American Dante Bibliography for 2001

Christopher Kleinhenz

This bibliography is intended to include all the Dante translations published in North America in 2001 and all Dante studies and reviews published in 2001 that are in any sense North American. The latter criterion is construed to include foreign reviews of North American publications pertaining to Dante. 



Alfie, Fabian. Comedy and Culture: Cecco Angiolieri’s Poetry and Late Medieval Society. Leeds: Northern Universities Press, 2001. vi, 216 p. (Italian Perspectives, 7)

Contents: Acknowledgements (vi); Introduction. The Trouble with Cecco: The ‘State of the Question’ and Difficulties Inherent in a Study of Angiolieri (1-17); I. Comedy and Culture: Cecco Angiolieri and the Comic Traditions (19-43); II. Love and Literature: Cecco Angiolieri’s Relationship with the Amorous Lyric Traditions (45-81); III. Poverty and Poetry: Cecco Angiolieri’s Position in the Evolution of a Vernacular Trope (83-113); IV. Insult and Injury: Vituperium in the Poetry of Cecco Angiolieri (115-143); V. Cecco, Simone, Dante and Guelfo: Correspondence among Angiolieri’s Poetry (145-163); VI. Fact or Fiction: Cecco Angiolieri’s Poetic Self-Presentation (165-192); Bibliography (193-209); Index of References to Angiolieri’s Sonnets (211-212); General Index (213-216).

Barolini, Teodolinda. Desire and Death, or Francesca and Guido Cavalcanti: Inferno 5 in its Lyric Context. Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 2001. 50 p. (Bernardo Lecture Series, No. 9)

“Explores the lyric context of Inferno 5, paying particular attention to how Italian lyric poets like Giacomo da Lentini, Guido delle Colonne, Guittone d’Arezzo, Guido Cavalcanti, and Dante himself had framed the issue of desire insufficiently controlled by reason. Pointing to Cavalcanti’s ‘che la ’ntenzione per ragione vale’ (from ‘Donna me prega’) as the intertext of Dante’s ‘che la ragion sommettono al talento’ (Inferno 5.39), Barolini reads Inferno 5 as a response to Cavalcanti. Moreover, by looking at the views of love evidenced in Dante’s own lyrics (e.g., ‘Lo doloroso amor,’ the ‘rime petrose,’ ‘Io sono stato con Amore insieme,’ ‘Amor, da che convien pur ch’io mi doglia,’ and ‘Doglia mi reca ne lo core ardire’), the essay reconstructs the complex and arduous ideological pathway that Dante traversed to reach Inferno 5.” [TB]

Boldrini, Lucia. Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in “Finnegan’s Wake.” New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. xi, 233 p.

Boldrini “examines how the literary and linguistic theories of Dante’s Divine Comedy helped shape the radical narrative techniques of Joyce’s last novel Finnegan’s Wake. Through detailed parallel readings, she explores a range of connections: issues such as the question of Babel, literary creation as excrement, the complex relations between literary, geometrical and female forms. Boldrini places Joyce’s work in the wider context of other modernist writing’s relation to Dante, thereby identifying the distinctness of Joyce’s own project. She considers how theories of influence and intertextuality help or limit the understanding of the relation. Boldrini shows how, through an untiring confrontation with his predecessors, constantly thematised within his writing, Joyce develops a ‘poetics in progress’ that informs not only his final work but his entire oeuvre.” Contents: Acknowledgements (ix); List of abbreviations (x-xi); Introduction: In the Wake of the Divine Comic (1-14); Prelude: ‘Bethicket me’; or, Looking for the straight way in the wood of Samuel Beckett’s obliquity of exagmination (15-25); 1. Working in layers (26-64); 2. The confusioning of human races (65-98); 3. Distilling vulgar matter (99-139); 4. Figures of ineffability (140-189); Notes (190-214); Bibliography (215-225); Index (226-233).

Hollander, Robert. Dante. A Life in Works. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001. xiv, 222 p.

“Through an exposition of Dante’s ... writings, Robert Hollander provides a concise intellectual biography of the writer.... Beginning with the Vita nuova and proceeding chronologically through Dante’s writings, Hollander delineates the major strands of the poet’s thought. He presents the works themselves, discusses their critical reception through the centuries, and addresses issues raised by each text. Hollander, writing for those who have already encountered the Commedia, suggests to these readers how Dante’s other works relate to the great poem and invites them to reread the Commedia with new interest and understanding.” Contents: Preface (ix-x); Chronology of Dante’s Life (xi-xiv); Introduction (1-2); Dante’s Life (2-7); First Lyrics (7-12); Vita nuova (12-40); Later Lyrics (40-45); Convivio I (45-54); De vulgari Eloquentia (54-74); Convivio II and III (74-81); Convivio IV (81-90); Commedia (90-94); Truth and Poetry (94-96); Allegory (97-104); The Moral Situation of the Reader (104-109); The Moral Order of the Afterworld (109-114); Virgil (114-121); Beatrice (121-127); Bernard (127-129); Politics (129-144); The Poetry of the Comedy (144-148); Monarchia (148-167); Late Latin Works (167-180); Notes (181-209); Bibliographical Note (211-212); Index (213-222).

Howard, Lloyd. Formulas of Repetition in Dante’s “Commedia”: Signposted Journeys across Textual Space. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001.

Examines “recurrent linguistic patterns or ‘formulas’ scattered across the textual space of Dante’s Commedia. ... Formulas are usually understood as rhetorical devices that are found in close textual proximity and, because they are intended for emphasis, cannot possible escape the notice of the reader. The formulas...trace[d] in this study are far more difficult to find because they are hidden deep in the structure of the Commedia and at considerable distances from one another.” Contents: Acknowledgments (vii); Abbreviations (ix-x); Note on Text and Translations (xi); Introduction (3-22); 1. Linguistic Configuration as a Clue to the Impossible Made Possible: Inferno 1, Purgatorio 11, and Purgatorio 12 (23-28); 2. The Descent into “l’infernale ambascia”: The Journey and Adam’s Flesh (29-40); 3. Decoding the Parallelism of Three Descents into Dante’s Hell (41-50); 4. Dante’s Wasted Years: What Is He Thinking in Inferno 5 and Purgatorio 31? (51-65); 5. Linguistic Patterns and Internal Structure in Five Cantos in the Inferno: From Political degni to Political Sinners (66-92); 6. Dante’s Fear of the Fire: Unperceived Links between Inferno 15-16 and Purgatorio 26-27 (93-104); 7. Florentine Politicians as Fallible Archers: Purgatorio 6 and Purgatorio 31 (105-115); 8. Virgil and Caiaphas “ne l’etterno essilio” (116-130); 9. The Destination: Dante’s Eyes Fixed and Attentive (131-153); Notes (155-193); Bibliography (195-200); Index (201-205).

Lewis, R. W. B. Dante. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001. xi, 205 p. (Penguin Lives Series)

Lewis “traces the life and complex development—emotional, artistic, philosophical—of this supreme poet-historian, from his wandering through the Tuscan hills and splendid churches to his days as a young soldier fighting for democracy, and to his civic leadership and years of embittered exile from the city that would fiercely reclaim him a century later. Lewis reveals the boy who first encounters the mythic Beatrice, the lyric poet obsessed with love and death, and the grand master of dramatic narrative and allegory, as well as his monumental search for ultimate truth in The Divine Comedy. It is in this masterpiece of self-discovery and redemption that Lewis finds Dante’s autobiography—and the sum of all his shifting passions and epiphanies.” Contents: Special Sources (ix-x); 1. Dante the Florentine (1-15); 2. Neighborhood Presences: The Early Years (16-27); 3. Love, Poetry, and War: The 1280s (28-44); 4. The Death of Beatrice and a New Life: 1288-1295 (45-61); 5. The Way of Politics: 1295-1302 (62-84); 6. The Poet in Exile, 1302-1310: The Comedy Is Begun (85-123); 7. The Middle of the Journey: 1310-1319 (124-160); 8. Ravenna, 1318-1321: The Comedy Is Finished (161-197); Bibliographical Notes (199-202); Additional Acknowledgments (203-205).

