Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  Reading, of course, is key in all of these.  With this in mind, we asked some faculty members at St. John’s about books that have influenced them personally or professionally. 

Dr. Florence M. Russo, an assistant professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures, writes:      

  Dante’s 14th century masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, a text which I have read countless times, has had a most incredible influence on my life. The text has become my second Bible. I would not be the person that I am today, had I never read it. For one, I would not be doing exactly what I am doing now as my chosen profession. The text’s sublime poetry and symmetry, its life lessons and emphasis on the power of the word and the importance of interpretation have set the fundamentals for world literature. As we journey through his text, Dante teaches us to become more attentive readers and thus more attentive discerners in the great text that is life, in its truths and in its semblances, to discern always the truth, even the truth that has the face of a lie (‘l ver c’ha la faccia di menzogna).                                                                                        

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