American Dante Bibliography for 1976

Anthony L. Pellegrini

This bibliography is intended to include the Dante translations published in this country in 1976 and all Dante studies and reviews published in 1976 that are in any sense American. The latter criterion is construed to include foreign reviews of American publications pertaining to Dante. 



“Dante’s Inferno [from Canto XXV from Canto XXVI].” [Translated by] Allen Mandelbaum. In Denver Quarterly, X, No. 4 (1976), 51-56. 

Presented here is a sampling (Inf. XXV, 35-144, and XXVI, 64-142, of Mr. Mandelbaum’s new version of Dante’s poem englished in blank verse and observing the three-line stanza of the original. (For a critical discussion of this in a brief review-article by Burton Raffel, see below, under Studies.)

Inferno. Illustrated by Gustave Doré; with a new introduction by Michael Marqusee. New York: Paddington Press Ltd. [and Two Continents Publishing Group], 1976. 13 + 183 p. illus. 38 leaves of plates. (Masterpieces of the Illustrated Book.)

The translation of the text is that of Henry Francis Cary, reprinted from the 1890 (?) edition of the Divine Comedy New York: A. L. Burt).



Abrams, Richard. “Inspiration and Gluttony: The Moral Context of Dante’s Poetics of the ‘Sweet New Style.’” In MLN, XCI (1976), 30-59 

Presents an interpretation of the Bonagiunta episode in Purgatorio XXIV, with its statement of Dante’s poetic sincerity, and of the location of this statement of poetics here on the terrace of gluttons, contending (1) that the vice of gluttony is identified with Dante’s early lyric style that he abandoned in his first canzone of the Vita Nuova, Donne ch’avete intelletto d’amore, which has won Bonagiunta’s acclaim; (2) that Bonagiunta’s inability to achieve such a style was due to his gluttony, the moral vice causing his artistic failure; and (3) that, in light of its relation to gluttony, Dante’s resolve to seek happiness in words praising his lady, marked by the composition of Donne ch’avete, provides a link of continuity between this moment of inspiration in the Vita Nuova and Dante’s achievement in the Divina Commedia. Some of the elements considered in their contextual interrelationships are the “nodo” and its echoes elsewhere in the poem; the focus on the mouth as both the point of receiving physical food and the point of expressing the effects of spiritually or intellectually acquired nourishment; the tree of prohibition before which the souls seem to waste away externally even as they gain internal sustenance for achieving salvation while on the terrace of gluttony in Purgatory; and other narrative developments in this area of the cantica as well as certain connections with the Vita Nuova. In sum, the expectation of reward from the lady characteristic of the old lyric is associated with gluttonous acquisitiveness; this morally vicious situation prevented true inner inspiration in the poet-lover; Dante’s turning to the “nova matera” of disinterested praise of his lady in the Vita Nuova marks his break or cutting of the “nodo,” with the old lyric mode, which thus released his inspiration for an artistic progression beginning with Donne ch’avete and leading eventually to the Commedia itself.

Aronoff, Marcia. “Dream and Non-Dream in Dante’s The Vita Nuova.” In Cithara XVI (Nov. 1976), 18-32.

On the heels especially of J.E. Shaw, C.S. Singleton, and Jerome Mazzaro, the author further examines the various forms of dream, hallucination, and vision in the Vita Nuova in the light of Freudian psychology as reflected along the way of Dante’s development from sensitive perception and memory to intellectual and spiritual, to the point where the dream device is no longer necessary for turning “the rationalization of the worldly into the intellectual.”

Atchity, Kenneth John. “Dante’s Purgatorio: The Poem Reveals self.” In Italian Literature, Roots and Branches, pp. 85-115. [1976]

Focuses on the dimension of “inward-turning self-reflexiveness” in the Purgatorio, whereby Dante’s “poema sacro” so comments upon its own nature that artistic introspection becomes the major theme of this cantica. Examined in some detail are the role Dante lays for the reader, which is analogous to that played by Beatrice and Virgil for him, and the compelling effect the poem has upon the reader by its studied artistic self-reflexiveness. The reader is made to identify with the Pilgrim in the spiritual journey from time to eternity by a number of artistic devices through which the poem declaims its own aesthetic and moral and thereby actually communicates the beatific vision within itself. The author analyzes the invocations or addresses to the reader in their effect of getting the latter involved along with the Pilgrim in the whole spiritual experience under narration. He next analyzes the extremely evocative carvings (prompted by the classical rhetorical device of ecphrasis) which function as a poetic microcosm, an analogue of the poem itself. Lastly, the poets Virgil and Statius are examined as prototypical redeemers or Christ-figures that play a double role, aesthetic and moral, of instructing Dante-Pilgrim, who as Dante-poet, however, surpasses them in the end with the completion of his poem. In sum, the divinely inspired and therefore morally sanctioned art of the Commedia is like the Trinity of which the poem’s form is an unfathomable avatar and so must be intuited in its essence. “Yet that intuition, like the pilgrim’s faltering desire, is activated only by words: poetic words that embody moral spirit. Art is necessary to man in time; and the temporality of the Purgatorio explains its preoccupation with art. It sees its own art and asks its optimum reader to understand and react to it as the second incarnation of the divine love that moves the universe, its motivating force the same force that moves the pilgrim and all souls from time to eternity.”

Bergin, Thomas G. Dante. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976.

Reprint of the 1965 edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin). (See Dante Studies, LXXXIV, 76.)

Bergin, Thomas G. “Dante in Our Time.” In Sewanee Review, LXXXIV (1976), 706-713. 

Review-article on C. S. Singleton’s translation with commentary, of the Divine Comedy (Bollingen Series LXXX; Princeton University Press, 1970-75). (See Dante Studies LXXXIX, 107-108, XCII, 182, and XCIV, 155-156; extensively reviewed.)

Bidney, Martin. “Ruskin, Dante, and the Enigma of Nature.” In Texas Studies in Literature and Language, XVIII (1976), 290-305. 

Analyzes Ruskin’s attempt to re-experience Dante’s response to Nature as it impinges on Ruskin’s initial Wordsworthian affinities and the influence of this medieval-romantic confrontation on the three stages of Ruskin’s development. In Dante’s uses of landscape in the Divine Comedy Ruskin sees a dualist attitude towards Nature reflected in Edenic landscapes as symbols of spiritual beauty and goodness of God, contrasting with infernal and purgatorial symbols of sin and evil. By 1884, “with the eclipse of Ruskin’s Wordsworthian God, a kind of Dantean hell has replaced his all too-briefly experienced Dante-Wordsworth paradise.”

Biser, Eugen. “Between Inferno and Purgatorio: Thoughts on Structural Comparison of Nietzsche with Dante.” In Studies in Nietzsche and the Classical Tradition, edited by James C. O’Flaherty, Timothy F. Sellner, and Robert Meredith Helm (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976), pp. 55-70. (University of North Carolina Studies in the Germanic Languages and Literatures, 85.)

While recognizing fundamental differences between Nietzsche and Dante, the author attempts to outline certain analogies, though admittedly episodic and transitory, between the two figures, particularly in their psycho-somatic or spiritual states at the moment of inspiration of the Commedia and the Zarathustra, in the Inferno-Purgatorio topographical background of the Zarathustra, and in several instances of Dantean structural elements and motifs discernible in the latter. (The original German of this essay is here Englished by Cheryl L. Turney.)

Botticelli, Sandro. The Drawings by Sandro Botticelli for Dante’s Divine Comedy. After the originals in the Berlin Museums and the Vatican. [Edited with an introduction by] Kenneth Clark. New York . . . London: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1976. 218 p. illus. 36.5 cm. 

