This bibliography is intended to include all the Dante translations published in this country in 1997 and all Dante studies and reviews published in 1997 that are in any sense American. Special thanks go to the team of associate bibliographers who have assumed responsibility for the annotation of many of the items listed herein. The Society is very grateful to the following scholars for their invaluable expertise and for their continuing contributions to the journal: Fabian Alfie (The University of Arizona), V. Stanley Benfell (Brigham Young University), Jessica Levenstein (Princeton University), Christian Moevs (The University of Notre Dame), Guy P. Raffa (The University of Texas at Austin), and Lawrence Warner (The University of Pennsylvania). (Their initials follow their abstracts.)
Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inferno. Journey to Joy, Part One. Retold, with Notes, by Kathryn Lindskoog. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1997. xi, 226 p.
As the title indicates, this is a “retelling” of the Inferno, canto by canto, with notes. Contents: Preface (ix-x); Acknowledgments (xi); Introduction (1-21); Inferno (23-220); Epilogue (221); Dante’s Life Dates (222-223); Further Readings on The Inferno (224-226).
Dante’s Divine Comedy. Purgatory. Journey to Joy, Part Two. Retold, with Notes, by Kathryn Lindskoog. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1997. xiv, 202 p.
As the title indicates, this is a “retelling” of the Purgatorio, canto by canto, with notes. Contents: Preface (vi-vii); Acknowledgments (viii); Botticelli’s “Primavera” and Dante’s Purgatory (ix-xiv); Purgatory (1-198); Epilogue (199); Further Readings on Purgatory (200-202).
Ahern, John. “Singing the Book: Orality in the Reception of Dante’s Comedy.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 214-239.
An earlier version of this essay appeared in Annals of Scholarship, II, No. 4 (1981), 17-40.
Allaire, Gloria. “New Evidence toward Identifying Dante's Enigmatic Lonza (Inferno 1.32).” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted August 7, 1997 (www.princeton.edu/~dante/ebdsa).
Ascoli, Albert Russell. “Palinode and History in the Oeuvre of Dante.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 23-50.
An earlier version of this essay appeared in Dante Now: Current Trends in Dante Studies, edited by Theodore J. Cachey Jr. (Notre Dame, Indiana, and London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), pp. 155-186 (see Dante Studies, CXIV, 314).
Baldelli, Ignazio. “I Morti di morte violenta: Dante e Sordello.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 111-183.
A minute examination of Cantos V-VI-VII of Purgatorio. Baldelli notes his intention to “sollecitare sistematicamente il testo dantesco nella sua realtà letteraria, linguistica e stilistica, e nei suoi rapporti di continuità e di talora violento cambiamento con le opere precedenti, tenendo continuamente presente la realtà biografica di Dante, umana, personale e politica. Una lettura quindi di Sordello riproposta nel contesto dei canti dei morti di morte violenta dell’Antipurgatorio, pentitisi all’ultimo momento; e di questi appunto è Sordello.”
Baranski, Zygmunt G. “Dante and Medieval Poetics.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 3-22.
Only relatively recently have scholars recognized the degree to which medieval literature was created in the context of “a highly sophisticated understanding of and interest in literary criticism and theory” (3). Dante demonstrates a detailed awareness of this reflection on literature, and each of his works meditates upon its own status as a literary text. His works in concert with his critical theorizing move consistently from orthodox to unorthodox forms and conclusions. The Commedia represents the culmination of this process; Dante created a radically new and inclusive poem that embraces all stylistic registers and subject matters and therefore violates the established principles of genera dicendi, including the “doctrine of discrete ‘styles’” (7). Recognizing the degree to which his poem was innovative, Dante included within it the clues needed for its interpretation. Many critics, however, have been distracted away from the poem by the Letter to Can Grande, which offers an entirely conventional interpretation of the poem in the most conservative terms, thus demonstrating its critical distance from the unprecedented achievement of the Commedia. [VSB]
Baranski, Zygmunt G. “The Ethics of Literature: The Fiore and Medieval Traditions of Rewriting.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 207-231.
Examines the Fiore's literary, e iural, and ethical purposes in the context of the medieval theory of translatio. In contrast to the passive volgarizzamenti of French and Latin texts of the time, which only served to preserve the subordination of the translation, and its linguistic and cultural context, to the authority of the original text and its language and culture, the author of the Fiore aggressively appropriates and reworks the structures and ideologies of French and Provençal literature in order to establish his own authority, and the identity and autonomy of Italian literature, in a polemic against French cultural hegemony in Tuscany. Thus the Fiore establishes its own auctoritas by stressing its genre as translation, while concealing its source; its controlled and parodic gallicisms aim to reverse the established cultural and linguistic hierarchy; it presents itself as a new Ovidian ars amandi, suppressing all reference to Ovid. Like its Ovidian model, as understood in a medieval context, the Fiore has an ethical aim, demanding a moral interpretation beyond the literal sense, a morality “at odds with the behavior of its protagonist.” [CM]
Bargetto-Andres, Teresa Marie. “Transcription and Study of Enrique de Villena’s Translation of Inferno and Purgatorio of Dante’s Divine Comedy.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVIII, No. 5 (November, 1997), 1735. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997. 649 p.
“Manuscript 10186 of the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid contains a fourteenth-century Italian version of Dante’s Divine Comedy, with the complete Spanish translation attributed to Enrique de Villena. It is the purpose of this dissertation to lay additional groundwork for a complete edition and study of ms. 10186, by offering a line-by-line semi-paleographic transcription, with alternating Italian and Spanish verses, for both the Inferno and Purgatorio.”
Barnes, John C. “Uno, nessuno e tanti: il Fiore attribuibile a chi?” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 331-362.
A detailed survey of all the available facts and clues that would help to establish who wrote the Fiore, including all the arguments advanced over the years for the attribution of the Fiore to Dante, and the objectionsen hsed to those arguments. The essay considers first the poem's date and geographical source, its genre and purposes, and accepts the conclusion that its author possessed high literary and intellectual abilities. The “pre-Continian” arguments for Dante's authorship are judged ultimately inconclusive, given the objections raised against them; Contini's own “internal arguments” cannot distinguish the poet's memory from a “collective memory,” and are perhaps insufficient in number and quality. Efforts to detect parallels in “deep structure” are too abstract; the most promising direction seems to be careful statistical analysis of “unconscious” linguistic and metrical patterns. The author would ultimately attribute the Fiore not to Dante, but to a writer who has left no other trace. [CM]
Barolini, Teodolinda. “Dante’s Ulysses: Narrative and Transgression.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 113-132.
Scholars have typically viewed Ulysses either positively (that is, as a figure whom Dante admired) or negatively (one whom Dante unequivocally condemned). These two readings, however, deflate the tension of the Ulysses episode and often fail to note both the degree to which Ulysses has a “sustained textual presence” within the poem and the numerous ways in which Dante himself is implicated in his portrayal of the Greek hero. For whereas many have noted that Ulysses serves as a negative double for Dante the pilgrim within the poem, the clearest parallel is to Dante the poet, who makes a poetic journey whose Ulyssean (that is, transgressive) nature is never overcome. The Paradiso, in fact, is by its very nature transgressive, “since only a trapassar del segno will be able to render the experience of trasumanar” (119). Dante’s attempt to render the ineffable heaven results in two poetic modes: the mode of disuguaglianza—one of linear narrative, and that of uguaglianza—nonlinear, lyric discourse. The employment of this latter mode is most clearly demonstrated in Paradiso XXIII, where Dante attempts to create a paradoxical “equalized” language that is devoid of difference. [VSB]
Benfell, V. Stanley. “Biblical Truth in the Examination Cantos of Dante’s Paradiso.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 89-109.
Cantos XXIV-XXVI of the Paradiso have long been recognized as central to Dante’s journey as both poet and prophet. The Bible is a key presence in these cantos, as the sacred text’s truth value and exemplary status are both explored and asserted while Dante is examined. In Canto XXIV, the Bible’s truth value is at issue; in Canto XXV, the proper interpretation of the biblical text is explored; and in all three cantos, Dante credits the Bible as the source of his faith, hope, and charity. Ultimately, Dante suggests that the Bible’s truth resides not in an unerring correspondence to an external, historical reality, but in the degree to which it influences readers to convert to Christ; the corruption of the contemporary church suggests, however, that the force of the biblical message has been lost and needs to be restated. Dante’s vernacular poem thus sets itself the task of making the biblical message new for a corrupt age desperately in need of its message. [VSB]
Berg, Christine G. “Methods of Intertextuality in Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVIII, No. 5 (November, 1997), 1704. Doctoral dissertation, Lehigh University, 1997. 233 p.
“In Gloria Naylor’s Linden Hills, multicultural experience and canonical text intersect in the characters of Lester Tilson and Willie K. Mason, the two young male African American protagonists who admire and even memorize the poetry of ‘dead white males’ (among others) and are poets themselves. Naylor employs two intertextual strategies in the novel, one recognized by critics and another heretofore uncelebrated. First, Naylor alludes to Dante’s Inferno, as she patterns the journey that Willie and Lester take into the community of Linden Hills against the descent that Dante and Virgil follow into Hell. Naylor herself calls attention to her borrowings from Dante, and several scholars have begun to analyze their literary relationship.”
Blanchard, Marc. “Mimesis, Not Mimicry.” In Comparative Literature, XLIX, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), 176-190.
A review article of Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (translated by Willard R. Trask; Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1968) and works focused on it, especially Literary History and the Challenges of Philology: The Legacy of Erich Auerbach (edited by Seth Lerer; Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1996). Proceeds on the premise that “to discuss any aspect of Auerbach’s work means to discuss what we think our current literary heritage should be according to Mimesis.” The exilic quality of Mimesis is significant not only because Auerbach wrote it far from home, but also because it “remains strangely alone” in vouching for a sort of education and culture that is no longer in demand. But in fact, the book shows that Western culture is a “late developing culture”: this can serve today as a tool for understanding our postmodern world. Auerbach’s other enduring contribution remains his meditation on the problems of everyday life: “To look over the whole panorama of Mimesis is less to contemplate the level prospect of the great books than to understand how the subject of writing is actually the reading subject educating itself into existence and survival.” The Lerer volume makes clear that we must evaluate Mimesis with the tools of philology. [LW]
Bloomfield, Josephine. “Chaucer and the Polis: Piety and Desire in the Troilus and Criseyde.” In Modern Philology, XCIV, No. 3 (February, 1997), 291-304.
Is it sweet and fitting to die for your country, when loyalty to your country has permanently divided you from your beloved? Bloomfield wonders what Chaucer felt about this question in relation to Troilus. Although Chaucer seems to suggest that polities at times blindly advance the wrong sets of values, nevertheless the Troilus Chaucer has created would not have made it to Dante’s Paradise, and indeed would have been lower in hell than Criseyde, who betrayed a lover and not a lord. The “stellification” of Troilus after his death, then, is a major problem, for it suggests reward rather than punishment. Chaucer, by so clearly counterpoising Troilus’s personal desires against his duty to family and duty, is suggesting that the protagonist must be willing to be reined in and to sacrifice his affair if its existence threatens the power and survival of his country. The contradiction between this Dantean judgment and Troilus’s stellification participates in the very Chaucerian mode of contrasting the clarity of detail with which the narrator paints humans and events with the dimness of understanding about the significance of this detail. Thus, Chaucer was able to negotiate his duties to the court and his patrons while also subtly critiquing courtly ideology. [LW]
Botterill, Steven. “Dante and the Authority of Poetic Language.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 167-180.
In the Vita nuova, his other ‘minor’ works, and the Commedia, Dante works to “explore the nature and limits, and thus to define the authority, of the language of poetry” (167). While recent critics have seen Dante’s discussions of language in the Commedia, and in the Paradiso in particular, as expressing a modern skepticism about language and its (in)ability to represent reality, a closer analysis of the poem within the context of the theological underpinnings of Dante’s linguistic theory suggests a different conclusion. The fact that Dante does indeed write the final canticle while attempting to create a language that in some ways overcomes natural linguistic limitations (seen in his numerous neologisms) demonstrates his belief in the poetic authority of his poem, even if that authority is not absolute. Dante’s expression of the inevitable shortcomings of his poetry is a recognition of the essentially fallen nature of humanity and so of language; his admission that his poem will ultimately fail to represent God adequately is a recognition of language’s limits, “but not a shamefaced confession of its falsity” (178). Dante ultimately writes in the confidence that his poem can carry truth and meaning to his readers. [VSB]
Boyde, Patrick. “The Results of the Poll: Presentation and Analysis.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 363-378.
Presents the results of a poll in which twenty-four of the conference's participants rated each of thirty-three arguments for and against the attribution of the Fiore to Dante as “very strong,” “strong,” “weak,” “very weak,” or “not pertinent.” Seventeen of the arguments evoked a consensus of opinion; all the responses are analyzed by various criteria and set out in five tables. In general, the participants were skeptical about the attribution to Dante, leading the author to conclude that the burden of proof still lies with those who are not, and toes ter a list of guidelines for those who wish to engage the question in the future. [CM]
Boyde, Patrick. “Summus Minimusve Poeta? Arguments for and against Attributing the Fiore to Dante.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 13-45.
