much of the novel is an expression of the intellectual and moral lost motion of the agethe special agony of the American Negro New York Times Book Review A fevered and impressionistic riff on the struggles of blacks in the urban North and rural South as told through the prism of The InfernoOther writers addressed race directly but for all i. Written in an un The Art of the Hustle riff on the struggles of blacks in the urban North and Adolfo Kaminsky rural South as told through the prism of The InfernoOther writers addressed Aik Thi Sara / ایک تھی سارہ race directly but for all i. Written in an un

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Iolence incontinence fraud treachery With a poet's skill Baraka creates the atmosphere of hell and with dramatic power he reconstructs the brutality of the black slums of Newark a small Southern town and New York City The episodes contained within the novel represent both states of mind and states of the soul lyrical fragmentary and allusiv. I generally like