The well-known Botticelli drawings (reproduced at three-quarters of original size), 92 extant in all, only four of which were colored by the artist, had not been published complete since the first edition by Lippmann in 1887. A problem attending such a publication of the complete set of Botticelli’s drawings for the Comedy is that, after they were executed on commission by a member of the Medici family, they were subsequently dispersed and now repose in three different locations, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Dahlem, West Berlin), and Staatliche Museen Zu Berlin (Bodestrasse, East Berlin). In an introductory essay (pp. 7-24) the art critic Kenneth Clark outlines the history of the drawings, comments on them, and concludes with the view that Botticelli and Dante were of kindred spirit and therefore “each time we return to Botticelli’s drawings we feel ourselves closer to that vast, elusive work, so complete, so incomprehensible, and yet so clear.” Relevant excerpts from John Ciardi’s translation of the poem are printed on facing pages, and in parallel columns with the translations are commentaries on Dante’s allegory compiled (from Scartazzini, Grandgent, Toynbee, and Singleton) and written by George Robinson.

Callahan, J. J. “The Curvature of Space in a Finite Universe.” In Scientific American, CCXXV (August 1976), pp. 90-100.

In this highly technical discussion of the theories of Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, Riemann, and Einstein, among others, the author cites Dante as having in the Comedy (cf. Par. XXVIII) conceived of cosmic space in a manner that goes radically beyond the Aristotelian picture and in a very modern way, with his model of the spiritual world, completes the material world view, somewhat as Einstein’s model of the galactic system by means of dual viewing screens for rendering the concept of a finite universe.

Cassell, Anthony K. “Failure, Pride, and Conversion in Inferno I: A Reinterpretation.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 1-24. 

Moving from positions of Singleton, Freccero, and Hardie, the author examines the precise nature of the Wayfarer’s failed conversion in the first sixty verses of Inferno I by going beyond the usual negative aspects of weakness of will and lower soul to consider the functioning of the intellect and the personal sin of pride acknowledged by Dante in Purgatorio XIII, for which revelation the prologue scene prepares. Initially, the Wayfarer has not yet the guidance of grace (whose advent is marked by Virgil’s appearance) and so is still prone to ascend with the foot of pride the mount covered with the reflected light of philosophy rather than the true wisdom of God’s grace symbolized by the sun’s direct light. The author points out that the foot metaphor becomes increasingly charged with meaning as the poem progresses, for the poet refers in some way to foot, lameness, and pride at the appearance of all guides party to the descent of grace—Virgil, Statius, Beatrice, and St. Bernard. Use of the key metaphor of pride as a foot, pes superbiae (Psalm 35:12) is explored by the author in the exegetical tradition, for example, in St. Augustine’s Enarratio in Psalmum XXXV and St. Bernard’s De Gradibus. The Wayfarer’s unsuccessful ascent in the prologue scene is thus an allegory of philosophical pride, which led Dante to a sinful sense of self-sufficiency and kept him from Christ’s charity. Several matters of detail confirming the role of pride examined here are the colle itself as clothed with merely reflected light, the darkness of ignorance, the Wayfarer’s wrong kind of fear and his “flight of the mind,” his short-lived pietà, and the Wayfarer’s sinful backsliding as really an essential part of Gods mysterious providence which leads him eventually to a happy outcome.

Chiaromonte, Nicola. The Worm of Consciousness and Other Essays. Edited by Miriam Chiaromonte. Preface by Mary McCarthy. New York and London: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1976. xvi, 270 p.

Contains a Dantean essay on Paradiso XXXIII, 64-66, “Three Lines from Dante” (pp. 72-79), seen here as “three of the most beautiful, harmonious, and profound lines of the Comedy,” in which Dante has superbly recaptured in language and imagery the absolute transience and mortality of our common reality. With this passage as illustration, the author further contends that it is a distortion to favor values of sensibility exclusively over reason and intellect by seeking, as we moderns are accustomed to do, the “pure poetry” of a given passage taken quite out of context. The essay is reprinted translated by Irma Brandeis, from Tempo presente (Feb. 1964) (or reviews, see below.)

Clurman, Harold. [Dante.] In The Nation, CCXXII (12 June 1976), p. 733. (Under “Theatre” criticism.)

Review of a play, Dante, presented by the Polish company, The Warsaw Teatr Studio, under the direction of Jozef Szajna, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The reviewer’s mixed reaction stresses the phantasmagoria of surrealistic effects drawn from hell and purgatory: though not much of Dante comes through, the work illustrates what new explorative, suggestive and powerful trends in theatre can achieve.

Contini, Gianfranco. Un’ idea di Dante: saggi danteschi. Torino: Einaudi, 1976. vii, 283 p. (Piccola biblioteca Einaudi: Filologia-Linguistica-Critica letteraria, 275.)

Contains a review (pp. 217-224) of C. S. Singleton, Dante Studies I. Commedia: Elements of Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954; see 73rd Report, 60-61), reprinted from Romance Philology, IX (1956), hailing this innovative work in the field of Dante criticism. A long essay on methodology, “Filologia ed esegesi dantesca” (pp. 113-142) of 1965 appeared in English translation with notes in Dante Studies, LXXXVII (1969), 1-32 (see Dante Studies, LXXXVIII, 180-181). (For a review of this collection of essays, see above, main section, under Reviews.)

Cook, William R., and Ronald B. Herzman. “St. Eustace: A Note on Inferno XXVII.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 137-139. 

Cite the well-known silent martyrdom of St. Eustace and his family in a bronze bull as providing an ideal against which the inverted example of Guido da Montefeltro, likened to the noisy Sicilian bull, can be measured as a suggestive aid to judgment.

Della Terza, Dante. “An Unbridgeable Gap? Medieval Poetics and the Contemporary Dante Reader.” In Medievalia et Humanistica, N.S., VII (1976), 65-76.

Includes discussion of the particular contribution of American scholars like E. K. Rand and C. S. Singleton in a selective review of modern Dante exegesis, which leads to the conclusion that critical positions are not fixed, that indeed where Dante is concerned there is still room for new discoveries. A reworked Italian version appeared in Lettere italiane, XXVII (1975), 245-262 (see Dante Studies, XCV, 182). The essay was originally given as a lecture for a medieval conference at Harvard University in November 1974.

Di Girolamo, Costanzo. “Figure, messaggi, e messaggi delle figure (Dante, Rime CIII).” In MLN, XCI (1976), 12-29. 

Analyzes Così nel mio parlar voglio esser aspro, which marks the extreme and concluding moment of the petrosa poems. The canzone constitutes a landmark in Dante’s lyric production because of its content and expressive mode, signaling a break with the ideology of courtly love and the stil novo style and announcing the diction and style of the Commedia, particularly the Inferno. Specifically examined are the diction of this canzone characterized by verbal realism with a hypertrophy of concrete terms and a harshness of phonic quality and even of meaning, especially in the conspicuous rhyme position; the dominating metaphor of struggle or duel whose development structurally follows a tripartite disposition of the six stanzas in pairs all linked together by thematically logical enjambement; and the dense series of terms and images which in the love situation carry strong sexual connotations of Freudian psychology. The realistic, sensual content of the canzone, marking a departure from the courtly and the stilnovistic vein, is expressed not explicitly, but couched in the harsh style of “realismo verbale” and metaphor. Thus, far from being a mere technical exercise, the rime petrose represent Dante’s break from the strictures of traditional literary ideology.

Di Girolamo, Costanzo. Teoria e prassi della versificazione italiana. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1976. 230 p. (Serie di linguistica e di critica letteraria. La nuova scienza.)

The work is cast in two parts, one theoretical, based on examples drawn from Dante’s poetry, the other practical, devoted to readings of specific selected texts. Contents: Parte I—I. Metrica e ritmica (with basic notions of Italian versification); 2. Metro e sintassi (especially on the location of the caesura); 3. Significante e significato (on rhyme as a metrical sign of verse boundaries, with an analysis of Rime CIII, Così nel mio parlar voglio esser aspro); 4. Due forme di tensione (on the difference between standard and poetic language in the light of Russian formalism and Czech structuralism). Parte II—5. Regole dell’anisosillabismo (on early Italian verse); 6. Microscopia di un sonetto di Dante (on Rime LIV, Per quella via che la bellezza corre); 7. Forma e significato della parola-rima nella sestina (illustrating in Arnaut Daniel, Dante, and Petrarch the differing semantic variations of the rhyme-word); 8. Gli endecasillabi dell’Infinito (on Leopardi’s verse); and 9. Il verso di Paves (on the break from the endecasillabo). Part or all of at least to chapters were previously printed—No. 3 as “Figure, messaggi, e messaggi delle figure (Dante, Rime CIII),” published in MLN, XCI (1976), 12-29 (see Dante Studies, XCV, 162-163), and No. 6 with the same title, Published in MLN, XC (1975), 22-37 (see Dante Studies, XCIV, 160).