An objective summary of the evidence for and against the attribution of the Fiore to Dante, under thirty-three headings. Twenty-five of the headings support the attribution, with arguments classified elsewhere in the volume (6-9) as “attributions ... to Dante made before 1550,” shared “personal and political sympathies,” a date of composition “compatible with Dante's authorship,” “various relationships ... between the Roman, the Fiore, and the Commedia,” “originality and literary quality,” “resemblances in wording and phrasing,” and “moral stance”; eight deny the attribution, for “dissimilarities in wording and phrasing,” “differences in content and attitude,” and the “silence to Dante and his contemporaries. Most headings include counter-arguments; most are followed by a synthetic overview of the critical debate. The essay includes a bibliography of critical references and four appendices of different verbal, stylistic, and phonic parallels between the Fiore and Dante's canonical works. [CM]
Brody, Saul Nathaniel. “The Fiend and the Summoner, Statius and Dante: A Possible Source for the Friar’s Tale, D 1379-1520.” In Chaucer Review, XXXII, No. 2 (1997), 175-182.
The general conception of the opening conversation between the summoner and the fiend in the Friar’s Tale may have been suggested by Dante’s conversation with Statius in Purgatorio XXV. Both Dante and the summoner are on journeys and in both cases their souls hang in the balance. Both pilgrims fall into the hands of spirits who answer their questions and act as their guides. The summoner was “evere enqueryng upon every thyng,” precisely the pilgrim Dante’s mode throughout the Commedia. More to the point, the summoner’s questions are as focused on the surface of things as are Dante’s. In both poems, when the spirit replies, he explains the relationship between the soul of a spiritual being and the form it assumes. Support for the claim for a link here is the constellation of ideas in Chaucer that mirrors a constellation in Dante—and provides a unique, common feature of thought. The connection is both possible and reasonable. [LW]
Brownlee, Kevin. “Jason's Voyage and the Poetics of Rewriting: The Fiore and the Roman de la Rose.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 167-182.
Focuses on the Fiore's treatment of Jason, the most insistent classical allusion in the work, as emblematic of the Fiore's own relation to the Roman de la Rose. The Fiore sets up Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece as a figure for Amante's erotic exploit; by manipulating the references to Jason in the Rose, the Fiore casts this exploit, and the figure of Amante himself, in an ironic and negative light. The Fiore thus replaces the Rose's double-author with a single author-protagonist, effectively suppressing the French text's “self-conscious author figure.” The Fiore both 'evokes and denies' the authority of the Rose, assimilating and rewriting “the dominant canonical poetic text of the French vernacular in newly Italian literary terms”; indeed the authorial self-naming in sonnet 82 excludes any menti endf the Fiore's predecessors, while the corresponding passage in the Rose presents its authors as “effecting a translatio in a literary genealogy. [CM]
Bugliani-Knox, Francesca. “Galeotto fu il libro e chi lo scrisse: Nineteenth-Century English Translations, Interpretations and Reworkings of Dante’s Paolo and Francesca.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 221-250.
The episode of Paolo and Francesca was popular in nineteenth-century England. Translations, interpretations and reworkings of Dante’s Paolo and Francesca abound. However, English nineteenth-century artists, authors and critics, especially Romantic ones, almost invariably interpreted the passage according to their own preconceptions. The idea of a tragic heroine who fell victim to passion proved irresistible for most artists, critics and even translators. “Most of the romantic delight in the love of Paolo and Francesca, from Musset on,” wrote Eliot quite justly in his essay on Dante, “has been founded on a misconception,” namely, that in Hell the damned recognize their sinful psychological dispositions. The common mistranslation of the line “galeotto fu il libro” in particular bears out Eliot’s judgment and illustrated how contemporaries ignored the theological structure of Dante’s poem and the place of the episode of Paolo and Francesca within it. Whereas the “misconception” might have proved fruitful for authors, critics and artists, by contrast the successful translations of Byron and Rossetti prove that good translation springs from the attempt at correct reading and a mastery of both content and style. [FBK]
Cahill, Courtney (Joint author). See Hollander, Robert, “Day Ten...” (below).
Casagrande, Gino. “‘Cera’ nei poeti del Duecento e in Dante: Una proposta per Rime 22 (LXIX), 7.” In The Flight of Ulysses . . . (q.v.), pp. 21-33.
Examines two homographs that recur frequently in thirteenth-century lyric and also in Dante—céra and cèra—the first meaning the “material produced by bees,” while the second refers to the “face” or “facial aspect.” After a brief philological excursus, the author investigates some lyrics by Sicilian and Stilnovo poets in order to arrive at the conclusion that, if in the Sicilian poetry the word cèra is used simply in the sense of “face” or “facial aspect” it acquires a more notable meaning in some Stilnovo poems since it is often used in connection with words such as “splendore,” “chiarore,” “lumera,” “lume,” “luminoso,” thus becoming associated with adjectives and nouns denoting the concept of light. Therefore, while these two homographs are conflated by some poets, the meaning of cera in the sense of “facial aspect” becomes aligned with the typically Stilnovistic idea of the woman seen as a luminous being. The article considers the term cera (a hapax in the Dante’s Rime: in Di donne io vidi..., v. 7) and concludes—also on the basis of other occurrences in the Divina Commedia—that this word has in this instance a particular meaning, that of a “nature or a creature formed by superior powers.” Therefore, in vv. 7-8—”...in la sua cera / guarda’, [e vidi] un angiol figurato”—the term “angiol” is a metaphor for the salvation-bearing woman described in Dante’s sonnet, and the complete expression, “un angiol figurato” is closely related to the famous phrase used by Guido Guinizzelli: “tenea d’angel sembianza” (Al cor gentil rempaira sempre amore, v. 58). [GC]
Casagrande, Gino. “Parole di Dante: ‘abborrare’.” In Studi Danteschi, LXIII (1991, but 1997), 177-190.
It is well known that abborrare, a verb used by Dante twice in Inferno and once in Paradiso, is a denominal derivative from the Latin burra. Up to now this medieval Latin word had only been documented in its meanings of “coarse and worthless stuff” or “scraps used for stuffing,” and applied figuratively to Dante’s verb in the sense of “to bungle,” “to jumble up,” “to throw together clumsily.” Thus, the lines in Inferno XXV, 143-144 (“...e qui mi scusi / la novità se fior la penna abborra”) have been generally interpreted as “...may the strangeness plead for me / if here my pen writes a bit clumsily” (cf. Ciardi’s “excuse my pen if the tale is strangely told”). This article investigates the possibility of other meanings for burra in some medieval writers and lexicographers. In Benzone d’Alba as well as in Papia and Uguccione da Pisa burra has also additional meanings and connotations, such as bewilderment, amazement, numbness, unreality, illusion and stupor. In fact, according to the lexicographers, stupor causes the temporary loss of speech and sometimes also impedes reason. These meanings would explain more cogently Dante’s verb, especially in relation to the lines of Inferno XXV. There Dante experiences the astounding metamorphoses undergone by the Florentine thieves and is stupefied by what he saw to the point of having his speech (read: his pen) a bit impeded when he tries to express his experience. In addition these new meanings clarify quite well the other two occurrences of Dante’s verb. In Inferno XXXI, 22-24 (“...nel maginare abborri”) Virgil explains to Dante the theory of perception as set forth by the Schoolmen: the sense of perception sometimes brings illusory and false images to the fantasy. Here, because of darkness and distance, Dante’s eyes are deceived as they mistake the giants for towers (cf. Mandelbaum’s good translation: “...you have formed such faulty images” ). The verse in Paradiso XXVI (73: “...lo svegliato ciò che vede aborre...”) has been interpreted wrongly as “the awakened one hates what he sees”; instead, it should be interpreted as “the one who has been awakened is bewildered and stupefied.” The fact that the words “stupefatto” and “stupendo” follow this episode (vv. 80 and 89) serves, together with other structural elements, as a guarantee for this interpretation. [GC]
Casagrande, Gino. “Parole di Dante: Il ‘lungo silenzio’ di Inferno I, 63.” In Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, CLXXIV, No. 566 (1997), 243-254.
Line 63 of Inferno I—”CHI per lungo silenzio parea fioco”—has been one of the cruxes of Dante’s commentators. The three words lungo, silenzio, and fioco have been interpreted in various ways throughout the centuries. This study attempts to support and develop the idea of modern critics that lungo and fioco should be understood respectively in their spatial and visual meaning. On this premise the article further attempts to give a new interpretation of silenzio insofar as the literal level is concerned. In the Magnae Derivationes Uguccione asserts that “...silva...dicitur a silen quod est vastitas vel silentium.... Inde silva ubi sunt loca vasta et deserta et silentio plena” (“...forest...comes from silen which means desert or silence.... Thus ‘forest’ refers to places which are vast, deserted and full of silence”). Understanding Dante’s silenzio in its connotation as referring to forest, line 63 could be interpreted as “uno che nella grande selva appariva indistinto” (“one who in the vast forest appeared faint [to the eye]”). [GC]
Caselli, Daniela. “Looking It Up in My Big Dante: A Note on ‘Sedendo et Quiesc[i]endo’.” In Journal of Beckett Studies, VI, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), 85-93.
Examines the figure of Belacqua in Samuel Beckett’s Dream of Fair to Middling Women with regard to its multi-textual persona: the figure whom Dante the Pilgrim meets in Canto IV of Purgatorio, and the one that emerges from the commentaries of the Anonimo Fiorentino and Benvenuto da Imola as filtered through Paget Toynbee’s Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante. The author concludes: “Belacqua becomes a multiple and unlocatable subject who would like to ‘take up his dwelling’ in a place that keeps changing under our eyes, migrating from one fictional space to the other. Beckett’s manipulations destabilize the boundaries between the literary text and its commentaries; Dante’s Belacqua blends into Benvenuto’s and the Anonimo’s via Toynbee, and all participate in a non-hierarchical fashion to name the Beckettian protagonist. The ‘he’ works as a conventional device; the name of the character can grant neither unity nor originality, but is exposed in its multiple textuality” (90).
Cecchetti, Giovanni. Voci di poesia. Saggi di struttura poetica da Dante a Campana con uno studio sulla traduzione. Salerno: Pietro Laveglia, 1997. 202 p.
Contains three essays on Dante, two of which were previously published. The first, “Per l’episodio di Stazio: osservazioni sul concetto di poesia in Dante” (31-54), presents a detailed reading of Cantos XXI-XXII of Purgatorio, in which the salvific power of poetry is underlined. The second, “Inferno XXXI: torri-giganti e giganti-torri” (55-69), appeared first in Forum Italicum, VIII (1974), 200-222 (see Dante Studies, XCIII, 227) and in a shorter version in Dante’s “Divine Comedy” Introductory Readings, I: Inferno, ed. Tibor Wlassics (Charlottesville: Lectura Dantis Virginiana, 1990), pp. 400-411. The third essay, “Purgatorio VIII: Il peregrin e i navicanti” (71-88), was first published in A Dante Symposium in Commemoration of the 700th Anniversary of the Poet’s Birth, edited by William De Sua and Gino Rizzo (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, 1965), pp. 159-174 (see Dante Studies, LXXXIV, 80-81).
Chiampi, James T. “Dante’s Education in Debt and Shame.” In Italica, LXXIV, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), 1-19.
Throughout the Comedy, Dante propounds the rationalist notion that shame promotes the spiritual improvement that leads to happiness. This notion was familiar to Platonic and Stoic tradition; Dante would have been influenced by theoreticians of the Christian rationalist tradition from Augustine to Thomas, together with the epic tradition of Virgil. Shame is ubiquitous in the Comedy, speeding the Pilgrim’s reformative journey to God. It marks his crossing of important thresholds, and remains with him as Poet in the scriptural present to protect the reader. Shame is so important that the pageant of the Earthly Paradise takes place at this liminal point largely to inspire a shame in the Pilgrim to give him yet greater impetus upwards. The Pilgrim’s shaming in the Earthly Paradise will protect him when he returns to the world to take up his pen; by experiencing this mortification, Dante also legitimates himself as a guide of the reader’s will. In Paradise, shame takes on a nuptial significance, because Christ is the spouse of the Church; sinful Dante, a member of the Church, must be made beautiful if he would enjoy the ecstasy of the kiss of the groom. [LW]
Chiampi, James T. “Farinata’s Exile from the City of the Resurrection.” In Rivista di Studi Italiani, XV, No. 1 (giugno, 1997), 1-24.