Peters, Edward. Limits of Thought and Power in Medieval Europe. Aldershot and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2001. xiv, 344 p. (Variorum Collected Studies Series)

Contains seven essays on Dante, all reprinted verbatim from their original source. They are, in the order found in the volume: “The Failure of Church and Empire: Paradiso, 30,” in Medieval Studies 34 (1972), 326-335 [see Dante Studies 91 (1973), 175]; “I principi negligenti di Dante e le concezioni medioevali del rex inutilis,” in Rivista Storica Italiana 80 (1968), 741-758; “Pars, Parte: Dante and an Urban Contribution to Political Thought,” in The Medieval City, edited by Harry A. Miskimin, David Herlihy, and A. L. Udovitch (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), pp. 113-140 [see Dante Studies 99 (1981), 206]; “The Frowning Pages: Scythians, Garamantes, Florentines, and the Two Laws,” in The Divine Comedy and the Encyclopedia of Arts and Sciences, edited by Giuseppe C. Di Scipio and Aldo Scaglione (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1988), pp. 285-314 [see Dante Studies 107 (1989), 153]; “Human Diversity and Civil Society in Paradiso VIII,” in Dante Studies 109 (1991), 51-70 [see Dante Studies 110 (1992), 303]; “The Shadowy, Violent Perimeter: Dante Enters Florentine Political Life,” in Dante Studies 113 (1995), 69-87 [see Dante Studies 114 (1996), 331-332]; and “The Voyage of Ulysses and the Wisdom of Solomon: Dante and the vitium curiositatis,” in Majestas 7 (1999), 75-87.

The Poets’ Dante. Edited by Peter S. Hawkins and Rachel Jacoff. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. xxvi, 406 p.

Contains original and reprinted essays (or portions thereof), in which poets discuss their personal engagement with Dante: “how they first encountered him, what drew them in, what kept them at a distance, whether his writing had any direct influence on their own.” In their Introduction (xiii-xxvi) Jacoff and Hawkins survey the reception of Dante in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and speak in both general and specific terms of the twenty-eight essays contained in the volume. Authors of the essays (in alphabetical order) are W. H. Auden, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Baine Campbell, W. S. Di Piero, Mark Doty, Robert Duncan, T. S. Eliot, Robert Fitzgerald, Daniel Halpern, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill, Edward Hirsch, Robert Lowell, Osip Mandelstam, J. D. McClatchy, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, Eugenio Montale, Howard Nemerov, Jacqueline Osherow, Robert Pinsky, Ezra Pound, Rosanna Warren, C. K. Williams, Charles Williams, Alan Williamson, Charles Wright, and William Butler Yeats. Each essay is listed separately in this bibliography under the individual author’s name. Given their nature, these essays are not accompanied by an abstract.

Roglieri, Maria Ann. Dante and Music: Musical Adaptations of the “Commedia” from the Sixteenth Century to the Present. Burlington, Vt., and Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001. xii, 317 p.

“Ever since its compilation in the fourteenth century, Dante’s great epic poem, the Commedia, has been adapted in a wide variety of musical forms by composers across the world. Drawing on primary research in scores and recordings, and on interviews with contemporary composers, Maria Roglieri provides ... an overview of these adaptations, considering them in light of Dante’s verses and his own use of music in the Commedia. Three categories of adaptation are examined: adaptations of the entire poem, works that focus on a particular character, and pieces that adapt an individual passage from the poem. Roglieri offers some possible motivations for each composer’s choice of a particular passage of character, and examines the ways in which these choices influence the musical form of the adaptation. Common characteristics between works are also identified.” Important for its examination of the relationship between music in Dante and Dante in music, Roglieri’s book “provides Dantists and musicologists alike with essential information on musical adaptations of Dante’s poem as well as an analytical framework for considering this material. In addition, it demonstrates that works like the Commedia offer a unique opportunity to chart differing musical styles over the course of centuries.” Contents: List of Figures (vii-ix); List of Tables in Appendix (x); Acknowledgements (xi-xii); 1. Introduction (1-17); 2. The Music of Dante’s Hell, Purgatory and Paradise (18-73); 3. Francesca da Rimini: Romantic and Modern Heroine in Music (74-108); 4. Dramatic Musical Tales of Dantean Characters (109-154); 5. The Antimusic of Hell: Screams and Lamentations (155-195); 6. Purgatorio: Songs of a New Dawn (196-233); 7. Heavenly Love Songs and La dolce sinfonia di Paradiso (234-265); 8. Some Concluding Remarks on Dante and Music (266-278); Appendix: Tables Representing the Compiled Data on Musical Settings of the Commedia: Table 1: Musical settings of the Commedia arranged by year of composition (279-290), Table 2: Musical settings of the entire Commedia arranged by year of composition (291), Table 3: Musical settings of particular characters from the Commedia by character and year of composition (292-297), Table 4: Musical settings of passages from Inferno arranged by canto and year of composition (298-299), Table 5: Musical settings of passages from the Purgatorio arranged by canto and year of composition (300), Table 6: Musical settings of passages from Paradiso arranged by canto and year of composition (301), Table 7: Recordings of musical settings of the Commedia (302-304); Bibliography (305-314); Index (315-317).

Shoaf, R. Allen. Chaucer’s Body: The Anxiety of Circulation in the “Canterbury Tales.” Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. xvi, 162 p.

Among the several references to Dante’s works one in particular focuses at some length on the possible relationship between Canto 33 of the Inferno (Alberigo dei Manfredi) and Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale (40-45).

Speaking Images: Essays in Honor of V. A. Kolve. Edited by Robert F. Yeager and Charlotte C. Morse. Asheville, North Carolina: Pegasus Press, The University of North Carolina at Asheville, 2001. xvii, 650 p.

This Festschrift to honor V. A. Kolve contains several essays dealing in some way or another with Dante. These essays—by Piero Boitani, Rachel Jacoff, John V. Fleming, and Penelope Reed Doob—are listed separately in this bibliography under the individual author’s name.



Audeh, Aida. “Rodin’s Gates of Hell: Sculptural Illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy.” In Magnificent Obsession: The Rodin Collection of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor, exhibit catalogue (London: Merrell Holberton Publishers, 2001), pp. 92-125.

Detailed analysis of Rodin’s Gates of Hell and related sculptures with constant reference to and consideration of the direct associations they have to Dante’s Comedy.

Auden, W. H. “From The Vision of Eros.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 136-143.

Boitani, Piero. “From the Shadow of Ulysses to the Shadow of the Argo: Dante’s Dangerous Journeys.” In Speaking Images... (q.v.), pp. 73-93.

Using the shadow as a metaphor with multiple meanings, Boitani revisits the Ulysses episode in order to look at Dante’s treatment of myth more generally. The episode is dense with allusion, to Scripture and to various passages in the classical canon. Boitani considers why Dante makes use of such a multiplicity of referents and concludes that Ulysses represents “a very fundamental stumbling-block for Dante the man, for the whole of Western civilization . . . and for every human being.” Through Ulysses, Dante is condemning both his own avid quest for knowledge and his culture’s growing interest in exploration of various kinds. And in his desire to pursue “egocentric liberty,” Boitani contends, Ulysses’ story is the story of Everyman. As a figure with such resonance, Ulysses shadows Dante throughout the rest of the poem, until Dante can eventually transform Ulysses and go beyond him. Boitani calls this process “introjection, metamorphosis, and sublimation.” The process picks up speed in the opening cantos of Paradiso, in which Dante transforms Ulysses’ voyage into an “Argonautic enterprise” through what Boitani calls “transumption.” The last mythological image in the poem— that of Neptune’s wonder at the shadow of the Argo— is then “an extreme act of transumption.” Boitani argues that for Dante “myth is the paradoxical authenticator of experiential reality.” His verses treat “shadows as things of substance” and for this effort, Boitani concludes, we must thank him. [JLe]

Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Divine Comedy.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 118-135.

Botterill, Steven. “Ideals of the Institutional Church in Dante and Bernard of Clairvaux.” In Italica 78, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 297-313.