Doré, Gustave, illustrator. The Doré Illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy. New York: Dover Publications, 1976. vii, 136 p., chiefly illus. (136 plates).

With a publisher’s note.

Economou, George D. “The Pastoral Simile of Inferno XXIV and the Unquiet Heart of the Christian Pilgrim.” In Speculum, LI (1976), 637-646. 

Analyzes the long pastoral simile introducing Inferno XXIV in the light of Alan de Lille’s De planctu naturae and Philo’s notion of soul-husbandry (the mind as shepherd of the flock of the soul), in order to determine a more precise and consistent construction of the simile with relevancy to its various details both for the immediate narrative moment and for the larger context of the whole poem. According to the resultant reading, contrary to Benvenuto da Imola’s equating Virgil to the villanello, it is Dante who is so identified, and Virgil with the sun in the immediate context. But just as the natural scene changes for the better with the melting of the hoarfrost at the literal level, so on a larger level is figured the change of the world situation with the Incarnation, and therefore the sun of the simile is also symbol of God. Other details of the simile are clarified, such as the image of the hoar-frost’s writing which is related to Alan’s Goddess Natura continually drawing with her stylus the unstable images of things in this sub-lunary world; the struggle between Veritas and Falsitas in an otherwise rational and benevolent universe, making for the unquiet heart of the Christian pilgrim, whose reason can be led astray by appearances; and the medical figure of the ‘mpiastro (v. 18) which is also related to a passage in the De planctu naturae. Taken together, this reading satisfies the literal narrative moment and the contextual modalities of the Commedia in its broad salvific concerns.

Flory, Claude R. “Rimini Revisited: The Francesca Theme in Drama.” In Comparative Literature Studies, XIII (1976), 22-30.

Briefly reviews the dramatic treatment of the Francesca-Paolo-Giovanni story in major Western languages during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries pointing out that there were 79 dramatic works since 1800, along with 95 musical works with libretti (including at least 61 operas); cites some of the better known examples; corrects the factual statements of some past critics and anthologists; and discusses some of the variations in treatment from Dante’s version in Inferno V.

Foster, Kenelm, O.P.Paradiso XIX.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 71-90. 

Focuses on the eagle formation, political symbol of empire, which occupies the Jupiter heaven in this canto and which recalls Virgil, unnamed, with the question of the salvation of non-Christians. The three cantos (XVIII-XX) devoted to the Jupiter heaven are seen as a Continuation of Canto VII explaining how through the death of the God-man human salvation became possible, only now the universality of Christian salvation is emphasized with echoes of universal empire (from the Monarchia) in Canto XVIII and the conjoining through the eagle symbol, of the notion of God’s justice with that of the unity of mankind, both of which are related to the Logos, or God the Son. On a Trinitarian schema in the hierarchial orders of angels, according to Professor Foster, this middle area of the heavenly intelligences is associated with God the Sun, and Jupiter specifically transmits angelic influences reflecting God’s living justice as it should obtain in its earthly counterpart among men. In addressing the Eagle on behalf of justice (salvation) for pagans, Dante is implicitly appealing to Jesus Christ, “the sun of justice,” to whom “the Father had given all judgement.” Given the unity of humankind and the coming of Christ for all men, it is very appropriate that Dante should seek an answer to the question of the salvation of pagans, especially as he must have had poignantly in mind Virgil and others condemned to Limbo. The key passage, verses 40-90, stresses God’s infinite transcendence of his creation and also his absolute goodness, which, combined with other assertions of his immanence, lead to Dante’s essential point that God’s ways are not wholly beyond discerning, that man’s discernment of them, while limited, is nevertheless proportionately real and therefore can see something of God in creation. Thus, Canto XIX stages Dante’s plea to God to make his justice intelligible. But Foster points out that, where this question is concerned, by Dante’s time theological tradition was explicit on the innocence of unbelief attributable to ignorance of the Gospel, although by his question the poet appears ignorant of the alternative to explicit faith.

[Fucilla, Joseph G., compiler.] “Italian Literature.” In 1974 MLA International Bibliography, Vol. II, 62-90. 

Contains a substantial Dante section, Items 3833-4001.

Gibaldi, Joseph, and Richard A. LaFleur. “Vanni Fucci and Laocoon: Servius as Possible Intermediary between Vergil and Dante.” In Traditio, XXXII (1976), 386-397. 

Contend that, along with the recognized source in Aeneid VIII, 185-275, of Dante’s Cacus in the Vanni Fucci episode (Inf. XXIV-XXV), there is a further parallel between Vanni Fucci himself and Virgil’s Laocoon in Aeneid II, 201-227, as shown by the similarity of suffering each undergoes and the verbal and rhetorical similarities in presentation. This parallel may have escaped previous notice because of the apparent unlikeness of the two figures until one knows of Laocoon’s guilt for his sexual transgression before the Statue of Apollo. This Dante could have known from Servius’ commentary on the Aeneid. Both Laocoon and Vanni Fucci had committed sacrilegious acts, so their guilt is similar.

Griswold, Jerry. “Aquinas, Dante, and Ficino on Love: An Explication of the Paradiso, XXVI, 25-39.” In Studies in Medieval Culture, VIII-IX (1976), 151-161. 

From the perspective of the common Platonic-Aristotelian tradition represented by the medieval Aquinas and the Renaissance Ficino, the author uses Paradiso XXVI, 25-39, as a touchstone passage for clarifying Dante’s place within that tradition. In the process, he shows that while Singleton may be correct in emphasizing the primacy of intellect over love if understood in order of time, he is wrong in giving absolute primacy to the intellect. For not only the tradition represented by Aquinas and Ficino, but also Dante himself in Convivio III, canzone 2, agrees in giving ultimate primacy to love, since the human intellect can never truly know the highest Good, God.

Guzzardo, John Joseph. “Christian Medieval Number Symbolism and Dante.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVI (1976), 6667A. 

Doctoral dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, 1975.

Herzman, Ronald B. (Joint author). “St. Eustace: A Note on Inferno XXVII.” See Cook, William R....

Hollander, Robert. “Dante’s Theologus-Poeta.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 91-136. 

Re-examines Dante’s poetics through his statements in the Convivio and in the Epistle Can Grande, and his performance in the Vita Nuova and Commedia, in the light of various modern critical positions on the question of whether the Commedia represents the allegory of poets or of theologians. Given the late thirteenth-century atmosphere of clerical hostility towards poetry, the very fact of Dante’s entertaining an option of applying the allegory of theologians to secular literature is found to be of unique significance. It is also significant that the poet abandoned the Convivio with its patently hybrid allegory. The battle between poets and theologians must have shaped Dante’s own formulations in his self-exegetical writings. Professor Hollander considers that by its insistence on the historicity of events narrated, their nature in relation to other events in Scripture, the peculiar function of Beatrice, and the final vision of her among the blessed, Dante intended his Vita Nuova to be read in a mode approximating the allegory of theologians. And having already exercised the option in his libello, it was but another short step to casting the masterpiece in the same mode. Echoing the position of Singleton that “the fiction of the Divine Comedy is that it is not a fiction,” Hollander insists that Dante feigns that his fiction, like Scripture itself, is literally true, regardless of the source of his material, whether history or myth, literature or legend. We are asked to accept Dante’s intention that in his Commedia we experience his extraordinary presentation as a “perceived actuality,” and this intention is that we read the poem in the mode of allegory of theologians, even though there may be some occasional admixture of elements that must be understood through the conventional allegory of poets, rather than figurally. Dante’s self-declared poetics to Bonagiunta da Lucca (Purg. XXIV, 52-54) is construed by Hollander to be theological in nature, considering the words Amore and spira here as iconographically related to the Holy Spirit. More important than we yet see may be the role of Virgil as “the main source . . . not only of so much of the poetic energy of the Commedia, but also of his brilliant solution of the problem posed for a Christian poetic by St. Thomas’s attack upon poetry.” In sum, Dante wants indeed to be taken, in Sarolli’s words, as scriba Dei; he is “an inspired poet who begins with the truth of what he tells,” a theologus-poeta.