The apparent contradiction between, on the one hand, Dante’s vituperation in Convivio II against those heretics who deny the afterlife of the soul, and on the other, the classic dignity accorded Farinata, is a brief one. Chiampi argues that the figure of Farinata, for all its epic grandeur, is recapitulated and annulled in the later and higher canticles of the poem by the resources of what he calls “analytic typology” in order to educate the reader in the right use of literature. Analytic typology (“analytic” because it aims at the moral and spiritual assessment of characters who share some value, theme or trait of figuration) opens up a synoptic reading in which penitents and blessed reveal the impious viciousness of the judgment of the damned. In the case of Farinata, it instills in the reader a distance and distrust for the literary devices of the epic convention. His failure to master his will becomes clear in retrospect through condemnatory, analytic comparison with the words and behavior of Justinian, which repudiates Farinata’s understanding of empire, and of Cacciaguida, which repudiates his misdirected love of Florence. [LW]
Dante: Contemporary Perspectives. Edited by Amilcare A. Iannucci. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. xxii, 299 p. (Major Italian Authors)
In addition to the Acknowledgments (vii-viii), Introduction (ix-xxii), Notes on Contributors (281-284), and the Index (285-299), the volume contains fourteen essays by the following authors (in order of presentation): Zygmunt G. Baranski, Albert Russell Ascoli, Michelangelo Picone, Christopher Kleinhenz, Amilcare A. Iannucci, Teodolinda Barolini, Richard Lansing, Lino Pertile, Steven Botterill, Joan M. Ferrante, Carolynn Lund-Mead, John Ahern, Deborah Parker, and William Franke. Each essay is listed separately in this bibliography under the individual author’s name.
Davie, Mark. “The Fiore Revisited in the Inferno.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 315-327.
Seeks to restore the principal phonic and semantic parallels between the Fiore aand he Inferno, especially in Cantos 5, 18, and 23, to their particular context. In general terms, both the Fiore and the Inferno depict a world of “deceit, venality, and exploitation”; in both the corruption of language reflects moral corruption. Dante's emphasis on the purity of his “parlare onesto,” in contrast to the sinners, may serve to stress that he has gone beyond the Fiore. The “deliberate negation or correction” that accompanies so many of the Inferno's echoes of the Fiore suggest “that when Dante cites the Fiore, he is citing himself.” [CM]
Davis, Charles. “Kantorowicz and Dante.” In Ernst Kantorowicz: Erträge der Doppeltagung: Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, edited by Robert L. Benson and Johannes Fried (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1997), pp. 240-264.
Examines the evolution of Kantorowicz’s views on Dante in his works, particularly in his biography of Frederick II, in the chapter in The King’s Two Bodies, “Man-centered Kingship,” and in related articles. After a brief discussion of the influence of Stefan George (and his circle) on Kantorowicz, Davis analyzes in some detail the German scholar’s view of Dante as “the third part of a triad consisting of emperor, saint, and poet: Frederick, Francis, and Dante.” According to Kantorowicz, “Dante is the only one who could understand the diverse yet complementary missions of Frederick and Francis, the representatives, respectively, of the eagle (secular, imperial rule) and the cross (christianity and the church) ... [and] the only one who could in his great poetic synthesis end the strife between them” (244). Davis then passes to a consideration of how Kantorowicz interpreted Dante’s reference to the Aristotelian notion of the optimus homo in Monarchia and how this conception squared with the offices and roles of pope and emperor. Davis concludes this appreciation by noting that “Kantorowicz’s encounter with Dante and the bringing to bear on the analysis of Dante’s political theology of an extremely wide-ranging erudition is of great value, probably much greater than if he had obtained more definite results” (464). In the end, Davis notes that the difficulties in interpreting Dante, which may be directly linked to the poet’s complexity, have much in common with attempts to understand Kantorowicz’s wide-ranging and complex views on the Florentine poet.
De Girolami Cheney, Liana. “Dante’s Inferno: Renaissance Illustrations.” In Italian Culture, XV (1997), 35-90.
Examines responses to the Comedy in the visual arts, first by focusing on the interpretation of the Inferno in paintings by Italian artists, such as Giotto, Signorelli, and Michelangelo, and then by looking more closely at drawings executed by Botticelli, Stradano, and Zuccaro during the Renaissance to accompany the text of Dante’s poem. The Comedy spoke to a Renaissance interest in witchcraft and demonology and details from the poem were absorbed by artists, such as Signorelli, commissioned to depict scenes of the Last Judgment. The appearance of Landino’s commentary in 1481 then prompted artists to illustrate the poem. Cheney argues that Botticelli appropriates the poet’s methods to create a visual and iconographic parody in his illustrations of the Inferno and that the imagery he chooses for the Paradiso engages in an interpretation of Neoplatonist notions of redemption. Stradano moves closer to the experience of the sinners themselves, depicting psychologically pregnant moments that inspire the viewer’s empathy. Zuccaro takes a pedagogical approach, teaching the viewer through a combination of text and image. His drawings reflect his aesthetic theories, namely that the conception of a design begins with God, who then forms the idea in the artist’s mind. [JL]
Dean, James. “Dante and the Uses of Nostalgia: Inferno 14.94-120.” In James Dean, The World Grown Old in Later Medieval Literature (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Medieval Academy of America, 1997), pp. 173-195.
Virgil’s explanation of the statue of the Old Man of Crete is not an expression of Dante’s view of the moral history of mankind, as Giuseppe Mazzotta and others have argued, but instead a faulty pagan nostalgia that remains blind to the regeneration to arrive upon Christ’s Second Coming. The first two parts of Virgil’s narration—the story of Jove’s birth and the legend of the gran veglio—as fictional in the manner of the “allegory of the poets.” Dante places the Old Man on Crete because of that island’s association with prevarication. The episode’s self-consciously fictive nature “calls into question Virgil’s poetic, critiques the ‘allegory of the poets,’ and throws into relief, as a greater reality, Virgil’s point of departure: the river Phlegethon.” Virgil interprets this river as “tears” which “express nostalgia for the golden past of a now ruined body,” but this river expresses nothing in which Christians should place hope: “If we view the waterway as one great system, a continuum, we can see that the nostalgia of the idol-like veglio finds its concluding point in the utterly miserable, hopeless lake where the flow of waters is prevented by the chilling winds from Satan’s flapping wings.” [LW]
Derla, Luigi. “Francesca, una Beatrice incompiuta (Inf. V 73-143).” In Italian Quarterly, XXXIV Nos. 133-134 (Summer-Fall, 1997), 5-20.
Examines in great detail the literary, philosophical and theological underpinnings to Dante’s encounter with Francesca in Inferno V. The author explicates several passages from that episode and demonstrates the cultural density found in each of Dante’s verses. According to the author, Dante demonstrates an awareness of the platonic explication of love in this passage. The Greek philosopher had explained that the emotion constitutes a transition from seeing one’s own perfected image in the beloved to that of contemplating the divine. However, Dante structures this canto around the thematic of mirroring (e.g., Lancelot and Guinevere “mirror” Paolo and Francesca). In so doing, the poet indicates that the lovers remain stuck at the first stage of the process, never rising beyond the idealized portrait of themselves. By not learning to eventually contemplate God through love, Derla suggests that Francesca comprises a negative exemplum; she is, he asserts, a type of inverse Beatrice. [FA]
De Robertis, Domenico. “La traccia del Fiore.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 187-204.
An essay Patrick Boyde, elsewhere in the volume (204), terms “the single most important contribution to the subject of Dante and the Fiore since Contini first pronounced in 1965.” The essay traces new and striking patterns of thought and expression shared by the Fiore and Dante's canonical works (including the Purgatorio and Paradiso), to support at the least Dante's complete identification with the author of the Fiore. Arguing that no comparable parallels can be established between the Fiore and any other author (though he traces echoes also in Cavalcanti, Cino da Pistoia, Rustico di Filippo, and others), De Robertis argues both that the Fiore was the “formal element” of Dante's collaboration with Cavalcanti, and that the only possible explanation for Dante's silence on the Fiore is that he is himself its author Durante, and is performing his own damnatio memoriae on the work. [CM]
De Robertis Boniforti, Teresa. “Nota sul codice e la sua scrittura.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 49-81.
Examines the singular features of the only manuscript of the Fiore and the Detto d'Amore, including the history of its dismembering, its pagination in two “snaking” columns per page, with two sonnets per column, its small format (almost too small for the Fiore), a page layout that seems to be dictated more by the Detto than the Fiore, and its script. The pagination, which is usually reserved for prose, is indebted to the model of the Roman de la Rose, and is used for poetry most frequently in fourteenth-century manuscripts of the Comedy; the script, a “lettera bastarda” that stylizes the cursive used for practical affairs with features of the littera textualis used for books, is also characteristic of early manuscripts of the Comedy. The author concludes that if Dante were not involved, the identification of the manuscript as Tuscan, ca. 1300-1320, would have been relatively unproblematic. [CM]
Ferrante, Joan M. “Dante and Politics.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 181-194.
Dante’s concern with politics infused his life and writings. He participated broadly and frequently in Florentine politics until his exile in 1302, and he dwelt on political topics in many of his writings, most notably in his letters, the fourth book of the Convivio, the Monarchy, and, of course, the Comedy. Scholars continue to concern themselves with Dante’s political views, including the degree to which his opinions remain consistent over the course of his work, the relation between his desire for a world empire and his interest in the virtues of republican Rome, and the meaning of the Comedy’s political prophecies. Recently, critics have begun to study Dante’s sexual politics; ultimately “Dante’s treatment of women and gender is more wide-ranging than he is usually given credit for” (190). [VSB]
Ferrucci, Franco. “Tre note dantesche.” In Lettere italiane, XLIX, No. 1 (gennaio-marzo, 1997), 89-92.
Examines four verses in the Commedia, three in Inferno—III, 136 (“e caddi come l’uom cui sonno piglia”), V, 100 and 103 “Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende” and “Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona”)—and one in Purgatorio—XIV, 17 (“un fiumicel che nasce in Falterona”). The first verse presenting the Pilgrim’s faint before crossing the Acheron, would call attention to biblical echoes in Matthew 27:45, 51, and Luke 23:44-45—the earthquake that accompanies the death of Christ—and would suggest that here, in this brief symbolic “death,” we find another example of the Pilgrim’s imitatio Christi. The second two verses from the canto of Francesca should not be read in a stilnovistic vein, but rather as a lament for the tyrannical aspect of the god of Love and on the anguish that love causes, thus according with the final of the three lines beginning with Amor: “Amor condusse noi ad una morte” (v. 106). For the fourth verse Ferrucci suggests a possible font in the Tenth Book of Lucan’s Pharsalia where the regions and peoples along the Nile are described (vv. 285-331).
Fiedler, Leslie. “Dante: verdi pensieri in verde ombra.” In Belfagor, LII, No. 1 (31 gennaio 1997), 1-21.
This Italian translation of Fiedler’s essay (“Green Thoughts in a Green Shade: Reflections on the Stony Sestina of Dante Alighieri”), which first appeared in the Kenyon Review (XVIII, No. 2 [Spring, 1956], 240-262), is accompanied by a short appendix by Mattino Marazzi on “Amore e morte nella sestina petrosa: alcune considerazioni sul saggio di Fiedler” (pp. 22-26).
The Fiore in Context: Dante, France, Tuscany. Edited by Zygmunt G. Baranski and Patrick Boyde. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997. xxii, 409 p. (The William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies, 2)
Presents the proceedings and discussion of the international conference on the Fiore, held at St. John's College, Cambridge, in September, 1994. “The conference, attended by most of the world's leading experts on the Fiore, examined many aspects of the poem, including textual questions, its cultural context, and its relations with the Roman de la Rose and the Comedy. Above all, it constituted, in the judgment of the participants themselves, the most important discussion of the poem's attribution to Dante since Contini's pronouncement on the question in 1965.” The volume contains fourteen essays by the following authors (in alphabetical order): Zygmunt G. Baranski, John C. Barnes, Patrick Boyde, Domenico De Robertis, Teresa De Robertis Boniforti, Kevin Brownlee, Mark Davie, Guglielmo Gorni, Sylvia Huot, Lucia Lazzerini, Lino Leonardi, Irene Maffia Scariati, and David Robey. Each essays is listed separately in this bibliography under the individual author's name. Other parts of the volume include: Preface (ix-x); Acknowledgments (xi); Patrick Boyde, “Introduction” (xiii-xvi); Patrick Boyde, “Discorso di apertura (23 settembre 1994)” (xvii-xxii); Patrick Boyde, “The Questionnaire and Related Materials” (3-12); Final Debate (379-393); Ilaria Cortesi Marchesi, Citations to the Fiore and to Dante's Works (395-401); Ilaria Cortesi Marchesi, General Index (403-409).
Finley, Patricia. (Joint Author). See Taylor, Charles H., Images of the Journey. . . .
The Flight of Ulysses: Studies in Memory of Emmanuel Hatzantonis. Edited by Augustus A. Mastri. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Annali d’Italianistica, 1997. (Studi e Testi, 1)
Among the twenty-eight essays that comprise this volume four—by Gino Casagrande, Antonio Illiano, Tonia Caterina Riviello, and Tibor Wlassics—are concerned with Dante. Each essay is listed separately in this bibliography under the individual author’s name.
Fontana, Ernest. “Dante, Pater’s Marius the Epicurean and Gaston de Latour.” In The Victorian Newsletter, No. 92 (Fall, 1997), 28-31.