Bernard of Clairvaux and Dante appear to share almost identical viewpoints in their ecclesiological thought. In this article, Botterill analyzes the many similarities demonstrated by the two authors, and wonders if, despite the chronological gap, it were possible to identify Bernard’s direct line of influence on the Commedia. By Dante’s time, Bernard’s widespread renown as a historical figure, and theological auctoritas had become common knowledge, thus making it almost impossible to discern a direct influence of Bernard’s thought in the Commedia. The presence in Paradise of Joachim of Fiore (Par. 12:140), a famed expert on Bernard’s works, particularly of the ecclesiological De Consideratione, testify to this fact. In addition, the author points out how the Commedia lacks a true literary ‘fingerprint’ of the abbot of Clairvaux, despite attempts to prove otherwise. Yet, in a comparative analysis of Dante’s and Bernard’s ideas on the institutional church, Botterill identifies in Paradiso, and particularly in Cantos 12 and 22, a crucial notion shared by the author of the Commedia, and the famous reformer. These two cantos, in fact, exemplify a Christian Church profoundly human and individual, just as proposed by Bernard of Clairvaux, not only in De Consideratione but, especially, in sermon 46 of the Song of Songs. The holiness of each individual guarantees the holiness of the church; therefore, the reform of the church must pass through the “inner recovery” of the individual. The main message of Bernard of Clairvaux appears directly in the same ideological structure of Paradise, and embodied in the very journey of the epic character of the Commedia. [CF]

Bowden, Betsy. “Dante’s Cato and the Disticha Catonis.” Deutsches Dante-Jahrbuch 75 (2001): 125-132.

Bregni, Simone. “Paradise, the Delectable Garden: Intertextuality and Tradition in the Divine Comedy.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 62, No. 3 (September, 2001), 1043. Doctoral dissertation, University of Connecticut, 2001. 470 p.

“This thesis considers the relationship between the Comedy and the topos of Paradise in the light of modern theories of intertextuality. It presents a methodology for an explication de texte that pays detailed attention to the peculiarities of the medieval mind, its memory structures and the concept of allegory. [... T]hrough keywords, the author could invoke entire bodies of text that constituted a common cultural background for the typical reader in Dante's times; these keywords are aimed at summoning up the whole tradition of Paradise in the Western tradition as depicted in fundamental texts ranging from Homer and Virgil, through the Apocalypse and the New Testament, and into medieval visionary writings. The thesis further argues that the more obscure the text in Dante (obscure, that is, from the perspective of the modern reader), the more frequent we may consider the presence of intertextual hypostases, and the more meaningful such passages within the entire economy of the poem.”

Camille, Michael. “The Pose of the Queer: Dante’s Gaze, Brunetto Latini’s Body.” In Queering the Middle Ages, edited by Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), pp. 57-86. (Medieval Cultures 27)

Focuses on the illustration of Dante and Virgil with Brunetto Latini in the lower margin of Musée Condé MS 1424 in Chantilly (fols. 113v and 114r) from 1327-28, which contains the Guido da Pisa commentary on the poem. Dante and Virgil stand amply clothed on the verso facing a stark naked Brunetto on the recto. Brunetto extends his right hand toward the pair and holds his left arm akimbo on his hip. Dante’s gaze is lowered and appears to meet Brunetto’s naked body. Dante also extends a hand but the two do not touch: the possible point of contact is buried deep in the crevice of the manuscript binding, which dramatically separates the condemned sinners from the pilgrim and his guide. Behind Brunetto a troop of running sodomites is caught in snapshot, their naked bodies—arms, torsos, buttocks and legs—overlapping and intertwined. Camille aims to debunk the claims of the many revisionist readers of Canto 15 who have attempted to de-sexualize Brunetto (and by extension Dante) and argue that Dante used sodomy here in a broader sense to indicate a sin of language, or political or religious philosophy, or an exaggerated secular humanism. He provides a useful brief survey of the revisionists from Pézard to Armour and suggests that their readings are motivated by “fearful fantasies” of the sodomitic body, of Brunetto’s body and its perilous proximity to Dante’s own. He adduces the very physical, material evidence of the Chantilly manuscript and its early fourteenth-century illustrator, for whom the scene was clearly corporeal and sexual. Medieval readers were aware of the manuscript page as flesh. The manuscript book was sometimes parodied as a body entered from the rear and thus Camille suggests that the positioning of Dante and Brunetto here across the crack of the binding may not be casual. Regarding Brunetto’s contrapposto pose with arm akimbo, Camille allows that in the fourteenth century there may have been “nothing necessarily effeminate about this particular stance,” rather it was intended ironically (in this infernal context) to encode Brunetto as elevated in class and culture and echo the frank nakedness of ancient statuary. The extended arm is a classical gesture of eloquence. Brunetto’s self-conscious posing mocks him as pagan, overly attached to ancient refinements, and thus marks him just the same as “queer” (a term Camille accepts from the contemporary critical vocabulary to denote difference and to avoid the anachronistic modern identity “homosexual”). Camille extends his analyses to the troop of sodomites, whose hairless soft flesh, open mouths, and small penises bespeak queerness. He draws apt comparisons to other illuminations of the period that tend to erase the sodomitic body, thereby underscoring the Chantilly illustrator’s bold, indeed flamboyant, rendering. [GPC]

Campbell, Mary Baine. “Wrath, Order, Paradise.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 383-394.

Casciani, Santa. “Reason, Deception, and Franciscan Spirituality in Inferno 26 and 27.” In Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 2 (2001), 37-55.

In this reading of the Ulysses episode in Inferno 26 and 27, Casciani examines the cultural background to Dante’s work, noting that Gregory the Great had used the symbol of the ocean voyage as a metaphor for human disquiet and restlessness. During Dante’s day, moreover, Franciscan intellectuals challenged the use of knowledge by the logicians from various universities, stressing that God had established limits to human reason. The Franciscans voiced the concern that the quest for intellectual speculation had the potential to lead people away from the true faith. Dante alludes to the position of the Franciscans through the symbol of the Straits of Gibraltar as a metaphor for the proper boundaries to human inquiry. Casciani performs a reading of Ulysses’s monologue in order to determine the exact nature of his sin. She asserts that the phrase at the start of Ulysses’ discourse— “nel mattino”—was a spatial and not a temporal referent. In other words, she suggests that the boat had already been turned back homeward; in short, Ulysses’s orazione picciola was his response to a mutiny. She notes that Ulysses’s speech is deliberately misleading, for he inspires his men to seek knowledge where there is no knowledge, in the hemisphere covered entirely by the ocean. Through Ulysses’s speech, the poet illustrates the abuse of true logic and underscores that philosophical speculation can be justified only when supported by Christian doctrine. [FA]

Cassell, Anthony. “‘Luna est Ecclesia’: Dante and the ‘Two Great Lights’.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 1-26.

Examines the use and origin of the decretalists’ “two great lights” topos (supposedly based on Genesis 1:16) that Dante refutes in Monarchia 3:4. Noting that the poet allows the famous analogy to reenter the treatise at various points, he shows that the ending (Mon. 3:16) is quite consistent with the rest of the text and that the Monarchia was in fact far more conservative and conciliatory than critics and editors had previously considered. The canonist topos, used to great power and effect by Innocent III, Innocent IV, Boniface VIII and Clement V, and many other prelates, claimed that the temporal authority, as the moon, and the spiritual authority, as the sun, were merely two lights circling within the great firmament of the Church. The analogy diametrically opposed the theologians’ traditional exegesis of the Church as the moon that had dominated Church writings monolithically since Ambrose and Augustine. Cassell documents that this high-handed papalist reversal began in southern England soon after the murder of Thomas Becket for his defense of Church privileges and ten years before Innocent III first used it to assert papal might in papal documents of 1188. Cassell records Innocent’s early friendship with the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephan Langton, and their eight-month pilgrimage to Becket’s shrine while both the future pope and future archbishop were fellow students in Paris. [AC]

Chiampi, James T. “‘Freighting Good Merchandise’: Damnation as Maritime Barratry in Inferno XXI-XXIII.” In Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 2 (dicembre, 2001), 1-26.