Hollander, Robert. “The Invocations of the Commedia.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, III (1976), 235-240.

Points out that the invocations to a higher power for aid in the Commedia come to the suggestive number “nine”—two in the Inferno, two in the Purgatorio, and five in the Paradiso. They are related to what is seen as a four-stage development in Dante, the correction and perfection of his will, with Virgil as guide, and the correction and perfection of his intellect, with Beatrice and St. Bernard, respectively, as guides. The latter pattern is in turn related to four gradus of love outlined in St. Bernard’s De diligendo Deo. In any case, Dante’s nine invocations fall into a four-part structure of a paired gradation: muse/donne, sante Muse/sacrosante Vergini, buono Appollo/diva Pegasea, and isplendor di Dio/somma luce. The final pairing draws to itself the seventh invocation, O gloriose stelle, with the effect, appropriately, of a trinity in the last cantica, all in keeping with Dante’s light physics.

Iannucci, Amilcare A. “Ulysses’ ‘folle volo’: The Burden of History. In Medioevo romanzo, III (1976), 410-445.

Contends that, because of his medieval-Christian forma mentis stressing history and man’s responsibility before the events of history, Dante takes the mythic hero out of the static time- and form-bound ethos of ancient Greece and creates a Christian tragedy in Inferno XXVI, in which Ulysses, now historicized in a Christian context and subject to its ultimate purpose, as the poet filters everything through the lens of Christianity. Thus, contrary to his Homeric counterpart, the Greek hero now emerges as one breaking out of the circle of time and exercising his free will, bent on a life of wandering in a hubristic search of knowledge, but without the benefit of grace. Once shifted from a journey of return to a journey of quest in this Christian universe, Ulysses and his companions are doomed to catastrophe as they violate God’s explicit sign imposing limits. The author suggests a re-enactment of the Fall in an Adamic-like overstepping of the bounds in the search for forbidden knowledge symbolized by the dark mountain-isle which becomes the site of Ulysses’ shipwreck and damnation. Similarly, Dante too had been led astray by the lure and presumption of philosophical knowledge but was saved by a re-affirmation of faith aided by Beatrice. And so his own salvific journey poetized in the Commedia is neatly counterpoised to Ulysses’ journey in Inferno XXVI and its echoes throughout the poem. Dante is saved in time, while Ulysses by his last act persists in the misuse of his intellect and in his rebellious defiance of the Deity. The episode is even seen to reflect a shift in Dante’s poetics through the contrastive juxtaposition of this lofty expression of the “tragic” style in Inferno XXVI and the overall humbler, intermediate style of Christian tradition in the poem.

Iliescu, Nicolae. “Il commento di Guido da Pisa.” In Dante Studies XCIV (1976), 145-154. 

Review-article on: Guido da Pisa, Expositiones et Glose super Comediam Dantis, or Commentary on Dante’s Inferno, edited with notes and an introduction by Vincenzo Cioffari (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1974 [see Dante Studies, XCIII, 223-224, and see below, under Reviews]), elaborating on the significance of Guido’s being the first of the early commentators to cite in an important way the Latin ancients who would become the idols of Humanists beginning with Petrarch.

Italian Literature, Roots and Branches: Essays in Honor of Thomas Goddard Bergin. Edited by Giose Rimanelli and Kenneth John Atchity. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976. xiv, 455 p.

The five (of sixteen) essays of Dantean interest, by Atchity, Paden, Reynolds, Seung, and Wilhelm, are separately listed in this bibliography.

La Favia, Louis M. “Il primo commento alla Divina Commedia in Spagna.” In Hispano-Italic Studies, No. 1 (1976), 1-8. 

Contends that the first commentary on the Commedia known in Spain was that of Benvenuto da Imola, between 1408 and 1417, a commentary marked by the Humanistic spirit and representing a decisive turning-point in Dante criticism. For here Dante is considered for the first time a “Rhetor et Philologus” rather than, as previously, a Theologus et Propheta,” and so his poem is treated by Benvenuto as primarily a literary work, as betokened by two passages cited as examples of his literary interpretation—the poet’s protestations of modesty in Inferno II, 10-12, and the episode before the gate of Dis in Canto IX. Professor La Favia suggests that this link of Benvenuto’s commentary with Spain, reflected in Dante’s influence on Santillana and Imperial, among others, opens a broad area of investigation which could lead to startling findings.

LaFleur Richard A. (Joint Author). “Vanni Fucci and Laocoon....” See Gibaldi, Joseph. . .

Lansing, Richard H. “Submerged Meanings in Dante’s Similes (Inf. XXVII).” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 61-69. 

Analyzes two similes in Inferno XXVII, that of the Sicilian bull and that comparing Boniface VIII and Guido da Montefeltro to Emperor Constantine and Pope Sylvester, to show how the artistic function of Dante’s similes goes far beyond the rather limiting definitions, for example, of T. S. Eliot and Irma Brandeis, which single out their effect of enhanced visualization and their progressively changing nature. While its analogical meaning obtains in the immediate context, each simile contains a further “submerged” significance that becomes clear in the later narrative development anticipated by the simile itself. For example, in the first simile Guido, like Perillus who both made and was undone by the Sicilian bull, is also an artificer undone by his own invention. The second simile suggests a conceptual link between Boniface’s false gift and Constantine’s illegitimate donation, and focuses on the abuse of authority in each case. Thus, Dante’s similes, effecting both a conceptual and a visual function, generally convey a multiplicity of correspondences, to the manifold enrichment of our reading of the Commedia.

Leavey, John. “Derrida and Dante: Differance and the Eagle in the Sphere of Jupiter.” In MLN, XCI (1976), 60-68. 

Elaborates on some observations of John Freccero referring to the concept of difference for the production of meaning, together with Jacques Derrida’s theory of “differance,” and applies them to the poetics of the Paradiso for the production of meaning. Both Freccero’s interpretation and Derrida’s theory lead to the conclusion that Dante’s eagle in the Sphere of Jupiter (Par. XVIII-XX) is a (non)figure or anti-image of the poem itself, a non-representational text. According to différance, which involves spacing and temporalizing, the non-living but only heraldic or emblematic eagle figure (or anti-image) “is always a secondarily derived and provisionally reappropriative mediation of the ever absent non-representational poetic world of the Paradiso.” As such, the eagle is a supplementary and (non)figure for différance, standing for the poem itself, and in turn “as a supplementary (non)figure, the Paradiso completes [the Christian] vision or gnosis and replaces it.”

Leggio, Gail Culver. “Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Cult of Images.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVI (1976), 5321A-5322A.

Doctoral dissertation, University of Virginia, 1975. (Includes a discussion of Rossetti’s favoring the Dante of the Vita Nuova rather than the Commedia; from the figure of Amor in the former Rossetti is seen to derive all his personified emotions.)

McGovern, John F. “The Conquest of Geryon.” In Studies in Medieval Culture, VI-VII (1976), 129-134.

Suggesting that the legal dimension of Dante’s Comedy requires serious examination, the author presents an interpretation of the Geryon episode (Inf. XVII) by applying the intricacies of medieval law which pertain to the significant belting and unbelting of a person in one of the three stations of warrior, cleric, and magistrate. Dante’s doffing of the belt at Virgil’s behest is seen as a stratagem for overcoming the powers of deep hell and for establishing Dante as a procurator with an imperial mission. Thus the episode marks the start of Dante’s activity as a hero of the empire.