Discusses the shaping influence of Dante on the two works of Walter Pater noted in the title. Of particular relevance here are the following cantos from the Divine Comedy: Inferno V, x, and XX x and Purgatorio IX, xix, xx-xxii, xxvii, and XXVIII. Fontana concludes: “The allusions to Dante’s Commedia, particularly the Purgatorio, are a source both for elements of the plot and tone of Pater’s Marius. Pater’s narrative of ‘conversion’ parallels Dante’s narrative of purgation, and Marius is presented as a figure analogous to Dante’s conception of Statius in the Purgatorio. Furthermore, Pater’s Marius is led from the cruel, diseased, and death-haunted city of Rome (his Inferno) to the earthly paradise of the Christian community in which he dies. The allusions to Dante in key points of Gaston de Latour suggest that Dante’s great poem continued to provide Pater with the outlines of a spiritual topography, inspiring his own attempts to imagine, in a belated age of ‘second thoughts,’ the inner landscape of the soul” (31).
Franke, William. “Reader’s Appreciation and the Moment of Truth in Dante’s Divine Comedy.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 259-280.
This essay originally appeared with the title “Dante and Modern Hermeneutic Thought” in Lectura Dantis, XII (Spring, 1993), 34-52, and as chapter 4, section 1 in Dante’s Interpretive Journey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. (See Dante Studies, CXII, 313, and CXV, 284-285).
Gibbons, David. “‘Che tutto ‘l mondo / là giù ne gola di saper novella’ (Par. 10.110-111).” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted April 23, 1997 (http://www.princeton.edu/~dante/ebdsa.html).
Gilson, Simon A. “Dante and the Science of ‘Perspective’: A Reappraisal.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 185-219.
Assesses Dante’s intellectual relationship to medieval writings on the science of optics (or perspectiva) and argues that Dante was not dependent on certain later thirteenth-century optical treatises (the perspectivae) as is widely assumed. It does so by placing Dante’s references to the process of vision, reflection and mirrors, and meteorological phenomena involving light in their historical context and comparing them with a variety of major medieval sources (Aristotelian commentary texts, theological works, encyclopedias, vernacular poetry). It is shown that, despite his many references to visual and optical phenomena in the Convivio and especially in the Commedia, Dante was not fully aware of the latest developments in thirteenth-century optical science and that, rather than the perspectivae, he seems to have relied on more general ideas found especially in the commentaries on Aristotle’s libri naturales by Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. [SAG]
Gorni, Guglielmo. “Sul Fiore. Punti critici del testo.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 87-107.
Fifty numbered observations or emendations on precise details of Contini's critical edition of the Fiore. Nine, mostly verbal correspondences, bear upon the attribution of the Fiore to Dante; chief of these is an apparent allusion to the first sonnets of the Fiore in Cecco Angiolieri's sonnet Dante Allaghier, Cecco, 'l tu' servo e amico. In general Gorni's textual emendations are more conservative with regard to the manuscript than Contini's. He prefaces his list with general observations on the peculiar editorial problems of the Fiore, and on Contini's editorial practice. [CM]
Gough, Melinda Jane. “Daughters of Circe: Effeminacy and Poetic Efficacy in Renaissance Epic and Theatre.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVII, No, 11 (May, 1997), 4752. Doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1996. 284 p.
“This dissertation reads the enchantress as a topos in which metapoetic and metadramatic concerns are figured in sexual terms. It examines Circe, the Sirens, and their Renaissance daughters as emblems for the seductive yet dangerous nature of literary signs, bewitching to poet and reader, playwright and spectator. The dissertation traces this sexual poetics in classical epic, the commentary tradition, and the careers of a number of early modern ‘daughters’ of Circe: Dante’s ‘dolce serena’” and others.
Hagedorn, Suzanne C. “A Statian Model for Dante’s Ulysses.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 19-43.
Dante’s allusion to Statius’s Achilleid in Inferno XXVI draws attention to other parallels between these texts that emphasize the damage wrought by Ulysses’s fraudulent rhetoric. In his unfinished epic, Statius describes how Ulysses’s clever tactics and verbal skill trick Achilles (who has been disguised as a girl to avoid being drafted into the Trojan expedition) into revealing his identity. To the dismay of Deidamia, who has secretly borne Achilles a son, Ulysses persuades Achilles to abandon his family to gain heroic glory at Troy. The shipboard oration in which Dante’s (anti-)hero encourages his men on their doomed voyage echoes a speech that Statius’s Ulysses delivers to Achilles as they sail from Scyros. Dante’s depiction of Deidamia’s grief also reminds the reader of the cost of Ulysses’s abandonment of Penelope. These verbal and thematic similarities demonstrate that Dante condemns Ulysses for the social destruction that his deceptive rhetoric causes and hides. [SCH]
Hollander, Robert. “‘Al quale ha posto mano e cielo e terra’ (Par. 25.2).” In the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America: posted January 30, 1997 (www.princeton.edu/~dante/ebdsa).
Hollander, Robert. Boccaccio’s Dante and the Shaping Force of Satire. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997. 225 p.
“Hollander offers a valuable synthesis of new material and some previously published essays, addressing the question of Dante’s influence on Boccaccio, particularly concerning the Commedia and the Decameron. Hollander reveals that Boccaccio’s writings are heavy with reminiscences of the Dante text that he believed to be the greatest ‘modern’ work. It was Boccaccio’s belief that Dante was the only writer who had achieved a status similar to that reserved for the greatest writers of antiquity. Most of these essays try to show how carefully Boccaccio reflects the texts of Dante in the Decameron.” Contents: Introduction (1-7); Boccaccio’s Dante (1986) (9-19); Imitative Distance (Decameron I.i and VI.x) (1981-82) (21-52); Decameron: The Sun Rises in Dante (1983-84) (53-68); Utilità (1985-86) (69-88); The Proem of the Decameron (1993) (89-107); Day Ten of the Decameron: The Myth of Order (with Courtney Cahill) (1996) (109-168); Appendix: Hapax Legomenon in Boccaccio’s Decameron and Its Relation to Dante’s Commedia (1983 [unpublished]) (169-220); Index (221-225).
Hollander, Robert, with Courtney Cahill. “Day Ten of the Decameron: The Myth of Order.” In Studi sul Boccaccio, 23 (1995), 113-170.
Contains a number of allusions to Dante.
Hollander, Robert (Joint Author). See Stull, William.
Huot, Sylvia. “The Fiore and the Early Reception of the Roman de la Rose.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 153-165.
Emphasizes the importance of the reception and early manuscript tradition of the Roman de la Rose as the context for Durante's reworking of the poem in the Fiore. For example, such manuscripts already divided the Roman into small units with rubrics identifying the speaker, as the Fiore does; the Fiore's feminization of Bel Acueil into Bellacoglienza also has precedents in Rose manuscripts. After examining similarities and differences with abridged versions of the Rose, some of which are close analogues to the Fiore, the author concludes that sections Durante leaves out, such as the discourse of Genius, leave traces in the Fiore, and that Durante thus probably worked from something close to the “standard text.” Like other redactors of the Rose, he “sought to impose unity and brevity” on the poem, and “avoided morally ambiguous or otherwise controversial passages.” [CM]
Iannucci, Amilcare A. “Dante’s Philosophical Canon (Inferno 4.130-44).” In Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 2 (autunno, 1997), 251-260.
Traces the impact of the philosophers in Limbo on Dante’s thought. Argues that the main sources of philosophical influence on the Convivio and the Commedia are Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Avicenna, Averroes, Cicero, and Seneca. Examines twentieth-century evaluations of Dante’s Aristotelianism; observes the synthesis of Platonism and neo-Platonism in Dante’s thought; and asserts that for Dante the Arab philosophers represented the height of modern learning. Cicero exerts the greatest influence over Dante next to Aristotle; Cicero both helped Dante conceive of philosophy as a consoling “donna gentile” and introduced Dante to philosophers such as Democritus, Diogenes, and the Stoic school. Seneca’s role in Dante’s philosophical canon concerns his interest in the science of morality and the sacrifice of his life for knowledge. Iannucci concludes that Dante’s encounter with the philosophers in Limbo, the first circle of Hell, serves to draw attention to their essential lack: “while representing value [they] do not represent true value for their words are not imbued with the Word of God.” Thus, this scene discloses a crucial difference between the ideas of the Convivio and those of the Commedia: “the Commedia represents a total rethinking and a total reworking of previously held ideas and views, all of which are now judged by the light of faith.” [JL]
Iannucci, Amilcare A. “Forbidden Love: Metaphor and History (Inferno 5).” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 94-112.
The essay originally appeared in the Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università di Siena, XI (1990), 341-358 (see Dante Studies, CXI, 306).
Iannucci, Amilcare A. “The Mountainquake of Purgatorio and Virgil’s Story.” In Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 48-58.
Links the description of the mountainquake of Purgatorio to the harrowing motif established in Inferno IV. Statius’s liberation, symbolized by the mountainquake, is implicitly contrasted to Virgil’s hopeless future in Limbo. The contrast is made more poignant by Virgil’s unwitting participation in Statius’s salvation; the celebration of his work’s illuminating effect on Statius only draws attention to the limits of the earlier poet’s own vision. Virgil’s encounter with Statius after the mountainquake illustrates these limits; now Statius must teach Virgil rather than the other way around. Arguing against John Scott’s recent examination of the Christological implications of the mountainquake (EBDSA 7/96), Iannucci claims that the real significance of the quake lies in its value as a sign of Statius’s salvation and Virgil’s eternal damnation. It thus completes the limbo theme in the poem, reminding Dante’s readers of the essence of Virgil’s tragic fate. [JL]
Illiano, Antonio. “In margine alla questione della ‘figura’.” In The Flight of Ulysses . . . (q.v.), pp. 41-52.
Examines the history of the critical question of Virgil and Cato being historical figures as opposed to literary or cultural ones. In other words, the essay addresses the question of whether Dante’s characters, Cato and Virgil, represent the historical personages themselves, or whether they constitute symbols. For example, within the framework of Dante’s magnum opus, does the Cato at the foot of Purgatory indicate the Roman writer on ethics, or is he merely an old man who performs an educational function? The author discusses different scholars’ interpretations of this problematic. [FA]
Illiano, Antonio. Sulle sponde del Prepurgatorio: Poesia e arte narrativa nel preludio all’ascesa (Purg. I-III 66). Firenze: Edizioni Cadmo, 1997. 125 p. (Il Confronto, 8)
“Il poema dantesco narra la storia dell’anima umana che case, espia e risorge nella visione di Dio. E la narrazione, trascendendo la funzione metrico-prosodica dei canti, si svolge in una compatta e coerente successione di cicli articolati in episodi e segmenti. Qui si tenta una lettura esaustiva del primo ciclo narrativo del Purgatorio, quello dell’anima che, nel prepararsi alla scalata, prende coscienza delle norme e dei doveri imposti dall’ascesa redentiva.” [AI] Contents: Prefazione (5-9); Coordinate e svolgimento (11-30); I Nuclei fondamentali del racconto: il prologo (31-48), visione aurorale (48-56), incontro col veglio (56-77), i riti (77-81), il sole nascente e l’angelo nocchiero (81-83), la turba selvaggia, Casella, l’andata al monte (84-93); Virgilio nel prepurgatorio (95-105); Nota bibliografica (107-115); Indice degli autori e antichi commentatori (117-118); Indice dei nomi (119-123).
Johnson, Gary. “A Tongue of One’s Own: Dante, Bloom, and Gates.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 251-272.
Claiming that Henry Louis Gates’s call for black critics to write about black literature in a black vernacular recalls Dante’s struggle to win acceptance for his own Italian vernacular, the author examines Dante’s apparently conflicting incarnations as, in Harold Bloom’s terms, both a strong poet and a “resentful” critic. Ultimately, the author argues that Dante, despite his place near the center of the Western literary canon, can be seen as a precursor to a group of contemporary critics—including African-American, Latin-American, working-class, and feminist critics—who are working against the very idea of that canon. [GJ]
Kleinhenz, Christopher. “American Dante Bibliography for 1996.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 273-318.
With brief analyses.
Kleinhenz, Christopher. “Courtly Cooking all'italiana: Gastronomical Approaches to Medieval Italian Literature.” In The Court and Cultural Diversity. Selected Papers from the Eighth Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society. The Queen's University of Belfast, 26 July-1 August 1995, edited by Evelyn Mullally and John Thompson (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 1997), pp. 343-356.
Contains some references to Dante.
Kleinhenz, Christopher. “Dante and the Bible: Biblical Citation in the Divine Comedy.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 74-93.
The material in this essay originally appeared in “The Poetics of Citation: Dante's Divina Commedia and the Bible,” in Italiana 1988. Selected Papers from the Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, November 18-20, 1988, Monterey, CA, edited by Albert N. Mancini, Paolo A. Giordano, and Anthony J. Tamburri. Rosary College Italian Studies, 4 (1990), 1-21, and “Biblical Citation in Dante’s Divine Comedy,” in Annali d'Italianistica, VIII (1990), 346-359 (see Dante Studies, CIX, 188).