Examines the repeated maritime metaphors in the discussions of barratry throughout the Comedy (e.g., Paradiso 11, but in particular Inferno 21-23). Such metaphors include the discussion of the Venetian Arsenal and the pitch in which the corrupt politicians are immersed. The author argues that the maritime language is not an innovation on the part of Dante, but is derived from a long tradition of writings on the vice of barratry. Classical sources discussed barratry through the metaphor of the corrupt sailor, who deliberately wrecks the ship and seizes the merchandise within the hold. Similarly, according to the analogy, the barrator damages the ship of state for personal gain. The classical metaphor is consonant with the Christian tradition, for authorities such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Boethius reiterate it in their own writings. Dante, moreover, repeatedly employs the metaphor in his masterpiece, both in praising the upstanding political leaders in Purgatorio and Paradiso, and condemning the corrupt in Inferno. By analyzing Dante’s various passages on the sin, the author demonstrates Dante’s belief that the barrators have loved a means, money, rather than the end of that means, the highest Good. Therefore, those who succumbed to the sin have entrapped themselves by their choices. [FA]

Ciccarelli, Andrea. “Dante and Italian Culture from the Risorgimento to World War I.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 125-154.

Examines the correlation between the intellectual recovery of Dante’s aesthetic world and the historical exploitation of the name of Dante as a national glory from the early Risorgimento to the rise of fascism. The goal is to demonstrate that the recovery of Dante by nineteenth-century Italian culture, except in very few cases, has scarcely to do with Dante’s aesthetic values; the conversion of Dante into an emblem of national unity was mostly tied to political and ethical reasons. In reading the works of the time, it is therefore necessary to differentiate between an instrumental view of Dante as the archetype of national consciousness, and the actual incorporation of Dante’s aesthetic world by Italian writers. Focuses on three fundamental moments: 1) the rediscovery of Dante’s moral example during the romantic period, and his consequent canonization as a Risorgimento icon; 2) the role of Francesco De Sanctis in shaping and transmitting an ethical, rather than a literary, image of Dante to modern Italy; and 3) the debates on or about Dante and Dantism which took place in Florence and Milan in the years prior to World War I. [AC]

Di Fonzo, Claudia. “La ‘diffrazione per istituto’ e la tradizione dell’Ottimo commento: opus practicum del commentatore (Inferno 28.6-12). Il caso di Gervasio Tilliberense.” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted July 19, 2001, at > Publications > EBDSA.

Di Pasquale, Theresa M. “Milton’s Purgatorio.” In Philological Quarterly 80, No. 2 (Spring, 2001), 169-186.

While Milton’s conscious emulation of Virgil is evident both in the trajectory of his generic choices (from the pastoral of “Lycidas,” for example, to the epic of Paradise Lost), and in the details of particular poetic scenes (as in the speaker’s failed attempt to embrace his dead wife in the sonnet “Methought I saw my late espoused saint”), Dante’s presence in Milton’s poetic struggle proves instructive as well. Looking particularly at “Methought I saw my late espoused saint,” DiPasquale argues that “the sonnet’s intertextual relationship with Paradise Lost and with the works of Virgil and Dante suggests a purgative motion.” The conclusion of the sonnet recalls Dante’s encounter with Casella in Purgatorio 2: not only do details particular to the pilgrim’s futile embrace of the singer find their way into Milton’s sonnet, but Milton’s poem bears traces of the language and concerns of both the canzone Casella sings in Purgatorio, “Amor che ne la mente mi ragiona,” and the canzone that precedes it in the Convivio, “Voi che ’ntendendo il terzo ciel movete.” These two canzoni “provide a rich context for the dream-like experience of Milton’s sonnet, helping to define what happens when the saint, ‘Brought’ to the poet by an unseen force, takes flight at his awakening and the return of a ‘day’ that ‘[brings] back’ his night.” Dante’s struggle to perceive the true meaning of Beatrice at the top of Purgatory then also speaks to Milton’s labor to move past the lyric inspiration of his dream-state to the prophetic vision of Christ available to him only in the solitary night of his blindness. The Milton who understands that the vision of his dead wife must yield, “accepting even the loss of ‘Amor che ne la mente mi ragiona,’ is the poet who was ultimately able to write Paradise Lost.” [JLe]

Di Piero, W. S. “Our Sweating Selves.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 344-353.

Doob, Penelope Reed. “Theseus T(h)reads the Maze: Labyrinthine Empowerment/ Impairment and Ariadne’s Absence.” In Speaking Images... (q.v.), pp. 167-184 (+ 4 figures on unnumbered pages).

Considers the history of labyrinth stories, from Homer through the early Renaissance, noting the curious absence of women from the mazes themselves. While Ariadne helped Theseus negotiate the Cretan labyrinth, she herself does not enter it and winds up forsaken by Theseus. Doob regards the “irony whereby she whose knowledge of the labyrinth empowers other maze-walkers is herself impaired, diminished, abandoned.” The abandonment of the Ariadne figure is intensified in the later Middle Ages, when the labyrinth is seen also to signify female genitalia, as in, for example, Boccaccio’s Corbaccio; “[w]omen can’t go into the labyrinth if they themselves are the maze.” Doob identifies three exceptions to this tendency of female exclusion from the labyrinth in which women serve as guides through both literal and metaphorical labyrinthine structures: Virgil’s Aeneid, in which the Sibyl guides Aeneas through the underworld; Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, in which Lady Philosophy conducts the prisoner out of his mental captivity; and Dante’s Comedy, in which Beatrice, and guides sent by Beatrice, lead the pilgrim through the mazy afterworld. Ultimately, though, these female maze-walkers are not themselves empowered by their negotiation of the labyrinth, nor, as significantly asexual beings, are they sufficient role models for flesh and blood women. Doob concludes her essay, however, briefly touching on two late medieval texts that do in fact attempt to reclaim female mastery of the labyrinth: Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath Tale” and, most emphatically, the anonymous Assembly of Ladies. [JLe] 

Doty, Mark. “Rooting for the Damned.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 370-379.

Duncan, Robert. “The Sweetness and Greatness of Dante’s Divine Comedy.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 186-209.

Dupont, Christian Y. “Collecting Dante in America at the End of the Nineteenth Century: John Zahm and Notre Dame.” In The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 95, No. 4 (December, 2001), 443-481.

Provides a portrait of John Augustine Zahm, C.S.C. (1851-1921), who was responsible in large part for assembling the great Dante collection at the University of Notre Dame. The essay examines his “motivations for and methods of collecting Dante” and presents in great detail the growth of the Notre Dame collection, especially the acquisition of much of Giulio Acquaticci’s collection.

Eliot, T. S. “What Dante Means to Me.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 28-39.

Ferrucci, Franco. “Plenilunio sulla selva: il Convivio, le petrose, la Commedia.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 67-102.

Proposes that the date of Dante’s rime petrose should be assigned to the years 1307-1308, when the poet was often visiting the Guidi family at Poppi and Pratovecchio in the Casentino, and offers evidence for this claim. Ferrucci establishes a number of references between the Comedy and the petrose, and maintains that Dante’s writing of the fourth “trattato” of Convivio was contemporary to his passion for the “donna Petra.” He reassigns the canzone montanina to the cycle of the petrose and gives great significance to the fourth epistle, addressed to Moroello Malaspina and accompanying the same canzone, in which the first vision of the woman is described in vivid terms. Ferrucci suggests that the pargoletta is none other than “donna Petra” and elaborates on the allegorical presence of the full moon in the opening canto of Inferno that is not declared until later in the poem, when it is mentioned twice and with manifest intent (Inf. 20:127-129; Purg. 23:118-121). Ferrucci proposes that the moon is a symbolic icon of “donna Petra” and that the lunar inclinatio governs the whole inspiration of this series of poems. Moreover, he reconsiders the date of the canzone “Tre donne intorno al cor mi son venute” (and proposes 1309), seeing it as Dante’s farewell to the love story with “donna Petra.” [FF]

Fitzgerald, Robert. “Mirroring the Commedia: An Appreciation of Laurence Binyon’s Version.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 144-170.

Fleming, John V. “The Pentecosts of Four Poets.” In Speaking Images... (q.v.), pp. 111-141.