Matthews, Lloyd J. “Chaucer’s Personification of Prudence in Troilus (V. 743-749): Sources in the Visual Arts and Manuscript Scholia.” In English Language Notes, XIII (June 1976), 249-255.

Submits that the source of the three-eyed Prudence in the lines spoken by Cryseyde here was very likely the three-eyed figure among the four cardinal virtues standing in the mystical procession of Purgatorio XXX, no doubt seen by Chaucer in one of the many contemporary illuminated Commedia manuscripts with commentary notes, such as the Holkham Hall MS. 514, and the Morgan Library MS. 676.

Mariani, Umberto. “L’avventura di Celestino V in Silone e in Dante.” In La Fusta, I, No. 1 (Spring 1976), 25-40.

Contends that Ignazio Silone’s treatment of Celestine V in his L’avventura di un povero cristiano may help understand Dante’s treatment of Celestine in Inferno I, 59-60, even though Silone views the figure differently from Dante. Much space is devoted to refuting a recent and representative study by Gabriele Satorelli, since, Mariani reminds us, historically a tremendous reforming had been building up and came to a head around the time of Dante, who in a sense interprets the general sentiment on the issue and therefore quite naturally and rightfully brands Celestine with viltade, given the disillusionment following the pitch of expectations of him in papal office. Critics that think otherwise lose sight of the extent of the development of the reforming movement. But the enigmatic phrase used by Dante to describe Celestine in the situation was perfectly clear to his contemporary readers; the poet was simply attuned to the prevailing sentiment.

Masciandaro, Franco. La problematica del tempo nellaCommedia.” Ravenna: Longo Editore, 1976. 151 p. (“L’interpete,” 3.) 

Treats the Commedia as a “pellegrinaggio di un uomo alla ricerca della totalità del tempo,” that is, time understood not only psychologically but also ontologically. In fact, for Dante, as for Saint Augustine, the process of conversion, along with his resultant progressive awareness of self and spiritual destiny, is inseparable from this awareness of time. Key to the all-important double significance of time, natural and supernatural, is seen to be the Incarnation. As with Christ’s providentially opening the way between earth and heaven, Dante’s poem seeks, on that same order, to link time and eternity through the Pilgrim’s spatial/temporal itinerary in the mimetic frame of poetic time. On this thematic basis, the author presents the book as follows: Introduzione; 1. Tempo cosmico e tempo storico-salvifico; 2. Inferno I-II: il dramma della conversione e il tempo; 3. Il male come negazione del presente; 4. La fine dell’Inferno e la coscienza del tempo; 5. Il Purgatorio e la valorizzazione del tempo; 6. All’eterno dal tempo; Indice dei nomi. Chapter 2 is reprinted, somewhat revised, from Studi danteschi, XLIX (1972), 1-26 (see Dante Studies, XCIII, 252).

Menton, Seymour.La vorágine: Circling the Triangle.” In Hispania, LIX, No. 3 (Sept. 1976) 418-434.

Demonstrates the importance of the Divine Comedy to the basic structure of La vorágine (1924) by the Latin-American novelist José Eustasio Rivera, except that the protagonist Arturo Cova’s characterization traces a pattern of descent from the paradise of the sierras (Bogotá) to the purgatory of the plains (Casanare) and to the hell of the jungles, in which his itinerary of self-destruction comes to an end. In the process, the theologically suggestive Dantean elements of the number three and the circle play a significant role as structural determinants in the novel.

Mazzaro, Jerome. “The Fact of Beatrice in The Vita Nuova.” In The Literature of Fact: Selected Papers from the English Institute, edited with a foreword by Angus Fletcher (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 83-108.

Analyzes the Vita Nuova as an early example of the highly concentrated historiographic genre of autobiography, which he considers here from its effectively post-classical beginning and traces through its evolution in autobiographic poets like Petrarch, Sidney, and Wordsworth. Mazzaro traces the history of Dante’s epiphanic encounter with Beatrice through its several liminal stages toward numinous autobiography. As both factual and visionary, real and unreal figure in Dante’s vision, Beatrice is related by Mazzaro to the theological and epistemological bases for her poetic realization. In other words, Dante is seen to follow medieval poetics in his elaboration and modification of the reality of natural and historical fact to harmonize with the multi-valenced symbolical and sacramental quality of his lady. “Avoiding the mystic’s withdrawal to Perfection, [Dante] is the ‘revealed’ model poet of Christian love, tied to history by the fact of Beatrice and challenging subsequent poets to follow in his way. He thus extends medieval typology to contemporary life and literature....” But in subsequent poetic autobiographies the synthetic symbolism realized in Dante’s treatment of Beatrice breaks down and also leads to the separation of fact and fiction, a separation resisted by Dante.

Niven, Larry, and Jerry Pournelle. Inferno. New York: Pocket Books, 1976. 192 p. Also, London: Alan Wingate, 1977.

Inscribed “For Dante Alighieri,” this science-fiction novel, a 20th-century odyssey through Hell, hews closely to the structure of Dante’s Inferno, but is cast in modern vein and spirit. (See M.U. Sowell, “The Niven-Pournelle Dante . . . ,” above, main section, Studies.)

Noakes, Susan Jeanne. “The Reader’s Work: Reading and Believing in Dante, Nerval, and Baudelaire.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVII (1976), 278A. 

Doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1975. (Discusses in detail Inf. V and XVI-XVII with respect to her thesis.)

Orvieto, Enzo. “La datazione del commento all’Inferno dantesco di Guido da Pisa.” In Kentucky Romance Quarterly, XXIII (1976), 121-127.

Contends that the dating of Guido’s commentary by Francesco Mazzoni around 1340 and by Vincenzo Cioffari between 1328 and 1333 is not supported by the historical and internal evidence, which must be construed rather to indicate the period 1325-1330 for the commentary, thus confirming it as one of the earliest.

Paasonen, Aino Anna-Maria. “Dante at the Turning Point: The Canzone ‘Tre donne intorno al cor mi son venute’ as a New Key to the Commedia.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVII, No. 5 (Nov. 1976), 2923A.

Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976. (Views the “tre donne” as modeled on the Three Graces and representing Faith, Hope, and Charity; each stanza would exhibit an archetypal situation; the canzone serves as bridge from the Vita Nuova to the Commedia and the genesis of the three virtues is seen as the genesis of the terza rima form.)

Paden, William D., Jr. “Bertran de Born in Italy.” In Italian Literature, Roots and Branches, pp. 39-66. [1976]

Outlines the life, both the real and later fabrications, of Bertran de Born and his career in Italy through the wide diffusion of the vidas and his poetry, showing that he was not really the sower of discord of Inferno XXVIII—he was not a war-poet in Dante’s terms but only a celebrator of spectacles of violence—and he did not cause the specific dispute between Henry II Plantagenet and his Son Henry (more likely it was Eleanor of Aquitaine). By 1300, Bertran was a legendary figure, and it was on this descendant of the historical Bertran that Dante based his Bertran in the Commedia.

Pellegrini, Anthony L. “American Dante Bibliography for 1975.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 155-201. 

With brief analyses.

Pipa, Arshi. “Perchè e per chi fu scritta la Commedia.” In Le ragioni critiche, VI, Fasc. 22 (1976), 241-255.

Examines Dante’s language in relation to his intended purpose in the Commedia and in the light of works he wrote before and after his exile, which the author takes to mark a turning-point not only in the poet’s life but also in his attitude towards his readers. While the Vita Nuova is see to hew to the aristocratic style for addressing fellow poets, the Commedia, a primary purpose of which seems to have been to redeem the poet from his dishonor of exile, is cast in a language to reach and move the widest possible audience, from the loftiest to the lowliest. Hence Dante’s choice of the vernacular as idiom of communication. (For a review of this piece, see below, under Reviews.

Raffel, Burton. “Dante in English: The Inferno.” In Denver Quarterly, X, No. 4 (1976), 57-62. 

