VS‘is an air that we once breathed, this purer air that the poets have vainly tried to make reign in paradise and which could only give this deep sensation of renewal if it had already been breathed, because true paradises are the paradises we have lost “, wrote Marcel Proust in Recovered time, about the power of remembrance and the hope of touching a past wholeness again.
Is the Paradise to which the Florentine poet has launched himself to conquer? The impetus for his trip was the desire to find the late beloved Beatrice Portinari. But his conquest is also quite different, far from the chimera of vain reunion. The Bliss that Dante seeks, had he already smelled it from a distance, is yet to come; it arises from the aspiration of every man for eternal life. Like a conjugation to the future future.
“The desire should ignite us more to see the Essence in which is seen how our nature to God is linked”, remarks the poet. “There we will see what comes from faith, not demonstrated but as obvious as the primary truths in which we believe” (Paradise II, 40-45). This thirst for height actually concerns all Dantesque fields. It is the engine of the political commitment of the Florentine, of his ideal of justice for his country and his contemporaries. And it is the literary and stylistic ambition that he has set for himself with a contract impossible to honor: to say the inexpressible.
Unspeakable because human words and understandings cannot, and unspeakable because we do not disclose the gifts of God. Leaving, and as it approaches the ” Fixed point “, it is this very ineffability that he will describe in his poem. Wouldn’t a Paradise to be rediscovered be that of the perfect language as Adam spoke it? Or is it rather that of another language, flexible and adaptable to the future? “Just as the forma locutionis perfect allowed Adam to speak with God, likewise the illustrious vulgar is what enables the poet to make the words adequate for what they are to express, emphasizes Umberto Eco. Dante, instead of blaming the multiplicity of languages, emphasizes their almost biological strength, their ability to renew themselves, to change over time. Because it is precisely on the basis of the affirmation of this linguistic creativity that he can propose to invent a modern and natural perfect language, without chasing lost models.. “
In Paradise 2, the admirer of Dante Philippe Sollers offers a story without punctuation or paragraphs in order, he says, to fight against “The restricted order of the old muddled earthly logic”. He writes : “ (…) today as yesterday tomorrow as the day after tomorrow in the centuries of the centuries falling into the passing centuries ephemeral triumph acquired from the all said I remember hosanna the blessed laurels were waved in the church the sun was shining on the great forecourt holy week hours of passion purple curtain torn from the temple convulsion wanted under the cries gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper as long as there is one voice to sing ears to listen to. “
At the end of the story of his stay in Paradise, arriving at the Empyrean, Dante multiplies the expression of his insufficiency. He understands that, alive, he is limited by “The mists of his mortality”. And that he can do nothing but surrender himself to “Love that moves the Sun and the stars”. In A season in Hell, Arthur Rimbaud exclaims: “She’s found! / What?” Eternity. / It’s the mixed sea / In the sun. “