Considers the ending of Chaucer’s “Summoner’s Tale” from the perspective of literary iconography. Fleming first articulates an understanding, widely accepted in Chaucer studies, of the scene, in which a squire figures out how to divide a fart into twelve equal parts with the aid of a cartwheel: the entertaining passage “involves a burlesque allusion to the pictorial or mimetic presentations of the Pentecost.” He then analyzes various aspects of the Pentecost theme as it appears in the work of three other medieval poets: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Dante, and Luís de Camões. All three allude to the Pentecost without naming it, and all three seem to make use of both verbal and visual accounts of it. In the fifteenth book of Parzival Wolfram describes a moment of sacred proclamation, and in the sixteenth book he refers to a baptism that recalls Peter’s Pentecostal exhortation to baptism. Dante’s description of the simoniacs, planted upside down with their feet aflame in the Malebolge, takes up and perverts the iconographic vocabulary of Pentecost: the emblematic flames that touch the heads of the Apostles in Acts and in visual exegeses of the story now lick the feet of the pseudo-apostles, the corrupt popes of the third bolgia. Camões more literally engages the pictorial in his reference to the Pentecost. In a passage in the Lusiads in which Bacchus feigns Christian devotion, Camões describes an altar painted with an image of the Pentecost: the twelve apostles, joined by Mary and a dove, gaze at each other, amazed at the sight of the tongues of fire. Fleming links each of these scenes to “The Summoner’s Tale,” but makes clear that “with Chaucer we are seldom dealing with the exclusive alternatives of an either and an or.” Chaucer’s sources, then, for the scatological conclusion to “The Summoner’s Tale” seem to range from the liturgical, to the scriptural, to the literary, to the pictorial. Fleming concludes, “[w]hat we find in Chaucer’s ‘Summoner’s Tale’ is an iconographic style that elides verbal and pictorial ‘sources,’ that combines a respectful use of tradition with a playful and expressive inventiveness.” [JLe]

Gaudenzi, Cosetta. “Appropriations of Dante: XVIII and early XIX Century Translations of the Divine Comedy in Great Britain.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 61, No. 8 (February, 2001), 3159. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000. 230 p.

“My dissertation crosses disciplinary lines which have traditionally separated Italian literature, English literature, and socio-cultural history. I disclose some of the general factors which made and continue to make Dante’s Commedia so attractive to British readers. I examine the partial and complete versions of the Divine Comedy from the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the first substantial renditions of Dante’s poem into English, and I concentrate on Inferno I-III, V, XXVI, and XXXIII. ... As I discuss the translations chronologically, I trace the processes which eventually led to the first authoritative translation of Dante’s entire Commedia by Henry Cary (1814) and to the British Romantic construction of Dante as an author.”

Gilson, Simon A. “Medieval Magical Lore and Dante’s Commedia: Divination and Demonic Agency.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 27-66.

Attempts to demonstrate that a variety of phenomena which medieval writers associated with the magical arts occupies a more extensive place in Dante’s Commedia than many earlier critics and commentators have assumed. It is argued that Dante was influenced by a range of different sources and cultural traditions, and that in his poem he draws not only upon official condemnations of the magical arts but also upon the often unsanctioned realm of popular legend and belief. The essay also surveys the theological, philosophical, and scientific and other traditions that provide the essential context for several areas of magical lore which are found in the Commedia. It then uses this contextual material in order to explore Dante’s treatment of divination in Inferno 20, his earlier use of a necromantic episode in Inferno 9:22-27, and two passages that deal with the powers of demons to occupy human bodies and to interfere in the natural order in Inferno 33:122-135 and Purgatorio 5:109-129, respectively. [SAG]

Halpern, Daniel. “Dante in Perpignan.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 354-358.

Hawkins, Peter S. (Joint editor). See The Poets’ Dante....

Hawkins, Peter S., and Rachel Jacoff. “Still Here: Dante after Modernism.” In The Yale Review 89, No. 3 (July, 2001), 11-24.

Review of some of the most significant adaptations and reworkings of Dante that looks “back at the various unexpected roles Dante has played in twentieth-century poetry.” The works considered are: Eliot’s “Little Gidding” (inspired by Inf. 15 and Purg. 26); Derek Walcott’s Epitaph for the Young (a parody of “Little Gidding”) and Omeros; Seamus Heaney’s Field Work (which contains a translation of the Ugolino episode), Station Island and Seeing Things; Charles Wright’s The World of Ten Thousand Things; and Gjertrud Schnackenberg’s “A Gilded Lapse of Time.” [MP]

Heaney, Seamus. “Envies and Identifications: Dante and the Modern Poet.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 239-258.

Hill, Geoffrey. “Between Politics and Eternity.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 319-332.

Hirsch, Edward. “Summoning Shades.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 395-403.

Hollander, Robert. “‘La concubina di Titone antico’: Purgatorio 9.1.” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted July 31, 2001, at > Publications > EBDSA.

Hollander, Robert.Inferno XV.29: ‘chinando la mia alla sua faccia.’” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted August 20, 2001, at > Publications > EBDSA.

Holmes, Olivia. “Dante’s Two Beloveds: Ethics as Erotic Choice.” In Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 25-50.

The author of this article takes as a starting point the medieval theory that the purpose of literature was to influence ethical decisions: texts should either praise the worthy or castigate the sinful, thereby inducing readers to reject sin and to follow virtue in their own lives. The Letter to Cangrande explicitly inscribes Paradiso in the dichotomy of praise and blame, thus positioning the Commedia within the framework of morality; while the epistle is possibly apocryphal, readership does not need to rely upon it to locate the duality of praise/blame in Dante’s masterpiece. Dante structures much of the Commedia around the diametrical opposition of laus and vituperium by demonstrating the consequences of free will. Indeed, many of the parallels within the work indicate the different possibilities, depending upon the choices of the individuals (e.g., Buonconte and Guido da Montefeltro). Throughout much of his literature, the poet frequently presents himself facing two options, which allegorizes a moral decision. Yet it would be mistaken to interpret Dante’s symbolism as univocal allegory, where images only connote abstract ideas in a one-to-one relationship. Toward the end of the narrative of the Vita Nuova, for example, Dante becomes distracted from the memory of Beatrice by the presence of the donna gentile. In the Convivio, the poet explicates the latter as the personification of Philosophy and not as a flesh-and-blood woman. The selection, therefore, between the donna gentile and Beatrice does not necessarily indicate the choice between good and evil, the author stresses, but a more nuanced moral distinction between good and better. [FA]

Jacoff, Rachel. “The Hermeneutics of Hunger.” In Speaking Images... (q.v.), pp. 95-110.

Ugolino’s narrative in Inferno 33 is among the most controversial in the Comedy and has engendered a range of artistic and critical responses. Jacoff’s essay recontextualizes the episode within the poem itself and within the discourses that might affect its implications, paying particular attention to Ugolino’s vexing final line “Poscia, più che ’l dolor, poté ’l digiuno” (Inf. 33.75). She offers evidence, drawn both from the poem and from literary and iconographic sources likely known to Dante, to support a reading of Ugolino’s cannibalism. For example, Dante demonstrates no sympathy toward any of the sinners in Cocytus; he criticizes Pisa for imprisoning Ugolino’s children, but not for imprisoning Ugolino; Ugolino’s eternal pose, gnawing on Archbishop Ruggieri’s head, makes it difficult not to think about his possible cannibalism and arguably fixes him forever in an illustration of a particular identity. Moreover, since a tradition of a cannibalistic Satan is strongly supported in artistic images known to, or contemporary with Dante, in his punishment of Ugolino, Dante grants Ugolino an iconographic role normally given to demons of some kind. Finally, Jacoff considers the sources for readers’ and critics’ discomfort with the centrality of cannibalism to the narrative. She looks at the anxiety surrounding cannibalism in patristic discussions of the resurrection of the body and takes into account disturbing associations with the Eucharist that might result in a troubling confrontation with “what is intolerable.” [JLe]

Jacoff, Rachel. (Joint author). See Hawkins, Peter S. “Still Here....”

Jacoff, Rachel. (Joint editor). See The Poets’ Dante....

Kanekar, Aarati. “The Geometry of Love and the Topography of Fear: On Translation and Metamorphosis from Poem to Building.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 61, No. 7 (January, 2001), 2491. Doctoral dissertation, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000. 304 p.