A review-article which discusses briefly several recent translations of Dante’s poem and, comparing them on the basis of their renderings of Inferno XXV, 49-57, favors the recent version by Allen Mandelbaum as most satisfyingly true to Dante’s clarity and poetry. (For a sample of this translation, see above, under Translations.)

Reynolds, Mary T. “Dante’s Francesca and James Joyce’s ‘Siren.’” In Italian Literature, Roots and Branches, pp. 155-200. [1976]

Reviews allusions and references to Inferno V found in James Joyce’s writings and in reports of his contemporaries and presents a detailed reading of the Sirens episode in Joyce’s Ulysses, noting the many parallels with respect to the theme of love’s power, structural patterns, and verbal techniques. Special attention is paid to syntactical rhythms in the Sirens chapter, with their fugal effects modeled on Dante’s use of rhyme and rhythm, and to similarities in the two writers’ use of tone and diction creating verbal progressions to convey multiple meanings. In addition, the author examines structural patterns for related plot elements, particularly as these generate an extended metaphor of literature in the Francesca episode and music in the Sirens episode. Joyce’s profound dependence on the Divine Comedy with its treatment of love and particularly his assimilation of Inferno V are here cogently demonstrated.

Robinson, Jeffrey. “Dante’s Paradiso and Keat’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale.’” In Keats-Shelley Journal, XXV (1976), 13-15.

Points out verbal parallels between Paradiso XXXIII, (with thematic connections in vv. 85-88 and 114-117) and the final stanza of the ode which, if actual influence obtains here, have important implications for Keats’s precise meaning at the close.

Rolfs, Daniel. “Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio and the Problem of Suicide.” In Romanic Review, LXVII (1976), 200-225. 

Discusses the idea of suicide in the earlier centuries of Italian literature, specifically in Dante (pp. 201-209), for whom it was a moral issue, and in Petrarch and Boccaccio, for whom it was a literary theme. In the Divina Commedia, most notably in Inferno XIII and in the figure of Cato (Purg. I) there is evidently a contradictory treatment, for the poet, as a Christian, categorically condemns suicide, but at the same time suspends judgment of the pagan suicides who are instead rewarded or punished according to their motives for self-destruction. Dante thus anticipates the ambivalence of Petrarch and Boccaccio and many later Italian writers because of conflicting traditions—Christian faith and admiration for the ancients. Dante’s juxtaposition of a reference to Cato (Inf. XIV) and the treatment of Christian suicides (Inf. XIII), where Cato is not mentioned, may be evidence of the poet’s awareness of holding a double perspective on suicide. The Dantean portion of this article is based on a paper delivered at the 1973 annual meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters and published in the Michigan Academician, VI (1974), 367-375 (see Dante Studies, XCIV, 194).

Rowland, Michael, and Sonja G. Stary. “Recollections of Dante’s Inferno in Malraux’s La Voie royale.” In Symposium, XXX (1976), 160-169. 

On the suggestion of observations by Violet Howarth (The Human Adventure), the authors elaborate upon the substantial parallels and affinities between Andre Malraux’s La Voie royale and Dante’s Inferno, particularly with reference to similarities in physical terrain and atmosphere, circular and downward movement, infernal/corrupt political milieu, direct allusions to Dante’s Inferno, symmetrical pairings of Malraux’s characters Claude and Perken and Dante and Virgil, and some ironic anti-parallels such as the reversal of the relative severity and punishment of lust as a sin. To account for so many literary reminiscences of the Inferno, the authors suggest a biographical approach, since there is frequently discernible an added parallel between elements from Malraux’s life and that of Dante/Claude.

Ryan, Lawrence V. Stornei, gru, colombe: The Bird Images in Inferno V.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 24-45. 

Investigates the symbolic meanings attaching to these particular classes of birds in classical and patristic sources available to Dante, such as the Physiologus, Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies, certain bestiaries, and even Brunetto Latini’s Tresor, and analyzes the significance of the particular sequence in which the poet uses the similes of starlings, cranes, and doves in the Francesca and Paolo canto. The starlings are found to have been considered clamorous (especially during coitus) and generally disorderly and filthy birds, while cranes and doves were treated in more complex manner, the former being considered intelligent and disciplined birds that went lamenting past sin and the latter symbolizing primarily moral and spiritual excellence that bears them heavenward, but in their ambivalent significance, also symbolizing lechery. In Inferno V, by way of exemplifying the Pilgrim’s gradual progression in the knowledge of sin and its consequences, the simile of the clamorous starlings, with their further analogy with pollution, prepares us for the appropriate meanings of the similes of the otherwise ambivalent cranes and doves. While the animal intelligence of the cranes might suggest good political leadership for binding up the human community in this canto, they are a suggestive analogy of Semiramis who fitting leads the infernal procession of the lustful as the supreme example of illicit love and its corrosive effect on society. Closing the sequence of bird similes, in this context, the doves can only signify lussuria. However sweet love may be, in its illicit form it can lead only to ill, dissolving the bonds linking human beings in community and aborting ultimate fulfillment in the Heavenly City.

Schless, Howard H. “Dante: Comedy and Conversion.” In Genre, IX (1976), 413-427.

Contends that Dante’s Commedia can indeed be considered in the comedic genre if we but recognize Dante’s innovation of lifting his poem above the level of ordinary risible comedy to high comedy, that is, a work that instructs by attaining comedic harmony. Dante himself viewed comedy as movement from disaccord to accord and so gave his poem the title Commedia. But even the opening cantica can be considered comic in its contrast or discord with acceptable norm, in this case, raised a step above the usual social norm to that of the eternal universal norm of the Christian ideal. Against this accord of the Ought-to-be, on the principle of incongruity, the sinners appear absurd in their perverse choice with its ludicrous repetition eternally in Hell. Comedy functions successfully in the Inferno thanks to the poet’s brilliantly counterbalancing the two forces of the sense of justice that placed the sinners there and our human sense of sympathy for them. The essay is reprinted in Versions of Medieval comedy, edited . . . by Paul G. Ruggiers.

Seung [var. Swing], T. K. “Bonaventure’s Figural Exemplarism in Dante.” In Italian Literature, Roots and Branches, pp. 117-154. [1976]

Examines what is said (and not said) in the Convivio and Letter to Can Grande and in the tradition up through Saint Thomas to arrive at an understanding of allegory and figuralism, particularly the distinction between the allegory of theologians and that of poets, and concludes that Dante employs a mixture in the Commedia. This can be termed figural allegory, where the narrative in its first meaning, or according to the letter, is a fiction, and in the second meaning is figural, on the model of St. Bonaventure’s figural exemplarism. Certain aspects of the Auerbach-Singleton-Hollander critical position are called into question and set in relief as they depart from what is maintained to be a much more comprehensive and consistent interpretative schema. The author goes on to re-iterate and re-inforce the thesis of his earlier work, The Fragile Leaves of the Sibyl: Dante’s Master Plan (1962); see 81st Report, 29-30), in which the Trinity is seen as the principal theme of the Commedia, with the three cantiche related, respectively, to the Son (Virgil coming as a Christ-figure in the Inferno), to the Holy Spirit (Beatrice representing figurally the mission of the Second Person preparing for the coming of the Third Person), the Father (figurally represented by St. Bernard). Professor Seung insists that his systematic framework of “figural fictionalism” or “figural poeticism” for the interpretation of Dante’s poem is a necessary schema to Hollander’s secular-oriented figural reading and to Singleton’s sacred-oriented figural reading, for constituting a consistent interpretation. Many matters of detail are included in this tightly presented study.

Seung [var. Swing], T. K. Cultural Thematics: The Formation of the Faustian Ethos. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976. xviii, 283 p.

