By Benjamin Harshav, Barbara Harshav
Offers info at the Yiddish language and literature, describes poetic kinds, and gathers poems in Yiddish and English through seven of the easiest Jewish American poets.
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Additional info for American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology
68 Olivi’s reference to the “spiritual life of the saints” makes the most sense as a reference to the rigorists in the order. We can also see important diﬀerences in the ways in which Dante and Olivi interpret and use the biblical text. While both look to the same passage of scripture to discover how Church corruption ﬁts into the divinely ordered history of the Church, Olivi stays fairly close to the literal text, while Dante does not. As we have seen, both Olivi and Dante end up fusing the harlot and the beast on which she sits into one ﬁgure, though Olivi does so by making an argument about details in the text, while Dante simply omits the beast altogether.
There remains, however, the more general question of the extent to which Dante may be indebted simply to Ubertino rather than to Olivi. This is a question that deserves a separate and much more careful study than I have space for here, but the few critics who have treated the topic (Davis, op. , and Manselli) come to the conclusion that the evidence, while not conclusive, suggests that Dante knew both Ubertino’s Arbor vitae and Olivi’s commentary. The most thorough treatment is Manselli’s “Pietro di Giovanni Olivi ed Ubertino da Casale (a proposito della Lectura super Apocalipsim e dell’Arbor vitae cruciﬁxae Jesu),” in Da Gioacchino da Fiore, 79–107.
59 This identiﬁcation of the harlot of Apocalypse 17 with the corrupt Church has parallels in Olivi’s commentary. In traditional medieval exegesis, this passage describes the time of the Antichrist, who is represented by the meretrix magna. As the Glossa Ordinaria reads verse one, the harlot refers to some yet undetermined Antichrist (Meretrix ista magna est Antichristus), according with the Augustinian tradition of exegesis. Olivi, on the other hand, also sees in the whore of Apocalypse 17 an image of the corrupt Church: “she is therefore called a great prostitute, because withdrawing from the faithful worship and genuine love and delights of the God Christ her bridegroom, she clings to this age and its delights and riches and the devil and even the kings and magnates and prelates and all other lovers of this world,”60 although he does not link the corruption directly to the papacy, much less to individual, and speciﬁcally named, popes.
American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology by Benjamin Harshav, Barbara Harshav