“Translations across different symbolic media necessarily involve reconstruction and transformation arising from the manner in which meaning is constituted in each medium. Terragni’s design for a monument to Dante, based on The Divine Comedy, raises questions of translatability between literature and architecture that are seldom explored in design or theory. In this thesis, the Danteum is taken as a point of departure in order to illuminate The Divine Comedy as an intersection of linguistic, visual and architectural media. It is suggested that while the project is an attempt to present a poem as a building, the poem itself absorbs into linguistic form cosmological and architectural ideas that were first realized in built form.”

Kerr, John M. “Proserpinan Memory in Dante and Chaucer.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 62, No. 1 (July, 2001), 163. Doctoral dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 2001. 362 p.

“This study examines Dante’s and Chaucer’s elaboration upon the classical and medieval conceptions of the tripartite Proserpina (Proserpina in hell, Diana on earth, and Luna—the moon—in heaven). Each chapter points to various seasonal motifs, but focuses on the vertical chthonic element of the myth, which in medieval commentary situates Proserpina as a goddess of memory. Dante and Chaucer each figure memory as an underworld, with Proserpina reigning over this memorial space. Poetically ‘descending’ to this underworld, Dante and Chaucer encounter the (primarily textual) culture of the past, re-ascending with their own present writing, firmly rooted in, but always changing that which came before. In the Commedia, Dante employs a host of infernal, agricultural, hunting, and lunar motifs from the goddess’s three aspects, incorporating Proserpina into an Augustinian matrix of memory, intellect, and will. In the infernal encounter with Proserpina’s servants (the furies), Dante and the reader must get beyond the level of mere memory and by using the intellect. Purgatorio’s encounter with Proserpinan / Dianan Matelda refines Dante’s memory, and instructs him in the limits of intellect. In Paradiso, Dante meets Piccarda, whose Christian re-playing of the Proserpina myth à la Claudian challenges Dante’s understanding of the will.”

Kuusisto, Pekka Johannes. “From the Center to the Circumference: Encyclopedic Topologies in Literature from Dante through Modern Science Fiction.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 62, No. 2 (August, 2001), 562. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Riverside, 2001. 577 p.

“This dissertation studies the notion of encyclopedic topologies in such examples where literature and science meet and interact as Plato’s Timaeus, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and The Anxiety of the Head of Family and other stories of Franz Kafka as situated within Tzvetan Todorov’s structuralist theory of the literary fantastic, and finally in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and its application in Gregory Benford’s Timescape and elsewhere in modern science fiction. ... I propose a view where literature is understood as historically situated within the encyclopedia, that is, a reading of the literary text as an embedded version—an encyclopedic macrocosm of Dante or Joyce—or as a reflective image—an encyclopedic microcosm of Kafka or James—of an encyclopedia within the encyclopedia. ... In my dissertation, Dante’s Comedy develops the function of the tree-ordered center of the Ptolemaic mentality of Western encyclopedism....”

Lewis, R. W. B. “Dante the Florentine.” In The Yale Review 89, No. 3 (July, 2001), 1-10.

Brief introductory survey of some major considerations regarding Dante, including the Guelph-Ghibelline conflict, Florentine guilds, demographics and civic architecture, the Black-White split and Dante’s exile, the Commedia’s popularity and Ravenna as the poet’s burial place. [MP]

Lindon, John. “In Memoriam: Marcella Roddewig (1918-2000).” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 213-216.

Necrology of the late distinguished Dante scholar.

Lowell, Robert. “Dante’s Actuality and Fecundity in the Anglo-Saxon World.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 171-175.

Lowell, Robert. “Epics.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 176-185.

Mandelstam, Osip. “Conversation about Dante.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 40-93.

Mazzaro, Jerome.Paradiso XX, the Missing Virgin, and Absent Presence.” In Forum Italicum 35, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), 5-22.

In the heaven of justice, David and Trajan are named as the pupil and the beginning of the curve of the eyebrow of the eagle. Readers of the poem “feel an initial absence” at the identification of these characters, as the moment recalls Purgatorio 10, where they were juxtaposed with the Virgin Mary as examples of humility. The Virgin was frequently associated with justice in the Middle Ages, and—finding it impossible to portray her merely in the sixth heaven, Dante portrays her “covertly” in Paradiso 20 through her association with the other two figures. The reader remembers the association of the three characters and so supplies the third when the other two are presented. Similarly, in his allusion to the voyage of the Argo in Paradiso 33, Dante enables the reader to recall Christian, salvation history through an act of remembrance that compensates for the absence of Dante’s explicit mention of that history. Indeed, this strategy can be seen to characterize the entire poem, in which “the entire Commedia [is] an effort to make presence an absence, the absence being the original experience being recalled” (18). [VSB]

McClatchy, J. D. “His Enamel.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 277-291.

Merrill, James. “Divine Poem.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 227-235.

Merwin, W. S. “Poetry Rising from the Dead.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 292-305.

Modesto, Diana. “Dante all’altro polo: Dante Studies in Australasia.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 203-211.

An overview of critical studies and related activities on Dante in Australia.

Montale, Eugenio. “Dante, Yesterday and Today.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 94-117.

Morrison, Molly. “Looking at God: Imagery for the Divinity in Dante’s Paradiso.” In Forum Italicum 35, No. 2 (Fall, 2001), 307-317.

There are two moments in the Paradiso in which the poet attempts to describe his vision of God: Canto 28 (where he describes God as an infinitely small, infinitely brilliant point) and Canto 33 (where “the tiny bright point now becomes a larger light, a light which somehow divides itself into three,” 313). Our understanding of these two visions is increased by reading them within the context of the theology of Pseudo-Dionysius. Dante’s “point” affirms Dionysian theory of religious symbols in that it both “denies the Divine Essence, yet affirms it” (309). This vision prepares the pilgrim for his more profound vision in the poem’s final canto, in which he penetrates the vision of God while simultaneously coming to the Dionyisan realization that God is ultimately beyond all human understanding. [VSB]

Nemerov, Howard. “The Dream of Dante.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 210-226.

Osherow, Jacqueline. “She’s Come Undone: An American Jew Looks at Dante.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 265-276.

Parker, Deborah. “Dante ‘Giocoso’: Bronzino’s Burlesque of the Commedia.” In Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 1 (2001), 77-101.

The author aims to point out “indecent adaptations” of the Comedy in the burlesque poetry of Agnolo Bronzino “in order to draw attention to the painter’s poetry” and “to clarify its relation to an earlier tradition of parodies of Dante.” The article opens with a short catalogue of allusions to the Comedy in Della Casa’s Galateo, Pulci’s Morgante and Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Simposio. After a short overview of Bronzino’s interest in Dante and Petrarch, the author identifies several humorous reworkings of Dante in the Capitoli, especially “La cipolla” and “Il piato.” [MP]

Pinsky, Robert. “The Pageant of Unbeing.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 306-318.

Pound, Ezra. “From Dante.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 3-11.

Rotundo, Angela Rita. “A Teacher’s Soulful Inquiry: Exploring Professional Development Using The Divine Comedy as a Guide.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 62, No. 4 (October, 2001), 1380. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, 2001. 282 p.

“This is a reflexive inquiry about a teacher’s story as she journeys through life and her professional teaching experiences. Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is used to recreate a metaphorical journey towards self-understanding partly influenced by the interactions of people she meets along life’s path.”

Salwa, Piotr. “Dante in Polonia: una presenza viva?” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 187-202.

A rapid overview of Dante’s tradition and “fortune” in contemporary Poland. More than a bibliographical review of studies and translations, the essay focuses on how Dante’s work and Dante’s myth have been adopted and shaped to suit ideological trends of Polish culture. The Poet—whose name has been associated almost exclusively with the Divina Commedia and the Vita Nuova—has become a symbol of the patriot, Christian, exile, and ideal lover. He is constantly present in contemporary Polish culture—even more outside than inside the academic community—as an obligatory reference to the European tradition, while provoking very personal, unconventional, and controversial reactions from major Polish authors. [PS]

Sayers, William. “Dante’s Venetian Shipyard Scene (Inf. 21), Barratry, and Maritime Law.” In Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 2 (2001), 57-79.