Lansing, Richard. “Narrative Design in Dante’s Earthly Paradise.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 133-147.
The essay originally appeared in Dante Studies, CXII (1994), 101-113.
Lazzerini, Lucia. “Il Fiore, il Roman de la Rose e i precursori d'oc e d'oïl.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 137-150.
Examines, and counters, the argument (advanced by Arnaldo Moroldo) that the Fiore contains precise echoes of the romances of Chrétien de Troyes and the Roman de Tristan, and that since Dante never mentions these texts, Dante is not the author of the Fiore. The essay examines a number of these presumed echoes, and concludes that they are either commonplaces or reflected in the Roman de la Rose itself. The same applies to the Fiore's presumed borrowings from satirical occitanic troubadours such as Peire Cardenal, though the polemic against clerical corruption, stimulated perhaps also by Pietro di Giovanni Olivi at Santa Croce, is certainly dear to the author of the Fiore, and may have led him to re-work the Roman de la Rose, itself quite engaged with current political and religious affairs. [CM]
Leonardi, Lino. “Il Fiore, il Roman de la Rose e la tradizione lirica italiana prima di Dante.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 233-264.
Argues that Guittone d'Arezzo's larger sonnet cycle, which has a narrative line analogous to that of the Roman de la Rose, and like the Roman, the aim of ironically “de-mystifying” the traditional lyric language, functions as a model for the Fiore, a model the Fiore, inspired by the Roman, “hyperbolically” exceeds and dismantles. The author traces many structural parallels between the Fiore and the Guittonian cycle, as well as a subtle but insistent web of allusions; the latter also sarcastically evoke the conversion of Frate Guittone. The corrosive ironic allusions of the Fiore extend to other pre-stilnovo poets, including among others Rinaldo d'Aquino, Giacomo da Lentini, and Chiaro Davanzati. The analysis supports the attribution of the Fiore to Dante. [CM]
Lund-Mead, Carolynn. “Dante and Androgyny.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 195-213.
Beginning with the biblical myth of the creation of Eve out of Adam’s body and continuing through the orthodox mysticism of the later Middle Ages, sexual union and androgyny were linked as expressions of “unity in duality,” an important aspect of deity, whose unity also contains plurality. Dante draws extensively on this tradition in the Commedia, particularly in his portrayal of Beatrice. When she first appears in the earthly paradise, she is figuratively identified as both the feminine bride of the Song of the Songs (“Veni, sponsa, de Libano”) and as the masculine Christ, the bridegroom (“Benedictus qui venis!”), who then gives birth to the word “Dante.” Throughout the poem, Dante employs “gender integration and sexual fluidity [to] characterize a journey of inclusiveness that leads to” God (209); the images of sexual union, androgyny, and gestation are used by Dante as analogous metaphors for the ultimate union of soul and body with God in eternity. [VSB]
Maffia Scariati, Irene. “Fiore Inferno in fieri: Schede di letture in parallelo.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 273-313.
Traces the genesis of specific images, themes, and formal structures, and in particular the contrapassi of Inferno 28, 21, and 22 (for the sowers of discord and the barrators), in the Fiore's treatment or appropriation of materials in the Roman de la Rose. Often the contrapasso sy stgs from a metaphoric use of a word in the Roman and the Fiore, which becomes concrete reality in the Inferno. The author also traces a set of descriptive patterns used in the Comedy for the devils, and shows its origin in the Roman and the Fiore. The author concludes that the Fiore is the transitional link between the Roman and the Comedy, and that the Roman mediates classical sources for Dante; the argument also supports the attribution of the Fiore to Dante. [CM]
Martinez, Ronald L. “Lament and Lamentations in Purgatorio and the Case of Dante’s Statius.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 45-88.
The essay argues that the Purgatorio is informed, thematically and structurally, by reference to the biblical book of Lamentations (or Threni) in its medieval reception, which inter alia saw the book as a repertory of topics of complaint and reproach. Thus the penitential exercise of the purgatorial mountain includes lamenting for past sins and for Eden deferred, while the laments for Italy’s political situation (e.g., Cantos VI, xiv, XX) draw now on the language of Threni, now on lament topics inventoried in its glosses; plaint genres drawing on Threni (e.g., the crusade song) are also represented. The second part of the essay concerns Dante’s Statius, whose arrival in Rome in 70 C.E. coincides with the fall of Jerusalem, the major event marked in Threni commentary. As the author of an epic rich in laments, Statius’s role in the poem marks the contrast between the turn from woe to joy that comes with salvation, and the despair of an Ugolino, whose possible cannibalizing of his offspring recalls the cannibalism reported during the sieges of Jerusalem. [RLM]
Maziar, Anne Lee Tomlinson. “Landscapes of the Heart: Patristic and Scholastic Imagery and Hermeneutics in La Divina Commedia and Piers Plowman B.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVII, No. 10 (April, 1997), 4359. Doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1996. 827 p.
Mechanic, Rebecca Ann. “In Pursuit of Earthly Justice: The Albarosa Episode of Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato as a ‘Positivization’ of Inferno V.” In Canadian/American Journal of Italian Studies, XX, Nos. 55-56 (1997), 157-169.
Examines the Albarosa episode and Brandimarte’s conversion from Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato to support the idea, previously proposed by Jo Ann Cavallo, that Ranaldo represents an active, ideal reader (through his pursuit of earthly justice) whereas Orlando passively relies on divine justice. The author views Inferno V as a subtext for the Albarosa episode, with thematic reversals and linguistic repetitions pointing to a positive alternative to Dante’s episode of Francesca and Paolo. As a result of reading and interpretation, Francesca’s “irrational lust” leads to adultery and death, while Ranaldo’s “rational anger” enables him to exact justice by avenging the murder of Albarosa. [GPR]
Mehlman, Jeffrey. “Core of the Core: A Phantasmagoria in Translation.” In Comparative Literature, XLIX, No. 1 (Winter, 1997), 1-23.
Homer’s episode of the Oxen of the Sun, which closes the first half of the Odyssey (Book XII), reads as a transformation of the episode of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32), and the second half of the poem reads as a version of the fundamental plot situation of the New Testament: the son of the “lord” announces his return and threatens those who have been squandering the Father’s legacy. In Virgil’s recasting of Homer, a split ensued: the refusal to admit a Hellenic debt to Hebrew became a Roman intolerance of Phoenecia. The “nightmare underside” of these works, which forged the notion of a Western cultural core, is the imperative to come up with a “final” solution to the Semitic problem: “the concealment of massacre has proceeded more or less successfully, but only more or less so.” For Dante’s Ulysses to be Elisha-Elijah in Inferno XXVI, is to fulminate under the sign of Exodus 32: the River Jordan has replaced the Red Sea in Exodus. Small wonder, then, that Dante should affirm his difference from Ulysses, to purge himself of all identification with the purge. This staging of a purge of the will-to-purge is no less bloody, for “Judaica,” the very pit of hell, is only a few cantos away: the Semites “give their degraded name to the core of the core itself. The canon is virtually complete.” [LW]
Moleta, Vincent. “Virgil in Cocytus.” In Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 33-47.
The topography of Cocytus, which explicitly recalls two Tuscan cities, and shares features with other gates and city-scapes in the cantica, brings to mind Dante’s post-exilic relationship with his native land, and prompts a violent outburst from the pilgrim. As Dante approaches the final circle, Virgil explains, comforts, and protects the pilgrim, diffusing Dante’s overwhelmed reaction with the calm voice of reason. Moleta points out that each time Dante confronts an apparently impassable city wall in Hell (Inf. III; Inf. VIII-IX; Inf. XXXI), the poem relates a polemical discussion or scene of civic disorder, followed by a rational diffusion of passion on Virgil’s part. The three “walls” of Hell suggest the three walls protecting Dante’s native city and the pilgrim’s repeated subliminal return to his gated city thus allows the pilgrim to learn that a hostile city cannot be overcome by force. Virgil helps Dante understand that only through reason and faith in God’s grace can the external obstacles and the internal impediments that hinder the pilgrim’s journey be surmounted. [JL]
Papka, Claudia Rattazzi. “Fictions of Judgement: The Apocalyptic ‘I’ in the Fourteenth Century.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVII, No. 9 (March, 1997), 3929. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1996. 248 p.
Parker, Deborah. “Interpreting the Commentary Tradition to the Comedy.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 240-258.
Judged by the number of surviving manuscripts and the proliferation of commentaries devoted to it, Dante’s Comedy was an enormously popular poem. The composition of extensive commentaries to elucidate a vernacular author was unprecedented, and these commentaries employed the critical apparatus normally reserved for scriptural and classical authors. Following the efforts of early commentators to establish the poem’s authority, later commentators dwelt on political and social questions and then matters more strictly aesthetic and linguistic. It is essential to take into account the social and political context in which this commentary was produced, as these prove to have a formative effect on how Dante was read. Similarly, the history of the reception of the commentary tradition depends upon historical factors; the nationalism of the late nineteenth century led to renewed interest in the tradition that resulted in many new editions of the early commentaries. More recently, interest in the commentary tradition has revived once again, as scholars have turned to the early commentators for a variety of reasons. An acquaintance with the commentary tradition provides us with a perspective of the Comedy “as a social act with a variety of ramifications for successive social formations” (250). [VSB]
Pertile, Lino. “A Desire of Paradise and a Paradise of Desire: Dante and Mysticism.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 148-166.
In his Paradiso, Dante creates not a timeless realm beyond the reach of narrative, but “a Paradise of desire, a Paradise in time,” where he presents desire as both ubiquitous and instantaneously satisfied through the certainty of its fulfillment. The journey of the pilgrim through Paradise contradicts the common assumption that the third canticle is that of visio Dei; it is, instead, one of desire for that vision. This desire for God is announced at the opening of the canticle and continues until the very end of the poem, and it creates a tension that manifests itself on two levels: first, between the pilgrim’s desire and its satisfaction, and second, between the pilgrim’s experience and the poet’s attempt to represent it linguistically. These tensions are resolved only with the final vision of the pilgrim, when there is “no more need to know on the part of the pilgrim, and no more need or ability to say anything on the part of the poet. Now, what language had divided, silence brings to unity” (162). [VSB]
Pertile, Lino. “Dante Looks Forward and Back: Political Allegory in the Epistles.” In Dante Studies, CXV (1997), 1-17.
Examines three of Dante’s epistles (to the lords and peoples of Italy, to the Florentines, and to Henry VII) within their literary, historical, and political context, concluding that “the purpose of Dante’s political letters is to contribute to the restoration of a totally Christian society; to persuade Florence, Italy, and the whole world that the present drive toward secularism and materialism is morally wrong and practically self-destructive.”
Picone, Michelangelo. “Dante and the Classics.” In Dante: Contemporary Perspectives (q.v.), pp. 51-73.
Dante’s surprising choice of Virgil rather than Ovid (the choice of Brunetto Latini in the Tesoretto and Dante’s model in the Vita Nuova) as his guide in the Commedia provides us with some measure of Dante’s complex relationship to the classical tradition. The Vita Nuova looks to Ovid as he was presented in the classical liber—an edition of a classical poet with Christian prose commentary—as a model, but ultimately Dante “fulfills” what is only adumbrated in the Latin poet and thus supersedes him. In his other minor works, Dante finds a continuity between the classical and Christian vernacular poets; in the Commedia, however, Dante posits a rupture between the classical and Christian worlds. He includes a canon of classical authors primarily to show their inadequacy, their lack of “full meaning, which can only be granted by the Christian world” (61). Dante ultimately treats the classical authors as forerunners in the sense that they anticipate what the true Christian auctor (Dante himself) will make manifest in his poem. [VSB]
Pike, David L. Passage through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1997. xv, 292.
The author reevaluates “the descensus ad inferos, the descent to the underworld, in medieval and modern literature. Although structured around a repeated motif, [the book] is not a motif study; even less would it claim to be a history of the genre of the descensus. Rather, it explores the means by which motifs are constantly revised and transformed, and influences constantly rewritten and configured, how history is made into myth and myth into history. Classical and medieval literature are interpreted through the lens of their construction in and by modernism, and modernism is viewed anew in light of a medieval model freed of that construction. The book follows a series of paths back and forth between modern and medieval in order to trace the reciprocal effects of each descent on its past and on its future. It maintains that Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s reading of Dante revises our reception of the latter, and equally that Christine de Pizan’s reading of Dante transforms our reception of Virginia Woolf. This is particularly the case with Dante, the book’s center of gravity, the nadir of its descent, for he takes what had become the Christian structure of the descensus and gives it the form in which it would be legible to the historical exigencies of modernism. He provides the vehicle whereby the world may be remade and described in the same moment of descent through the underworld: the autobiographical voice, the voice that can say simultaneously ‘this is what I see as history’ and ‘this is what I am creating as myth.’” (ix) Contents: Preface (vii-xiii), Abbreviations (xv); 1. The Persistence of the Universal: Critical Descents into Antiquity (1-34); 2. “La Bataille du Styx”: Céline’s Allegory of Conversion (35-61); 3. The Conversion of Dante (62-133). Descent into Modernity: Peter Weiss’s Welttheater (63-98), Storming the Gates of Paradise: Dante’s descensus ad superos (98-133); 4. The Gender of Descent (134-202). “O voi che siete in piccioletta barca”: Christine de Pizan and the Topoi of Descent (135-167), “Romps of Fancy”: Virginia Woolf, Turf Battles, and the Metaphorics of Descent (167-202); 5. The Representation of Hell: Benjamin’s Descent into the City of Light (203-247); 6. The Descent into History, or Beyond a Modernism of Reading: Heaney and Walcott (248-259); Bibliography (261-279); Index (281-292).
