Friday, November 12, 2010


I find it interesting that quite a few famous writers and philosophers have spent time in exile. Ironically, this is where many often felt inspired and produced some of their greatest works. As we learned in class today, Voltaire spent 3 years in exile in England, because he criticized the French aristocracy. Obviously this expulsion did not stop him from writing satiric verses; instead, many of his experiences during this time probably encouraged him to continue and even sparked new ideas. What other writers or philosophers that we have discussed benefitted from exile?


Blaine said...

I'm not quite sure if Dante Alighieri benefitted from exile but, some time after his expulsion from Florence by Pope Boniface, Dante convieved "The Divine Comedy". Actually, it is unlikely Dante would have undertaken this work only after he realized that his personal political ambitions, which were extremely important to Dante, would have to be put on hold for a large amount of time. For Dante, exile was just as bad as death; it stripped him from his own identity and heritage and in "Paradiso", thoroughly comments on the pains of exile.

C-Sted said...

Interestingly enough, El Cid, the legendary general upon whom Le Cid was based, was exiled by King Alfonso for unclear reasons in 1080. Once exiled, he joined the Moorish forces in Spain and actually fought against his previous allies! He was so effective in fighting his former comrades that he was finally recalled from exile by Alfonso. El Cid eventually ended up commanding a force of both Moorish and Christian forces. In fact, he was remembered as a Christian martyr only because he happened to be allied with Alfonso and the Christians at the time of his death.