The article begins by posing a question: in the beginning of Inferno 21, why does Dante provide the vast description of the shipyard of the Venetian arzanà when he merely alludes to the boiling pitch of the fifth bolgia? The scholar attempts to demonstrate that while the Comedy is replete with nautical metaphors, the cantos of the barrators also possess numerous references to seafaring. The referents include both terminology derived from sailing as well as lexical items that phonologically suggest such terms. In other words, the opening metaphor of the Venetian arzanà is merely part of a larger program on the part of the poet to associate barratry with ocean voyages. Medieval maritime law, which defined barratry as the deliberate sinking of a ship and confiscation of its cargo, helps to explain the raison d’être for Dante’s extended metaphor. In the culture of the Middle Ages, barratry and seafaring were conceptually linked, and Dante utilizes that connection for literary purposes. [FA]

Schildgen, Brenda Deen. “Dante’s Utopian Political Vision, the Roman Empire, and the Salvation of Pagans.” In Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 51-69.

Argues that Dante’s utopian politics impelled him to place the Latin poets—Virgil, Ovid, Lucan and Horace—in Limbo. They could not be saved because they were unable to “see the Empire as the instrument of providential history.” The essay looks at the ethical criteria Dante uses in considering pagan salvation, concluding that those poets who question the Empire’s aims are punished in the Commedia for their misgivings. By contrast, the saved pagans—Statius, Cato, Trajan, and Ripheus—demonstrate a commitment to hope, love, and Roman values and share an optimistic view of history which places the foundation of Rome as a key moment in salvation history. Dante “singled out other Romans for salvation whom he made co-partners in his own vision. Dante’s utopian political vision put faith in a history guided by divine providence, whereas in reading his great literary forebears, he recognized that they did not share this hope.” [Jle]

Storey, H. Wayne, and Christopher Kleinhenz. “American Dante Bibliography for 2000.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 217-273.

With brief analyses.

Taccheri, Umberto. “I sogni boeziani del Purgatorio dantesco.” In Dissertation Abstracts International 61, No. 10 (April, 2001), 4020. Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2000. 251 p.

“In queste pagine presenteremo una nuova ipotesi sull’influenza della Consolatio Philosophiae di Anicio Manlio Severino Boezio sulla Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri. Noi proporremo una lettura dei tre sogni di Purgatorio 9, 19 e 27 in chiave di una rielaborazione di tre poesie della Consolatio Philosophiae di Boezio: la dodicesima poesia del terzo libro su Orfeo ed Euridice, la terza poesia del quarto libro, su Ulisse e Circe, e l’ultima poesia del quarto libro, su Agamennone, Ulisse ed Ercole, tre episodi che nel testo boeziano illustrano allegoricamente l’ascesa spirituale del protagonista verso il sommo bene. Mediante un parallelo tra i sogni del Purgatorio ed alcuni passaggi che li circondano con questi brani della Consolatio ed alcuni dei commentari ad essa dedicati che godettero di larga diffusione nel medio evo, illustreremo che la seconda cantica della Commedia prende a modello il percorso spirituale rappresentato allegoricamente nella successione dei tre metra mitologici di Boezio per allontanarsi gradualmente e sistematicamente da essi.”

Ullén, Magnus. “Dante in Paradise: The End of Allegorical Interpretation.” In New Literary History 32, No. 1 (2001), 177-199.

The anagogical meaning of any narrative is that determined by the reader in applying at the moral level a chosen ideological matrix to a literal narrative discourse, with the allegorical level seen as a mise en abyme of the act of reading itself. In the Divine Comedy, symbol and allegory merge because the origin and end of the narrative are ultimately the same: God.

Usher, Jonathan. “A Narnian Ulysses.” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted March 12, 2001, at > Publications > EBDSA.

Van Anglen, K. P. “Before Longfellow: Dante and the Polarization of New England.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 155-186.

Through a survey of Dante’s reception in the three main literary periodicals of early nineteenth-century New England (the Monthly Anthology, the North American Review, and the Christian Examiner), Van Anglen reveals a previously neglected or in some cases overlooked body of Dante criticism that arose in the decades before Longfellow arrived at Harvard in 1836. He interprets it as reflecting the literary politics of Unitarian Boston, particularly the conflicted response of the city’s elite to democracy and to Roman Catholicism. The former manifested itself in Unitarian criticism’s use of Dante and his writings to illustrate “the translation of empire” theme, which warned that America might suffer the fate of Italy should it reject the consensualist leadership claims of educated professionals and men of letters. The latter bespoke the widespread attraction and repulsion of upper-class Yankee artists and writers toward Catholicism and Mediterranean culture in the antebellum period. Both, the author concludes, suggest that more work needs to be done on the regional cultural context out of which Longfellow and his contemporaries emerged as Dantists. [KPVA]

Warren, Rosanna. “Words and Blood.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 333-343.

Watt, Mary Alexandra Watt. “Take This Bread: Dante’s Eucharistic Banquet.” In Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 2 (2001), 17-35.

Examines Dante’s evocation and revision of his own literary past as found in the Vita Nuova and Convivio. In the opening lines of the libello, where Dante speaks of transcribing the book of memory, the poet casts himself as a writer, copyist, and redactor of the lyric poetry therein. He establishes, in short, a tension in the tunc et nunc (then and now) structure typical to many conversion narratives; he is both the person who underwent the experiences communicated in the lyrics, as well as the amanuensis transcribing and commenting on the poetry. The simultaneous adoption and revision of his own verse constitutes Dante’s attempt both to break with the past and, at the same time, to reconcile it with the present. Dante utilizes numerous Pauline allusions in the Vita Nuova in part to underscore the temporal aspects of the tunc et nunc structure. Beatrice’s post mortem appearances to Dante recollect Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, and anticipate the Pauline elements that are a crucial component of the Commedia. Dante, moreover, strikes a similar pose of evocation and correction of the past in the Convivio, where the image of the banquet is a metaphor for the tunc et nunc dichotomy. Dante situates himself therein as the exegete of his own verse in order to control the reception of his poetry. [FA]

Williams, C. K. “Souls.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 380-382.

Williams, Charles. “From The Figure of Beatrice.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 16-27.

Williamson, Alan. “The Tears of Cocytus.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 359-369.

Wilson-Okamura, David Scott. “Lavinia and Beatrice: The Second Half of the Aeneid in the Middle Ages.” In Dante Studies 119 (2001), 103-124.

Allegorical and philosophical interpretations of Virgil’s epic usually emphasized the hero’s descent to the underworld, and therefore trailed off after Book 6. Wisdom was viewed as the telos of the epic journey, and eros was treated as an obstacle. Dante was well versed in the allegorical tradition, but in dealing with the second half of Virgil’s epic, he seems to have been influenced by a second tradition, the courtly tradition of vernacular adaptation. Modern readings, both of Dante and of Virgil, have stressed the tragic elements in Virgil’s poem, and have focused on the death of Turnus. In the courtly tradition, comic elements in the story come to the fore and the emphasis shifts from Turnus to the courtship of Aeneas and Lavinia. The result was a new conception of Virgil’s epic, in which eros does not require eradication, but is susceptible of reformation and rectification. [DSW-O]

Witt, Ronald G. “The De Tyranno and Coluccio Salutati’s View of Politics and Roman History.” Essay VI in his Italian Humanism and Medieval Rhetoric (Aldershot, Hampshire, and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, Variorum, 2001).

The article, which treats in part the influence on Salutati of Dante’s condemnation of Brutus and Cassius for the assassination of Julius Caesar (Inf. 34), was first published in Nuova Rivista Storica, 53 (1969), 434-474.

Wright, Charles. “Dantino Mio.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 259-264.

Yeats, William Butler. “From A Vision.” In The Poets’ Dante (q.v.), pp. 12-15.



Alighieri, Dante. Dante’s “Monarchia.” Translated by Richard Kay. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1998. (See Dante Studies 117 [1999], 246.) Reviewed by:

            John A. Scott, in Speculum 76, No. 2 (April, 2001), 427-430.

Alighieri, Dante. The Fiore and the Detto d'Amore: A Late 13th-Century Italian Translation of the Roman de la Rose. A translation with introduction and notes by Santa Casciani and Christopher Kleinhenz. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.

            John Took, Deutsches Dante-Jahrbuch 76 (2001): 190-197.

Alighieri, Dante. Inferno. Translated by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander. Introduction and notes by Robert Hollander. New York: Doubleday, 2000. (See Dante Studies 119 [2001], 219.) Reviewed by:

            Tim Parks, in The New Yorker ( January 15, 2001), 84-89.