Psaki, Regina F. “Dante Alighieri (1265-1321).” In The Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature, edited by Rinaldina Russell (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997), pp. 60-62.
Brief treatment of the presence and role of women in the works of Dante.
Riviello, Tonia Caterina. “The Purposes and Obligations of Poetry.” In The Flight of Ulysses . . . (q.v.), pp. 53-66.
Riviello uses Dante’s discussions of the functions of literature in the Vita Nuova, Convivio, and De vulgari eloquentia as the basis for expounding upon her own literary theory. Riviello notes that Dante repeatedly asserts that poetry must tend towards a universal meaning and not merely express personal experiences. From this precept, she attempts to demonstrate how, for the Middle Ages, poetry was engaged socially, and she associates this opinion with the notion of cosmopolis expounded by Bernard Lonergan (Insight: A Study of Human Understanding [New York: Harper & Row, 1978]). [FA]
Robey, David. “The Fiore and the Comedy: Some Computerized Comparisons.” In The Fiore in Context . . . (q.v.), pp. 109-131.
Presents the results of a computerized analysis of the vocabulary, rhymes, and accentual structure of the Fiore and of a sample of the Inferno, as well as of some other texts for comparison. The vocabulary of the Fiore is less rich than that of the Inferno or Paradiso, but still “considerable”; in all three texts it is greater in rhyme-position. The “range of rhymes in the Fiore is less than half as large as in the sample of Inferno,” and consists largely in verbal or substantival endings; the Fiore's rhyming practice is closer to Dante's lyric poetry. Though the Inferno has fewer non-canonical accentual structures, it has a greater variety of canonical types. The essay includes nineteen tables, and an appendix which analyzes the types and frequencies of rhymes in the entire Comedy. [CM]
Romano, Maria Anne. “Love’s Torment: Pain and Sexual Pleasure in Dante Alighieri and T. S. Eliot.” In Masters Abstracts International, XXXV, No. 6 (December, 1997), 1605. Master’s thesis, Florida Atlantic University, 1997, 31 p.
“Sexual pleasure, for the male writer, has been accompanied by pain for centuries. Italian poet Dante Alighieri presents a paradoxical treatment of lust by exploring pain and pleasure in Canto XXVI of Purgatory in The Divine Comedy. Over four hundred years later, Dante’s sexual ideology would evolve into misanthropy and misogyny in T. S. Eliot’s poetry.”
Rossini, Antonio. “La bella scola ed il salutevol cenno: una ricerca semantica e stilistica.” In Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 2 (autunno, 1997), 163-182.
The language describing Dante’s acceptance into the “bella scola” of illustrious poets in Inferno IV endows the scene with the sense of a chivalric and academic investiture. Focusing primarily on the rhyme words “cenno” and “senno,” Rossini establishes strong intratextual connections between this scene and others in the Commedia, such as Statius’s encounter with Dante and Virgil in Purgatorio XXI and XXII, Cacciaguida’s interview with his descendant in Paradiso XV, and St. Peter’s examination of the pilgrim in Paradiso XXIV. The many linguistic parallels between the passage in Limbo and these subsequent scenes then serve to expose the courtly and academic subtext to Dante’s depiction of his reception among the poetic elite. The semantic significance of Dante’s poetic inclusion relies on the reader’s awareness of the repetition of keywords; Rossini argues that the placement of these keywords in rhyme positions aids the reader’s acoustic memory and thus allows for the success of the intratextual allusions. [JL]
Russell, Jeffrey Burton. A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997. xv, 220 p.
“Dispensing with the cliché images of goodness that can make even heaven seem unbearable, the author stimulates our imagination with a history of how the joy of paradise has been conceived by writers, philosophers, and artists for whom heaven was an imminent reality. Russell not only explores concepts found among the ancient Jews, Greeks, and Romans, as well as early and medieval Christians, but also addresses the intellectual problems heaven poses: how does time ‘pass’ in eternity? Is heaven a place or a state? Who is in and who is not? What happens to the body and soul between death and Judgment Day? Russell stresses that the best way to approach the logic-defying concept of a place occupying either space nor time is through poetry and paradox, and through the visions of such mystics as Bernard, Julian of Norwich, and Eckhart. After the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, the most sublime and encompassing portrait of heaven to date has come not from a theologian but from a poet—Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy. Russell’s history of heaven culminates in a lively analysis of how Dante describes the glories of the indescribable. The unsurpassed images of light, movement, and community that Dante uses so skillfully to convey the presence of God are rooted in the Jewish picture of heaven as a garden or court and in the Greek picture of the Elysian Fields.” Chapters 11 and 12 deal exclusively with Dante’s Paradiso. Contents: Preface (xiii-xv); 1. Understanding Heaven (3-17); 2. Elysium, Jerusalem, and Paradise (18-39); 3. The Heaven of the Early Christians (40-63); 4. Returning to God (64-76); 5. Heaven, East and West (77-90); 6. Visions of Heaven (91-100); 7. Journeys to Heaven (101-113); 8. Wooing the Bridegroom (114-124); 9. The Desire of the Intellect (125-140); 10. The Fire of Love (141-150); 11. Approaching Paradise (151-164); 12. The Heavenly Paradise (165-185); 13. Hearing the Silence (186-189); Bibliography (191-210); Index (211-220).
Shapiro, Marianne. “The Widowed Crown: ‘Men che di rose e più che di viole’ (Purg. XXXII, 58).” In Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 59-77.
Through her reading of Purgatorio XXXII, 58 and other passages in the Earthly Paradise, Shapiro makes the claim that the “pre-eschatological function of the Roman empire is thematically interwoven” throughout the Purgatorio. While traditional glosses hold that the color of the barren tree’s new leaves, “men che di rose e più che di viole,” symbolizes the blood of Christ and Christian martyrs, Shapiro connects the rose and the violet to funerary practices and to widowhood. Asserts that Dante’s allusion to widowhood, here and with his reference to the “vedova frasca,” speaks to a deprived site of justice; he expresses a longing for a godlike ruler who will fill the gap suggested by the theme of widowhood. The redemption metaphorically represented by the new blossoms, however, will neither signify a return to complete perfection, nor remain permanent. Rather, in accordance with millenarian thought, and symbolically signified by the image of the harlot and the giant at the end of the canto, the reign of the new near-perfect Roman emperor would ultimately give way to a period of evil under the Antichrist. [JL]
Shepherd, Gregory Donald. “The Influence of Cicero’s De Amicitia on Dante’s Philosophy of Friendship.” In Masters Abstracts International, XXXV, No. 5 (October, 1997), 1146. Master’s thesis, Dalhousie University, 1996, 72 p.
Slote, Samuel Boaz. “‘Every Splurge on the Vellum’: The Silence in Progress of Dante, Mallarmé and Joyce.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVIII, No. 5 (November, 1997), 1698. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997. 376 p.
“[S]tudies the ways in which the project of writing the book—the complete and autotelic Book—is characterized by an inachievement that can be termed silence. [. . .] After an introductory chapter which outlines the theoretical implications of silence through the work of Blanchot, [the author] examine[s] Dante’s Paradiso as the pilgrimage to effacement.”
Soufas, C. Christopher, Jr. “Dante and the Geography of Lorca’s Bodas de sangre.” In Romance Notes, XXXVII, No. 2 (Winter, 1997), 175-181.
Discusses the presence of Dante’s Inferno in plays by the Spanish writer Federico García Lorca, Bodas de sangre in particular. Consistent with the themes of exposure and familial violence, Lorca’s play alludes to Dante’s revelation of the homosexuality of his mentor (Brunetto Latini) and to the topography of the circle of violence. Traversing the Dantesque topography in reverse, the principles of Lorca’s play “flee from the drylands to the forest en route to the river where blood is spilled after the lovers are encircled by horsemen.” This violence “does not bring closure, only a return to the same point of departure in a manner quite similar” to the endless wandering of the sodomites in Inferno XV-XVI. [GPR]
Stara, Flavia. “Il tema dei voti religiosi nei canti III, iv, e V del Paradiso tra rivendicazione etica e fondazione teologica.” In Forum Italicum, XXXI, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), 5-14.
A close reading of the cantos of the Moon (Par. III-V), with emphasis on the significance of vows and free will in relation to faith. Discussing the vow as a concordance of human and divine will, Stara argues that Dante goes beyond his theological authorities in dramatizing the inextricability of the vow and human will, votum and voluntas. To explain the ethical dimension of vows, the author draws parallels between vows and laws, each of which entails a pact with strict obligations. [GPR]
Stark, John. “Once Again, Dante’s Five Hundred, Ten and Five.” In Romance Quarterly, XLIV, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), 99-106.
Proposes a new interpretation of the “cinquecento diece e cinque” prophecy of Purgatorio XXXIII, 43, by identifying Dante’s “source” as the 500th verse of Virgil’s epic: “Hinc atque hinc glomerantur Oreades; illa pharetram” (Aen. I, 500). The allusions to Dido—here compared to Diana with a quiver—and wood nymphs (Oreades) are meant to indicate not a precise individual but “the anagogical, moral, and allegorical qualities of an ideal ruler.” The Virgilian subtext is suggested by the departure of Virgil in Purgatorio XXX, the water nymphs who will solve the “enigma forte” (Purg. XXXIII, 49-50), and the four handmaidens—symbolic of the cardinal virtues—who accompany Beatrice. [GPR]
Steadman, John M. “The God of Paradise Lost and the Divina Commedia.” In Cithara, XXXVII, No. 1 (November, 1997), 22-42.
Steadman, whose essay first appeared in 1959, maintains that criticism’s comparisons between Dante’s and Milton’s Gods, in which Dante always comes out ahead, have been unfair and anachronistic. In either poem the manner of the poet’s representation of deity was contingent largely on such factors as subject, genre, and the particular aspects of God which he desired to emphasize. Milton’s anthropomorphic and “theologizing” divinity was by no means out of place in a heroic poem treating the fall of man and profession to “assert Eternal Providence.” Milton followed Classical, Biblical, and Renaissance precedents in portraying of God as a person. He thus laid primary stress on the representation of deity as efficient cause and especially on two interrelated aspects of God’s efficiency: the decree of predestination regarding man in his fallen condition, and the special government of man in the state of the fall. Conversely, Dante’s veiled representation of God resulted not only from his allegorical method, but also from the fact that the logical conclusion of the Paradiso was the Beatific Vision. Since the fruition of the Beatific Vision could only be suggested indirectly, a direct or anthropomorphic description of the Godhead would have been absurd. [LW]
Stefanini, Ruggero. “Fra Commèdia e Com(m)edìa: risalendo il testo del poema.” In Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 3-32.
Stefanini reviews and discusses the latest critical edition of Dante’s masterpiece (La Commedìa. Testo critico secondo i più antichi manoscritti fiorentini, edited by Antonio Lanza [Anzio: De Rubeis, 1996; second edition, 1997]). He notes that Lanza bases this work primarily on the Florentine manuscript, Trivulziano 1080, and retains many of the problematic linguistic variants from that codex (e.g., “gridavaro” [gridavano], “vidoro” [videro], “uomeni” [uomini]). At the same time, he points out that the editor corrects his source some twenty-three times; Stefanini enumerates them and discusses the merits of each instance. The article closes by listing the many innovative readings—some dubious, some not—suggested by Trivulziano 1080 and comparing the passages to those from Petrocchi’s edition. [FA]
Stull, William, and Robert Hollander. “The Lucanian Source of Dante’s Ulysses.” In Studi Danteschi, LXIII (1991, but 1997), 1-52.
The authors intend to render otiose those readings of Dante’s Ulysses that ignore the moral basis of the poem. “Lucan’s picture of corrupt leadership, presented in the thoughts, words, and actions of his character Julius Caesar, stands directly behind Dante’s conception of Ulysses.” Caesar’s failures as a leader, manifested in his faulty rhetoric and impossible sea voyage, should remind us of Ulysses. Moreover, Dante drew upon Lucan’s treatment of Alexander, Curio, and Cato in portraying Ulysses’s sins. The authors show that the poet, while praising the results of Caesar’s actions, decried the personal motives behind them. The figure of Ulysses that results when we see its origins in Lucan’s Bellum Civile is at odds not only with Romantic readings, but also with the “new Ulysses” who has emerged in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon and Teodolinda Barolini’s Undivine “Comedy.” To argue that Inferno XXVI reveals a “transgressive poetics” is to practice speculative psychoanalysis. Dante would not have engineered so distasteful a model as Ulysses for his alter ego. [LW]
Tambling, Jeremy. “Dante and the Modern Subject: Overcoming Anger in the Purgatorio.” In New Literary History, XXVIII, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), 401-420.