Brings to bear a theory based on Wittgenstein’s notion of language games and Heidegger’s cultural or existential thematics (extended and modified to remedy the latter’s ahistoristic limitation) upon the transformation of the medieval ethos into the modern ethos between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Drawing on materials from theology and philosophy as well as primarily literature, the inquiry is guided by the transition from allegorical sensibility to literal sensibility, which accompanied a shift from transcendent theocentricism to immanent anthropocentricism, for analyzing the cultural transformation of the period. “Cultural thematics,” as explained by the author, involves the investigation of the thematic pattern of a given culture, specifically its contrasting thematic problems and their resolution. Holding to cultural/historical contextualism as a cardinal principle of hermeneutics, moreover, the author applies his cultural theory here to a contextual study specifically of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Thus, Part 1 (“The Form of Life in Allegorical Sensibility”) opens with a chapter on “The Dantesque Enigma” (pp. 1-49), which is subdivided into the following sections: Two Types of Allegory, The Auerbach-Singleton School, Fourfold Allegory, Fourfold Allegory and Biblical Exegesis, Figuralism Free of Literal Fundamentalism, and Trinitarian Figuralism in the Commedia; the second chapter, on “The Dionysian Tout Ensemble,” with detailed subdivisions, delves into the Christian Neoplatonic and exegetical background, touching also on Petrarch and Dante, and includes a section on “Dante in the Dionysian Tradition (pp. 94-104). The second major part of the book, entitled “The Form of Life in Literal Sensibility,” deals in a third chapter with “The Petrarchan Dilemma” and closes with a final chapter on “The Boccaccian Tour de Force,” both chapters subdivided into Sections of topical detail. In the process, the author seeks to correct what he considers the contextual distortions of “Gilsonian Thomists” and “Auerbachian figuralists,” where medieval theology and allegory are concerned. An explanatory Preface and “Acknowledgements” by way of orientation, Notes, Bibliography, and Index complete the work.

Shapiro, Marianne. “Addendum: Christological Language in Inferno XXXIII.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 141-143.  

Reinforces a position taken in her article on “An Old French Source for Ugolino?” (Dante Studies, XCII [1974], 129-147) by clarifying the Christological echoes (v. 69 with, e.g., Matt. 27:46 and v. 28 with John 13:13) to show how the poet thus underscores “the absolute polarity of Christ’s sacrifice and that of Ugolino while reaffirming the basic dyad of betrayal and sacrifice that underlies the structure of the story.”

Stary, Sonja G. (Joint author). “Recollections of Dante’s Inferno in Malraux’s La Voie royale.” See Rowland, Michael....

Steiner, George. “Dante Now: The Gossip of Eternity.” In Encounter, XLVI (Jan. 1976), 36-38, 40, 42-45.

A review-article on C. S. Singleton’s Bollingen Dante (see Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 107-108, XCII, 182, and XCIV, 155-156; extensively reviewed), in which the author meditates on such qualities of the Commedia as its contextuality, specificity, and contiguities, its internal echoes and reminiscences as the great structure builds upon itself, its bookishness such as to create an impossible challenge for the modern reader and at the same time its largely on-going relevancy.

Trovato, Mario. “Il contrapasso nell’ottava bolgia.” In Dante Studies, XCIV (1976), 47-60.  

Contends that, according to the poem’s inherent logic, Ulysses and Diomed symbolize in a first moment the ethical behavior of the ancients in directing the political and practical affairs of men before the divinely ordained ascendancy of Rome and before Ulysses’ “folle volo,” while in a second moment they figure the latter’s speculative activity following his discovery of “wisdom” and his attempt to exceed his limited capacity in violation of a divine prohibition. Dante would therefore not be representing the noblest achievement of pagan man, but rather the nefarious effects of wisdom not regulated by a limit but given to cupidity (Convivio, III, XV). Concludes Professor Trovato: Ulysses is not only a perpetrator of deceit, but also represents an essential flaw in both practical action and speculative activity, that is, through excessive political ambition he, along with Diomed, perpetrated all manner of deceit, and through uncontrolled desire for knowledge, he was just neither with God nor with his “compagna picciola.” In the second act of the dramatic representation of the eighth bolgia, Guido da Montefeltro is seen to symbolize a similar negative position in contemporary history, presented in bestial terms or conveying the ill-government of human affairs by modern rulers. The poet has drawn from history, legend, and his own imagination such elements as might set in meaningful relief the behavior of the modern man of power, in both the practical and the speculative spheres, distorted in his human nature like his ancient counterpart operating in like circumstances. The narrative line is of a piece in the two cantos (XXVI-XXVII), in substantially identical actions, common to which are (1) practical activity of military-political rulers, based on high-handed ambition and employing deceit as its means; (2) speculative activity pursued in old age and abortive because not guided by virtue; and (3) as a result of such behavior, a tragic failure of the social community and of the ruler himself who is neither light nor law to others. Because of the essential symmetry and common elements in the two episodes of Ulysses and Guido, the “folle volo” must not be considered as being staged apart and as incorporating autobiographical elements of the poet, but as an integral and essential part of a unitary narrative thrust, which leads to the figure of the anti-pope Boniface, who in his notorious political-religious-military enterprise synthesizes in himself the worst characteristics of Ulysses and Guido, outdoing them both and constituting for Dante the exemplum par excellence of bad spiritual and temporal government. The ancient Ulysses and Diomed and the modern Guido and Boniface inverted the order of existential ethnic values, substituting the flame of injustice for justice in their personal and social behavior, so that rather than serving as a light to others, became as flames destructive of the human community. The very fire with which these men were spiritually kindled, now by the infernal law of retribution encloses, circumscribes, and confines them in eternal suffering.

Turner, Victor. “African Ritual and Western Literature: Is a Comparative Symbology Possible?” In The Literature of Fact: Selected Papers from the English Institute, edited with a foreword by Angus Fletcher (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 45-81.

Presents an anthropological analysis of an African ritual of oral-kinesthetic tradition with Dante’s Purgatorio as a representative of Western literature of aesthetic tradition. As an example of the former, the author analyzes the therapeutic ritual of affliction, Chihamba, in the small village of the Ndembu people of northwestern Zambia. Similarly, Purgatorio I is analyzed as if it were a narrative of ritual process. There are many similar features inhering in these ritual and literary works of complex semiotic phenomena with their systems of multivocal and polysemous symbolism. But there are differences too, since the literary artifact is embedded in a long, cumulative cultural tradition of the written word, while the ritual is embedded in current cultural dynamics of relatively shallow historical time and is non-verbal as well as verbal. Since the symbol is the semantic molecule and therefore a microcosm of the whole process, both Ndembu ritual symbol and Dantean poetic symbol are found to share such attributes as multiple meanings, unification of disparate meanings, condensation of otherwise lengthy statement, and polarization of meanings in sets of semantic opposites. The author contends it is through their dominant symbols or iconic signs that the action genres of African ritual and the written texts of European literature are best compared, because the dominant symbols and clusters of ancillary symbols in the respective systems are the supreme expressions of the major cultural themes and thus are most apt to reveal differences in the implicit postulates of dynamic cultural systems.

Waller, Marguerite R. “Historical Theory and Poetic Practice: The Case of Petrarch.” In Criticism, XVIII (1976), 273-294.

Includes comparative references to Dante to show how Petrarch in his vision of history and in his poetry had lost the old relationship of sign and meaning along with the justification of any metaphysical underpinning. Reflecting “a decomposition of Augustinian theology and of the poetic which Dante extrapolated from that theology,” Petrarch is found “unwilling and unable to continue in the ways of his predecessors, but not in a position to make any claims for his new departure.”

Wilhelm, James J. “Arnaut Daniel’s Legacy to Dante and to Pound.” In Italian Literature, Roots and Branches, pp. 67-83. 

Examines Arnaut Daniel’s diction, imagery, meter, and sound patterns in relation to Dante and Pound to justify the high esteem in which they held him as a supreme “maker of words.” While Arnaut’s complex, witty, even contrived diction is perhaps the most striking feature of his poetry, Dante and Pound are shown to have a profound affinity also with his mixing of all categories of words, in their connotative as well as denotative value, shunning only excess; his technique of the vivid, dramatic opening; his wedding of image rhythm, sound, and sense; his avoidance of the banal in expression and meter; his attuning of the poetic art to observed nature. 