Barański, Zygmunt G. ‘Chiosar con altro testo’: leggere Dante nel Trecento. Fiesole: Cadmo, 2001. Reviewed by:

            Olivia Holmes, in Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 1 (giugno, 2001), 289-294;

Barański, Zygmunt G. Dante e i segni. Saggi per una storia intellettuale di Dante Alighieri. Napoli: Liguori, 2000. Reviewed by:

            Olivia Holmes, in Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 1 (giugno, 2001), 285-289.

Boswell, Jackson Campbell. Dante’s Fame in England: Referencesin Printed British Books, 1477-1640. Newark: Universityof Delaware Press, 1999. Reviewed by:

            William J. Kennedy, in Renaissance Quarterly, 53, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), 242-244.

Boyde, Patrick. Human Vices and Human Worth in Dante’s “Comedy.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Reviewed by:

            Alison Cornish, in Italica 78, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 414-415;

            Bruno Ferraro, in Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 352-354;

            Olivia Holmes, in Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 1 (giugno, 2001), 285-289;

            Richard Kay, in The Medieval Review, ID: 01.11.04 (;

Cherchi, Paolo. L’alambicco in biblioteca: distillati rari. Edited by Francesco Guardiani and Emilio Speciale. Ravenna: Longo, 2000. (See Dante Studies 119 [2001], 226.) Reviewed by:

            Gustavo Costa, in Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 333-335;

Cogan, Marc. The Design in the Wax: The Structure of the “Divine Comedy” and Its Meaning. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999. (See Dante Studies 118 [200], 335-337.) Reviewed by:

            Steven Botterill, in Speculum 76, No. 4 (October, 2001), 1012-1013;

            Giuliana Carugati, in Italica 78, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 415-417.

Cornish, Alison. Reading Dante’s Stars. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2000. (See Dante Studies 119 [2001], 227.) Reviewed by:

            Steven Botterill, in Italica 78, No. 2 (Summer, 2001), 257-258;

            Simon Gilson, in The Medieval Review ID: 01.12.07 (

            Steven Botterill, in Italica, 78, No. 2 (2001), 257-258.

Delcorno Branca, Daniela. Tristano e Lancillotto in Italia: Studi di letteratura arturiana. Ravenna: Longo, 1998. Reviewed by:

            Gloria Allaire, in Speculum 76, No. 2 (April, 2001), 430-433.

Dumol, Paul Arvisu. The Metaphysics of Reading Underlying Dante’s “Commedia”: The “Ingegno.” New York: Peter Lang, 1998. (See Dante Studies 117 [1999], 252.) Reviewed by:

            Christian Moevs, in Italica 78, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), 101-102.

Frank, Maria Esposito. Le insidie dell’allegoria: Ermolao Barbaro il Vecchio e la lezione degli antichi. Venezia: Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 1999. Reviewed by:

            Angelo Mazzocco, in Renaissance Quarterly 54, No. 2 (Summer, 2001), 595-596;

Il genere ‘Tenzone’ nelle letterature romanze delle Origini. Memoria del Tempo. Edited by Matteo Pedroni and Antonio Stäuble. Ravenna: Longo, 1999. Reviewed by:

            Victoria Kirkham, in Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 1 (2001), 166-167.

Ginsburg, Warren. Dante’s Aesthetics of Being. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999. (See Dante Studies 118 [2000], 343-344.) Reviewed by:

            William Franke, in Speculum 76, No. 3 (July, 2001), 727-729.

            David Gibbons, in Modern Language Review, 96, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), 529-530.

            William J. Kennedy, in Renaissance Quarterly, 53, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), 242-244.

Gorni, Guglielmo. Dante prima della “Commedia.” Fiesole: Cadmo, 2001. Reviewed by:

            Fabian Alfie, in Speculum 78, No. 1 (January, 2003), 177-179;

            Olivia Holmes, in Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 1 (giugno, 2001), 289-294.

Dante’s Modern Afterlife: Reception and Response from Blake to Heaney. Edited by Nick Havely. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. (See Dante Studies 117 [1999], 251-252.) Reviewed by:

            Dennis Looney, in Speculum 76, No. 3 (July, 2001), 733-734.

Hollander, Robert. Boccaccio’s Dante and the Shaping Force of Satire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997. (See Dante Studies 116 [1998], 226-227.) Reviewed by:

            Eugenio Giusti, in Speculum 76, No. 1 (January, 2001), 170-172.

Hollander, Robert. Dante. A Life in Works. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001. (See above under Studies.) Reviewed by:

            Bruno Ferraro, in Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 350-352;

            Mary Alexandra Watt, in Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 1 (2001), 149-150.

Holmes, Olivia. Assembling the Lyric Self: Authorship from Troubadour Song to Italian Poetry Book. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Reviewed by:

            Frank Fata, in Italica 78, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), 99-101;

            Jason Houston, in Rivista di Studi Italiani 19, No. 2 (dicembre, 2001), 276-278;

            Rinaldina Russell, in Renaissance Quarterly 54, 3 (Autumn, 2001), 931-932.

Illiano, Antonio. Sulle sponde del Prepurgatorio. Poesia e arte narrativa nel preludio all’ascesa (Purg. I-III). Firenze: Cadmo, 1997. (See Dante Studies 116 [1998], 228-229.) Reviewed by:

            Adriano Moz, in Italian Quarterly 38, Nos. 147-148 (Winter-Spring, 2001), 105-108.

Images of Quattrocento Florence: Selected Writings in Literature, History, and Art. Edited by Stefano Ugo Baldassarri and Arielle Saiber. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000. (See Dante Studies 119 [2001], 236-237.) Reviewed by:

            William J. Kennedy, in Forum Italicum 35, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), 277-278;

            Michael T. Ward, in Italica 78, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 417-419.

Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. Edited by Caroline Walker Bynum and Paul Freedman. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000. Reviewed by:

            Alan E. Bernstein, in Speculum 76, No. 3 (July, 2001), 692-694.

Milbank, Alison. Dante and the Victorians. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1998. Reviewed by:

            Robert B. Wellisch, in Victorian Studies, 43, No. 3 (Spring, 2001), 484-486.

Parker, Deborah. Bronzino: Renaissance Painter as Poet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. (See Dante Studies 119 [2001], 245.) Reviewed by:

            William J. Kennedy, in Forum Italicum 35, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), 278-280;

            Domenico Zanrè, in Annali d’Italianistica 19 (2001), 369-371.

Pucci, Joseph. The Full-Knowing Reader: Allusion and the Power of the Reader in the Western Literary Tradition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. (See Dante Studies 118 [2000], 377.) Reviewed by:

            Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, in Comparative Literature Studies 38, No. 1 (2001), 78-80.

Russell, J. Stephen. Chaucer and the Trivium: The Mindsong of the “Canterbury Tales.” Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998. Reviewed by:

            Edward I. Condren, in Speculum 76, No. 4 (October, 2001), 1095-1097.

Scorrano, Luigi. Il Dante ‘fascista’. Saggi, letture, note dantesche. Ravenna: Longo, 2001. Reviewed by:

            Mary Alexandra Watt, in Quaderni d’italianistica 22, No. 1 (2001), 172-173.

Shapiro, Marianne. Dante and the Knot of Body and Soul. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. (See Dante Studies, 117 [1999], 269-270.) Reviewed by:

            Olivia Holmes, in Speculum 76, No. 4 (October, 2001), 1102-1103.

Shaw, Christine. The Politics of Exile in Renaissance Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Reviewed by:

            Randolph Starn, in Renaissance Quarterly 54, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 955-957.

Sowell, Madison U., ed. Dante and Ovid: Essays in Intertextuality. Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1991. (See Dante Studies 110 [1992], 288.) Reviewed by:

            David Marsh, in Italian Quarterly 38, Nos. 147-148 (Winter-Spring, 2001), 103.

Witt, Ronald G. ‘In the Footsteps of the Ancients’: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni. Leiden: Brill, 2000. (See below under Addenda: Studies.) Reviewed by:

            Mark Jurdjevic, in Sixteenth Century Journal 32, No. 2 (Summer, 2001), 467-469;

            William McCuaig, in Renaissance Quarterly 54, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 928-929.