Argues that “there is a genealogy of the modern implied through Dante’s use of the term [moderno]” in Purgatorio XVI, 42. Drawing on an array of modern thinkers, from Nietzsche and Freud to Benjamin and Lyotard, the author sees in Dante’s treatment of wrath in Purgatorio a “link between modernity and anger” that reveals discontinuities and instabilities in representation, identity (gender), and language. Tambling focuses on the “doubleness” prevalent in Marco Lombardo’s discourse (Purg. XVI) to put forth a metapoetic reading whereby the text “becomes reflexive on its own semiotic procedures.” [GPR]
Taylor, Charles H., and Patricia Finley. Images of the Journey in Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1997. xvi, 295 p.
The volume “assembles more than 250 illustrations of Dante’s poem, created by fifteen known artists and some twenty anonymous illuminators to depict every aspect of the pilgrim’s journey to the depths of Hell, the mountain of Purgatory, and the heavenly spheres of Paradise. Through twenty short essays and commentaries on each painting or drawing in this unique collection, [the authors] illuminate the artistry of generations of the Divine Comedy’s illustrators and of the poem itself. [The authors] examine Dante’s poem as a psychological journey from the dark wood of depression, through painful purgations achieved in inner work and dreams, to the maturity of objective love that is grounded in feminine compassion. And they explore how Dante’s own life journey is the necessary setting for his poem. They support their interpretation with visual images of the poet’s imagined journey as created by illustrators from the naive yet skilled medieval illuminators of the fourteenth century through artists as notable and diverse as Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni di Paolo, William Blake, Gustave Doré, and Leonard Baskin.” Contents: Preface (vii-xi); On the Illustrations (xii-xvi); Introduction: Beatrice the Heart-Eater (1-5); One. Hell: Depression and Despair (The Inferno) (6-7). The Dark Wood at the Beginning (8-41); The Gate of Dis: Facing Despair (42-55); The Wood of the Suicides: Surrender to Despair (56-71); Simony and the Separation of Church and State: Betrayal of the Soul by Power and Money (72-87); A Contention for the Soul (88-110); Depths of Despair: The Impotent Loins of Dis (111); Two. Purgatory: Suffering, Dreams, and Insight (The Purgatorio) (112-133); Dream One: The Eagle is Lucia (134-149); Dream Two: The Siren’s Call (150-157); Torment and Atonement: Two Kinds of Suffering in the Commedia (158-165); Dream Three: Leah’s Mirror (166-181); The Wood of the Earthly Paradise (183-187); Three. Paradise: The Interiority of Divine Reality (The Paradiso) (188-199); The Necessity of Incarnation (200-211); Joachim of Floris (212-221); The Trojan Ripheus (222-233); Prayer Denied and Prayer Affirmed (234-242); Love and Vision (243-255); Beatrice, Lucia, Mary (256-269); The Human Image in God (270-272); Conclusion: Exile and the Price of Completion (273-278); Works Cited (279-280); Acknowledgments (281); Illustrations and Credits (283-290); Index (291-295).
Teskey, Gordon. Allegory and Violence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996. xiv, 195 p.
In addition to several allusions to the Divina Commedia in the course of the work, Teskey discusses in greater detail the events of Inferno 5 in Chapter One (“Personification and Capture: Francesca da Rimini,” esp. pp. 25-29).
Therivel, William A. “Praised Be Italy for the Birth of the Visitor Personality and Western Civilization. Praised Be Italy for Gregory VII at Canossa, Alexander III at Legnano, Innocent III at Runnymede; For Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio.” In Rivista di Studi Italiani, XV, No. 1 (giugno, 1997), 25-40.
Relates defining moments in Church-State relations from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to Italy’s foundational role in the modern Western world. Viewing Dante as “the great precursor of the division of power with his Monarchia,” the author argues that this division gives rise to a “visitor personality,” in which cities and individuals are able to change allegiances and thereby enjoy greater economic and artistic creativity. Therivel concludes that the United States constitutional separation between Church and State has much in common with “that respectful separation, demanded by Dante, between those working for terrestrial happiness and those working for celestial bliss.” [GPR]
Todd, Jeffrey Dean. “Stefan George’s Dante Translations: Past Perspectives and Future Itineraries.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVIII, No. 5 (November, 1997), 1731. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati, 1997. 206 p.
“The subject of this dissertation is the Dante translations of Stefan George, one of the most important German poets writing at the turn of the century. George’s translations are regarded by many as the most successful attempt yet at poetic rendering of Dante’s Divina Commedia.”
Verdicchio, Massimo. Of Dissimulation: Allegory and Irony in Dante’s “Commedia.” Warsaw: Energeia, 1997. 150 p.
In the Preface to his study the author notes the following: “I focus in particular on the rhetorical strategies of the poem. My aim is to bring to the surface the complex texture of signification suggested by the poetic allegories and to clarify the meaning that the poem establishes with both classical and Biblical traditions. The method I have followed tries to adhere to the one Dante uses to explain the canzoni in the Convivio providing first the literal explanation of the text and then the allegorical meaning. Following this procedure, which questions the reasons for certain choices rather than assumes the answers, a reading of the poem emerges that differs qualitatively from the accepted reading. A careful reading of the text does not support either a belief in the Christianity of the poem or of the poet. It contradicts many of the traditional beliefs beginning with the authority of Virgil, which always goes unquestioned, as well as Dante’s relation to the poets of the so-called ‘dolce stil nuovo’.” Contents: Acknowledgments (6); Preface (7-9); Introduction (10-19); 1. Error in Dante’s Convivio (20-33); 2. Analogy and Allegory in the Commedia (34-40); 3. First Prologue: Dante’s Veltro (41-53); 4. Second Prologue: Rhetoric and Poetics (54-76); 5. The Comedy of the Commedia (77-87); 6. Irony and the Lyric (88-105); 7. The Allegory of Irony in Purgatorio XXI-XXII (106-113); 8. Dante’s DXV (114-123); 9. The Poetics of Paradiso (124-134); Conclusions (135); Notes (136-147); Notes on the Texts (148); Index (149-150).
Verduin, Kathleen. “Dante in America: The First Hundred Years.” In Reading Books: Essays on the Material Text and Literature in America, edited by Michele Moylan and Lane Stiles (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996), pp. 16-51.
Traces Dante's promotion to cultural prominence in America by surveying the American publication history of Dante's works from the 1820s to the 1920s. Volumes discussed include the Works of the British [sic] Poets series (Philadelphia, 1822), the Appleton edition of Cary's translation (1845), the Harper edition of J. A. Carlyle's Inferno (1849), the Longfellow translation (Ticknor and Fields, 1867), and the Norton translation (Houghton Mifflin, 1891-1892). Stressing that both as a literary and commercial commodity, “the American Dante was ... a product of the New England establishment,” the essay also cites a “cultural bifurcation” of Dante into elite and popular forms by the turn of the century. [KV]
Vettori, Alessandro. “La breccia silenziaria in Purgatorio X.” In Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 78-100.
Starting from the precept that many liturgical rituals are found in Purgatory, the author examines Purgatorio X with an eye towards this motif. Vettori notes that this canto is framed by two important prayers thereby establishing a tone of ecclesiastical rites. Virgil and the pilgrim pass from Antepurgatory to Purgatory proper accompanied by “Te Deum laudamus” (Purg. IX, 140), and they arrive at the circle of pride hearing a paraphrase of the “Pater noster” (Purg. XI, 1-24). However, Vettori focuses his attention primarily on the relief sculptures which exemplify the virtue of humility. The author compares to Dante’s passage the story of David dancing before the ark as found in the Bible. In 2 Samuel, Micol adopts a human perspective when she is ashamed that the king acted in a manner not befitting his stature; in contrast, David defends himself by taking a transcendent point-of-view, claiming that his joy made him more regal in the eyes of God. According to the author, Dante deliberately recollects this contrast in outlook by describing the synesthetic discord between his two senses, the eyes which claim to hear music while the ears do not (Purg. X, 58-60). Furthermore, by examining the language which Dante employs to portray this scene, the author highlights the essential components of a liturgy therein: the chorus, incense and the sacerdote (Purg. X, 55-69). Finally, the repeated contrast between the music as seen in the sculpture and the silence perceived by Dante’s ears recalls, Vettori asserts, the alternation between choir music and silence during a high mass. In these ways, the author underscores how this canto similarly participates in the ritualistic nature of Purgatorio as a whole. [FA]
Wallace, David. Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1997. xix, 555 p. (Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture)
“Chaucer’s encounters with the great Trecento authors—Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch—facilitate the testing and dismantling of time-honored terms such as medieval, Renaissance, and humanism. The author argues that no magic curtain separated ‘medieval’ London and Westminster from ‘Renaissance’ Florence and Milan; as a result of his Italian journeys, all sites were interlinked for Chaucer as parts of a transnational nexus of capital, cultural, mercantile, and military exchange. In his travels, Chaucer was exposed to the Trecento’s most crucial material and ideological conflict, that between a fully developed and highly inclusive associational polity (Florence) and the first, prototypically imperfect, absolutist state of modern times (London).” Contains many references to Dante and his works.
Warner, Lawrence. “Cain, Nimrod, and the Erotics of Wandering in Late-Medieval Narrative.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, LVIII, No. 3 (September, 1997), 862. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Pennsylvania, 1997. 267 p.
“The medieval understanding of Cain, fratricide and ‘vagabond on the earth,’ and Nimrod, tyrannical giant and architect of the Tower of Babel, prompted the figuration of movement as an erotic act and the corollary figuration of sexuality as movement, a process I term ‘the erotics of wandering.’ Cain’s vagrancy was consonant with the belief that his descendants’ errant sodomy caused the Flood, and Nimrod’s desire ‘to penetrate heaven beyond nature’ contributed to the figuration of lechery as a form of illicit penetration. This dissertation examines such erotics in various categories aligned with ‘wandering,’ whether literal or metaphorical, that were associated with Cain or Nimrod. The Alliterative Morte Arthure presents Arthur as a new Nimrod whose crusade is inherently sodomitical; likewise, Dante’s Ulysses exhorts his ‘brothers’ to transgress sanctioned bounds on an anti-crusade, aligning him with the lustful of Purgatorio 26.”
Williamson, Alan. “Dante Our Contemporary?” In American Poetry Review, 23 (September 1, 1994), 43-53.
This review essay compares two recent English renderings of the Inferno—one by Robert Pinsky (see Dante Studies, 113 , 210), the other by twenty contemporary poets (including Pinsky; edited by Daniel Halpern [see Dante Studies, 112 (1994), 302]) and proposes an interpretation of the Commedia along the lines of a Jungian “Night Journey.” Emphasizing the psychological dimension of Dante's journey over allegorical readings informed by theology, Williamson examines three episodes from the Inferno—Francesca, Brunetto, and Ulysses—to show how the poet “is often at his greatest . . . when his feelings seem to strain against the limits of his system” (44). From his comparison of the two volumes, he concludes that while the Halpern collection “will remain an uneven, fascinating museum of contemporary taste,” Pinsky's version “is likely to define Dante for a generation, as Lattimore and Fitzgerald did Homer” (46). [GPR]
Wlassics, Tibor. “Dante’s Surrealism: The Oneiric Overture to the Comedy.” In The Flight of Ulysses . . . (q.v.), pp. 34-40.
The author begins with the assertion that the insistence on Dante’s realism among twentieth-century scholars has concealed the fact that the Commedia relates a vision. The commentator, Benvenuto da Imola, for instance, stresses the visionary quality of Dante’s masterpiece. Wlassics then performs a reading of Canto I according to its “surrealistic,” that is, dreamlike, attributes. Preempting any objections that this interpretation may be anachronistic, the scholar notes that medieval artes dictaminis list oneiric reporting as one form of writing. Furthermore, the treatises on literary style enumerate some of the traits of dream vision: indeterminate locus and confusing time sequence. Wlassics uses these characteristics to examine and explicate some of the difficult elements of Canto I. For instance, the dark wood and the tall hill both exemplify the non-specific locations associated with dreams. From this perspective, the author returns to the question raised by the eleventh verse where Dante mentions that he became lost in the wood because he was full of sleep. The scholar explores the possibility that this phrase may represent the poet’s explicit reference to the work’s visionary nature. Finally, in support of the oneiric perspective promoted in this article, Wlassics compares the language of Canto I to that found in Dante’s description of Ugolino’s dream. Both episodes have a preponderance of the verb “parere,” and this verb, Wlassics suggests, may represent a linguistic marker indicating a fantasy as opposed to reality. [FA]
Alighieri, Dante. Dante’s “Inferno”: The Indiana Critical Edition. Translated and edited by Mark Musa. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 311-312.) Reviewed by:
Mark Balfour, in Medium Aevum, LXVI, No. 1 (1997), 155-156;
Roberto Carnero, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, No. 1 (1997), 229-230;
Regina Psaki, in Italica, LXXIV, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), 250-252.