La Divina Commedia. Edited and annotated by C. H. Grandgent; revised by Charles S. Singleton. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972. (See Dante Studies, XCI, 163-164, XCII, 199, XCIII, 245, and XCIV, 196.) Reviewed by:

            Chandler B. Beall, in Comparative Literature, XXVIII (1976), 164-165.

The Divine Comedy. Translated, with a commentary, by Charles S. Singleton.... Bollingen Series, LXXX. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970-1975. 3 v. in 6. (See Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 107-108, XCII, 182, and XCIV, 155-156; extensively reviewed.) Reviewed by:

            Chandler B. Beall, in Comparative Literature, XXVIII (1976), 164-165.

            Thomas G. Bergin, Sewanee Review, LXXXIV (1976), 706-713.

The Divine Comedy. [I.] Inferno and [II.] Purgatorio. Reviewed by:

            Christopher Kleinhenz, in Romance Philology, XXIX (1976), 376-380.

[II.] Purgatorio. Reviewed by:

            Morton W. Bloomfield, in Speculum, LI (1976), 115-116.

            Marianne Shapiro, in Romanic Review, LXVII (1976), 81-83.

Dante’s Inferno. Translated with notes and commentary by Mark Musa. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1971. (See Dante Studies, XC, 175 and 189, XCI, 180 and 193, XCII, 199, and XCIII, 245.) Reviewed by:

            Joan M. Ferrante, in Romance Philology, XXIX (1976), 380-384

Vita Nuova. A translation and an essay, by Mark Musa. A new edition. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1973. (See Dante Studies, XCII, 182.) Reviewed by:

            Joan M. Ferrante, in Romance Philology, XXIX (1976), 380-384.

Chiaromonte, Nicola. The Worm of Consciousness and Other Essays. Edited by Miriam Chiaromonte. Preface by Mary McCarthy. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976. (Contains an essay on “Three Lines from Dante” [Par. XXXIII, 64-66], pp. 72-79). Reviewed by:

            Alfred Kazin, in New York Times Book Review, 11 July 1976, pp. 25-26.

Cope, Jackson I. The Theater and the Dream: From Metaphor to Form in Renaissance Drama. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. Contains a chapter on “Theater of the Dream: Dante’s Commedia, Jonson’s Satirist, and Shakespeare’s Sage.” (See Dante Studies, XCII, 183, XCIII, 245-246, and XCIV, 183.) Reviewed by:

            Howard Felperin, in Modern Philology, LXXIV (1976), 94-97.

Demaray, John G. The Invention of Dante’s “Commedia.” New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 215-221 and 229, and XCIV, 183.) Reviewed by:

            M. Anatole Gurewitsch, in Romanic Review, LXVII (1976), 83-84.

Eliot, T. S. Selected Prose . . ., Edited with an introduction by Frank Kermode. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1975. Contains the famous essay of 1929 on Dante. Reviewed by:

            G. S. Fraser, in Sewanee Review, LXXXIV (1976), 476-485.

Ferrante, Joan M. Woman as Image in Medieval Literature, from the Twelfth Century to Dante. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1975. (See Dante Studies, XCIC, 164, XCVI, 239, XCVII, 191, and XCVII, 177.) Reviewed by:

            E.D. Blodgett, in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, III, No. 2 (1976), 215-222.

German and Italian Lyrics of the Middle Ages: An Anthology and a History. Translations and Introductions by Frederick Goldin. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1973. Contains selected poems by Dante. (See Dante Studies, XCII, 182 and 185.) Reviewed by:

            Reto R. Bezzola, in Vox Romanica, XXXV (1976), 214-216;

            Costanzo Di Girolamo, in Romance Philology, XXX (1976), 428-429;

            Christopher Kleinhenz, in Italica, LIII (1976), 259-263.

Grandgent, Charles H. Companion to the Divine Comedy. Commentary by C. H. Grandgent as edited by Charles S. Singleton. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975 (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 166-167.) Reviewed by:

            Remo J. Trivelli, in Modern Language Journal, LX (1976), 228-229.

Guido da Pisa. Expositiones et Glose super Comediam Dantis, or Commentary on Dante’s Inferno. Edited with notes and introduction by Vincenzo Cioffari. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 223-224.) Reviewed by:

            Giuseppe Billanovich, in Studi medievali, Serie Terza, Anno XVII, Fasc. 1 (1976), 254-262;

            Morton W. Bloomfield, in Boston University Journal, XXIV, No.1 (1976), 67-71;

            Antonio Canal, O. Carm., in Carmelus, XXIII (1976), 288-292;

            Andrea Mariani, in L’Osservatore romano, 4 dic. 1976, p. 3;

            Robert C. Melzi, in Forum Italicum, X (1976), 296-300.

Harvard University Library. Italian History and Literature....Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974. 2 v. (Widener Library Shelflist, Vols. 51 and 52.) Includes about 5000 Dante entries. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 184 and 189.) Reviewed by:

            Olga Ragusa, in Italica, LIII (1976), 95-97.

Hollander, Robert. “Purgatorio II: Cato’s Rebuke and Dante’s Scoglio.” In Italica, LII (1975), 348-363. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 170-171.) Reviewed by:

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXX (1976), 182-183.

Howe, Kaye. “Dante’s Beatrice: The Nine and the Ten.” In Italica, LII (1975), 364-371. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 171.) Reviewed by:

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXX (1976), 185.

Jenaro-MacLennan, L. The Trecento Commentaries on the “Divina Commedia” and the Epistle to Cangrande. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 232.) Reviewed by:

            Vincenzo Cioffari, in Italica, LIII (1976), 98-101;

            J. A. Scott, in Modern Language Review, LXXI (1976), 932-934.

Kermode, Frank. The Classic: Literary Images of Permanence and Change. New York: Viking Press, 1975. Contains ample reference to Dante. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 171.) Reviewed by:

            Francis Fergusson, in Sewanee Review, LXXXIV (1976), 485-490.

Piehler, Paul. The Visionary Landscape: A Study in Medieval Allegory. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1971. Contains a chapter on “Dante,” pp. 111-143. (See Dante Studies, XC, 186-187, XCI, 184, and XCIV, 199.) Reviewed by:

            Charles Witke, in Romance Philology, XXX (1976), 268-271.

Savona, Eugenio. Repertorio tematico del Dolce stil nuovo. Bari: Adriatica Editrice, 1973. 517 p. (Biblioteca di filologia romanza, 23.) Of Dantean interest, although Dante is not included. Reviewed by:

            James Thomas Chiampi, in Romance Philology, XXIX (1976), 575-576.

Steadman, John M. The Lamb and the Elephant: Ideal Imitation and the Context of Renaissance Allegory. San Marino, California: The Huntington Library, 1974. Contains ample reference to Dante. Reviewed by:

            Aldo Scaglione, in MLN, XCI (1976), 773-776.

Thompson, David. Dante’s Epic Journeys. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 215-221, 242-243, and 247, and XCIV, 186.) Reviewed by:

            M. Anatole Gurewitsch, in Romanic Review, LXVII (1976), 83-84.

Weatherby, Harold L. The Keen Delight: The Christian Poet in the Modern World. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1975. Contains a chapter on Dante, “The Scale of the Comedy,” pp. 6-26, and further Dantean references, passim. Reviewed by:

            Francis Fergusson, in Sewanee Review, LXXXIV (1976), 485-490.

Wilhelm, James J. Dante and Pound: The Epic of Judgement. Orono, Me.: University of Maine Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 243-244.) Reviewed by:

            Jerome Mazzaro, in Criticism, XVIII (1976), 388-393.

Wlassics, Tibor. Dante narratore: Saggi sullo stile della Commedia. (Firenze: Olschki, 1975. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 181 and 186 ) Reviewed by:

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassena della letteratura italiana, LXXX (1976), 177-178.

Wlassics, Tibor. Interpretazioni di prosodia dantesca. Roma: Signorelli, 1972. (See Dante Studies, XCII, 202, 210, and 211, XCIII, 247, and XCIV, 186 and 201.) Reviewed by:

            Costanzo Di Girolamo, in Romance Philology, XXIX (1976), 384-388.