Alighieri, Dante. Dante’s Inferno: Translations by Twenty Contemporary Poets. Introduced by James Merrill. With an Afterword by Giuseppe Mazzotta. Edited by Daniel Halpern. New York: The Ecco Press, 1993. (See Dante Studies, CXII, 302.) Reviewed by:
Joseph Luzzi, in Yale Italian Poetry, I (1997), 102-109.
Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Vol. 1. Inferno. Translated by Robert M. Durling. Introduction and Notes by Ronald L. Martinez and Robert M. Durling. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. (See Dante Studies, CXV, 275.) Reviewed by:
Stefano Ugo Baldassarri, in Rivista di studi italiani, XV, No. 2 (1997), 252-255;
Tom Peterson, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 349-356.
Alighieri, Dante. The Inferno of Dante. Translated by Robert Pinsky. Illustrated by Michael Mazur with notes by Nicole Pinsky. Foreword by John Freccero. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 210.) Reviewed by:
Joseph Luzzi, in Yale Italian Poetry, I (1997), 102-109;
Tom Peterson, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 349-356.
Alighieri, Dante. Monarchia. Edited and translated by Prue Shaw. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Reviewed by:
George Andrew Trone, in Envoi, VI, No. 2 (Fall, 1997), 221-225.
Alighieri, Dante. Vita nuova. Italian Text with Facing English Translation by Dino S. Cervigni and Edward Vasta. Notre Dame, Indiana, and London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 312-313.) Reviewed by:
Paul Colilli, in Italica, LXXIV, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), 249-250;
William J. Kennedy, Renaissance Quarterly, L, No. 4 (Winter, 1997), 1215-1216;
Robert C. Melzi, in Rivista di Studi Italiani, XV, No. 1 (giugno, 1997), 213-215.
Alighieri, Dante. Vita Nuova. Edited by Guglielmo Gorni. Torino: Einaudi, 1996. Reviewed by:
Massimiliano Chiamenti, in Forum Italicum, XXXI, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), 260-262.
Astell, Ann W. Chaucer and the Universe of Learning. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996. (See Dante Studies, CXV, 275-276.) Reviewed by:
Thomas J. Farrell, in Envoi, VI, No.2 (Fall, 1997), 147-152;
Norm Klassen, in Medium Aevum, LXVI, No. 2 (1997), 229-231.
Baranski, Zygmunt G. “Sole nuovo, luce nuova”: saggi sul rinnovamento culturale in Dante. Torino: Scriptorium, 1996. Reviewed by:
Federica Capoferri, in Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 106-108;
A[ntonio] F[ranceschetti], in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 1 (1997), 151-152.
Botterill, Steven. Dante and the Mystical Tradition: Bernard of Clairvaux in the “Commedia.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CIII, 212-213.) Reviewed by:
Aldo Scaglione, in Modern Philology, XCIV, No. 3 (February, 1997), 363-366.
Bufere e molli aurette: Polemiche letterarie dallo Stilnovo alla “Voce.” Edited by Maria Grazia Pensa. Milano: Guerini Studio, 1996. Reviewed by:
A[ntonio] F[ranceschetti], in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 1 (1997), 153.
Cachey, Theodore J., Jr. Le Isole Fortunate. Appunti di storia letteraria italiana. Roma: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1995). (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 317.) Reviewed by:
Elisa V. Liberatori Prati, in Modern Language Notes, CXII, No. 1 (1997), 119-124;
Madison U. Sowell, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 378-380.
The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Edited by Rachel Jacoff. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. (See Dante Studies, CXII, 306-307.) Reviewed by:
S[abrina] P[alomba], in L’Alighieri, XXXVIII, No. 10 n.s. (luglio-dicembre, 1997), 116.
The Cambridge History of Italian Literature. Edited by Peter Brand and Lino Pertile. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Reviewed by:
Roberto Carnero, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, No. 1 (1997), 203-205;
Remo Ceserani, in Italica, LXXIV No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 408-410.
Croce, Benedetto. Poesia popolare e poesia d’arte. Studi sulle poesie italiane dal Tre al Cinquecento. Edited by Piero Cudini. Napoli: Bibliopolis, 1991. Reviewed by:
Massimo Verdicchio, in Rivista di Studi Italiani, XV, No. 1 (giugno, 1997), 238-243.
Dante: Contemporary Perspectives. Edited by Amilcare A. Iannucci. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. (See above under Studies.) Reviewed by:
A[ntonio] F[ranceschetti], in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 2 (1997), 303-304;
S[abrina] P[alomba], in L’Alighieri, XXXVIII, No. 10 n.s. (luglio-dicembre, 1997), 116.
Dante nel cinema. Edited by Gianfranco Casadio. Ravenna: Longo, 1996. Reviewed by:
Vittoria Colonnese-Benni, in Rivista di Studi Italiani, XV, No. 1 (1997), 449-454;
A[ntonio] F[ranceschetti], in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 1 (1997), 152.
Dante Now: Current Trends in Dante Studies. Edited by Theodore J. Cachey Jr. Notre Dame, Indiana, and London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 320.) Reviewed by:
Peter Armour, in Medium Aevum, LXVI, No. 2 (1997), 252-253;
Steven Botterill, Speculum, LXXII, No. 3 (July, 1997), 796-797;
Paul Colilli, in Italica, LXXIV, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 410-411;
Sylvia Schreiber, in Deutsches Dante-Jahrbuch, LXXII (1997), 168-181.
Dante Studies CXIII (1995). Reviewed by:
Massimo Seriacopi, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, Nos. 2-3 (1997), 197-198.
Dante: Summa Medievalis. Proceedings of the Symposium of the Center for Italian Studies, SUNY Stony Brook. Edited by Charles Franco and Leslie Morgan. Forum Italicum, Supplement. Stony Brook, New York: Forum Italicum, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 320.) Reviewed by:
Massimo Seriacopi, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, No. 1 (1997), 209-211.
Delumeau. Jean. History of Paradiso: The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition. Translated by Matthew O’Connell. New York: Continuum, 1995. Reviewed by:
Kathleen Coyne Kelly, in Journal of English and Germanic Philology, XCVI, No. 3 (July, 1997), 601-603.
Di Scipio, Giuseppe. The Presence of Pauline Thought in the Works of Dante. Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 321-322.) Reviewed by:
Roberto Carnero, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, Nos. 2-3 (1997), 214-215.
Dronke, Peter. Verse with Prose from Petronius to Dante: The Art and Scope of the Mixed Form. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 215.) Reviewed by:
Paolo Cherchi, in Comparative Literature, XLIX, No. 1 (Winter, 1997), 84-86.
Franke, William. Dante’s Interpretive Journey. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Reviewed by:
Giuseppe Cavatorta, in Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 103-106;
Joseph Luzzi, in Italica, LXXIV, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 412-413.
Frigo, Gian Franco, and Giuseppe Vellucci. Unità o dualità della “Commedia”. Il dibattito su Dante da Schelling ad Auerbach. Firenze: Olschki, 1994. Reviewed by:
Steven Botterill, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 371-372.
La Gloriosa Donna de la Mente: A Commentary on the “Vita Nuova.” Edited by Vincent Moleta. Firenze: Olschki / Perth: University of Western Australia, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 217.) Reviewed by:
Christian Moevs, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 372-374.
Hollander, Robert. Dante’s Epistle to Cangrande. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993. (See Dante Studies, CXII, 314.) Reviewed by:
Alessandro Vettori, in Speculum, LXXII, No. 3 (July, 1997), 836-837.
Holloway, Julia Bolton. Twice-Told Tales. Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri. New York: Peter Lang, 1993. (See Dante Studies, CXII, 315-316.) Reviewed by:
Gloria Allaire, in Annali d’italianistica, XV (1997), 369-371.
Kay, Richard. Dante’s Christian Astrology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 220-221.) Reviewed by:
Robert M. Durling, in Speculum, LXXII, No. 1 (January, 1997), 185-187.
Kleiner, John. Mismapping the Underworld: Daring and Error in Dante’s “Comedy.” Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 222.) Reviewed by:
Steven Botterill, in Medium Aevum, LXVI, No. 1 (1997), 154;
Davide Papotti, in Lectura Dantis, XX-XXI (Spring-Fall, 1997), 101-103;
Scott D. Westrem, in Speculum, LXXII, No. 2 (April, 1997), 511-513.
Land, Norman E. The Viewer as Poet: The Renaissance Response to Art. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 223.) Reviewed by:
Laura Camille Agoston, in Renaissance Quarterly, L, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 940-941.
Lectura Dantis, XIV-XV (1994). Reviewed by:
Roberto Carnero, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, No. 1 (1997), 217-218.
Lectura Dantis, XVIII-XIX (1996). Reviewed by:
M[auro] C[ursietti], in L’Alighieri, XXXVIII, No. 9 n.s. (gennaio-giugno, 1997), 126.
Literary History and the Challenge of Philology: The Legacy of Erich Auerbach. Edited by Seth Lerer. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1996. Reviewed by:
Willis G. Regier, in Modern Language Notes, CXII, No. 4 (September, 1997), 702-705.
Miller, Edward G. Sense Perception in Dante’s “Commedia.” Lewiston, New York-Queenston-Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1996. (See Dante Studies, CXV, 291-292.) Reviewed by:
Roberto Carnero, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, CI, Nos. 2-3 (1997), 215.
Nassar, Eugene Paul. Illustrations to Dante’s “Inferno.” Rutherford-Madison-Teaneck, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1994. (See Dante Studies, CXIII, 226.) Reviewed by:
Rachel Jacoff, in Speculum, LXXII, No. 2 (April, 1997), 540-541.
Palma di Cesnola, Maurizio. Semiotica dantesca. Profetismo e diacronia. Ravenna: Longo, 1995. Reviewed by:
Giuliana Carugati, in Italica, LXXIV, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 414-415.
Pite, Ralph. The Circle of Our Vision: Dante’s Presence in English Romantic Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Reviewed by:
Ray Fleming, in Comparative Literature Studies, XXXIV, No. 1 (1997), 88-92.
Quinones, Ricardo J. Foundation Sacrifice in Dante’s “Commedia.” University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994. Reviewed by:
Ronald L. Martinez, in Speculum, LXXII, No. 2 (April, 1997), 551-553.
Schmidt, Gary D. The Iconography of the Mouth of Hell: Eighth-Century Britain to the Fifteenth Century. Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania: Susquehanna University Press, 1995. Reviewed by:
Thomas H. Ohlgren, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 96, No. 3 (1997), 434-37.
Sodi, Risa. A Dante of Our Time: Primo Levi and Auschwitz. New York: Peter Lang, 1990. Reviewed by:
Paola Sica, in Italian Quarterly, XXXIV, Nos. 133-134 (Summer-Fall, 1997), 116-119.
Stapleton, M. L. Harmful Eloquence: Ovid’s “Amores” from Antiquity to Shakespeare. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996. (See below under ADDENDA: Studies.) Reviewed by:
Craig Kallendorf, in Renaissance Quarterly, L, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), 869-871.
Staten, Henry. Eros in Mourning: Homer to Lacan. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. Reviewed by:
Helen Regueiro Elam, in Modern Language Notes, CXII, No. 5 (1997), 980-986.
Staüble, Antonio. Le sirene eterne. Studi sull’eredità classica e biblica nella letteratura italiana. Ravenna: Longo, 1996. Reviewed by:
A[ntonio] F[ranceschetti], in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 1 (1997), 154.
Teskey, Gordon. Allegory and Violence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996. Reviewed by:
Judith H. Anderson, Arthuriana, 7, No. 4 (Winter, 1997), 125-128;
Michael F. N. Dixon, University of Toronto Quarterly, 67, No. 1 (1997-98), 144-145.
Treip, Mindele Anne. Allegorical Poetics and the Epic: The Renaissance Tradition to “Paradise Lost.” Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1994. Reviewed by:
Anthony C. Yu, in Comparative Literature, XLIX, No. 3 (Summer, 1997), 276-279.
Tripodi, Vincenzo. L’umile Italia in Dante Alighieri. Potomac, Maryland: Scripta Humanistica, 1995. (See Dante Studies, CXIV, 338-339.) Reviewed by:
M[ario] M[arti], in Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, CLXXIV, (1997), 148.
Wallace, David. Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1997. (See above under Studies.) Reviewed by:
Angus Somerville, in Quaderni d’italianistica, XVIII, No. 2 (autunno, 1997), 283-285.
Watkins, John. The Specter of Dido: Spenser and Virgilian Epic. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1995. Reviewed by:
Colin Burrow, in Modern Philology, XCV, No. 1 (August, 1997), 103-106
Heather James, in Comparative Literature, XLIX, No. 1 (Winter, 1997), 90-94.