American Dante Bibliography for 1978

Anthony L. Pellegrini

This bibliography is intended to include the Dante translations published in this country in 1978 and all Dante studies and reviews published in 1978 that are in any sense American. The latter criterion is construed to include foreign reviews of American publications pertaining to Dante. 



The Divine Comedy. Translated by Charles Eliot Norton; with the illustrations of William Blake. A limited edition. Franklin Center, Penn.: Franklin Library, 1978. 409 p. illus. (The Great Books of the Western World.) 

The well known Norton version in prose, which has gone through many editions, is here reprinted from that copyrighted in 1952, with an added insertion of “Notes from the editors.”

The Portable Dante. Edited, and with an introduction, by Paolo Milano. Revised edition. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978. xii, 662 p. (The Viking Library.) 

British edition of the work, originally published in the revised edition with updated “Bibliographical Note” by Sergio Pacifici, of 1968 (Nev York: Viking Press). (See Dante Studies, LXXXVII, 153-154.)



Aliberti, Domenico B. “F. Imperial imitatore di Dante Alighieri.” In La Fusta, III, No. 2 (Fall 1978), 26-44.

Reviews the major critical opinions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on the early fifteenth-century Spanish poet Francisco Imperial’s indebtedness to Dante, particularly in the allegorical poem, Desir à las syete virtudes (1407), and concludes that because of the conflicting views, it is difficult to form an objective judgment, but there can be no doubt that he initiated the interest in Dante in Castille and paved the way for more famous Spanish poets to follow.

Apfelbaum, Barbra. “Dante’s Self Exegesis in Convivio II: The Poetics of the Ineffable.” In Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 11-25.          

Offers a reading of Dante’s prose explanation of the first canzone, Voi che ’ntendendo il terzo ciel movete, in the Convivio, which is seen to mark an important transformation of Dante’s poetry from the lyrical to the philosophical and therefore a step towards the mode of the Commedia. “The canzone has a cerebral quality which is unlike anything found in the preceding medieval poetic tradition.” It evokes a “mysterious” feeling that transports us beyond the atmosphere of the Vita Nuova to the ineffable. In conclusion, the author submits that Dante’s Donna Gentile should be identified not just as Philosophy, but Poetry, his new poetry, which subsumes philosophy, as initiated by this canzone.

Baldassaro, Lawrence. “Inferno XII: The Irony of Descent.” in Romance Notes, XIX (1978), 98-103. 

Contends that irony is the dominant theme of the canto as evinced by the several allusions—to the universe feeling amor, with its indirect reference to Christ’s descent and the landslide (vv. 34-43), to Beatrice’s descent to Limbo (vv. 85-89), and to Dante’s own descent into Hell—all contrasting with the sinners’ violence who descended to the beast and must remain eternally condemned to this place of damnation, for in the cases of Christ Beatrice, and Dante the act of descent is but prelude to ascent.

Beall, Chandler B. “Dante’s Mission.” In Comparative Literature Studies, XV (1978), 2-16.

Points out that, after his protestations of modesty at the start of his journey, “Ma io, perché venirvi? o chi ’l concede?” (Inf. II, 31), Dante as pilgrim receives an answer to the second question but not to the first, which has importantly to do with his personal qualifications for and the precise nature of the mission. Citing chapter XXVIII of the Vita Nuova, Professor Beall suggests that in the Commedia too it is part of the poet’s strategy here to avoid seeming to praise himself. Rather, the mission gradually becomes clear to the pilgrim and to the reader as the action of the poem progresses, with hints and suggestions supplied along the way. In particular, Dante’s professional credentials as a poet are discreetly established by his reception among the poets of antiquity in Inferno IV. Among other episodes that significantly help define Dante’s mission as pilgrim—to re-enact Aeneas’s descent into the underworld and St. Paul’s ascent into heaven, to observe closely and store in the memory all that he saw, and finally to recall and record in poetry the whole experience for the edification of others—are the episode of Sordello (Purg. VI), which includes the poet’s apostrophe of scathing invective regarding strife-torn Italy, and the episodes of Cacciaguida (Par. XVII) and of St. Peter (Par. XXVII), in which Dante is urged to tell all, sparing no one. Finally, it is clear the poet-protagonist of the journey sought with this poem to justify himself as a concerned citizen and Christian and to win recognition as a poeta.

Berrigan, Daniel. [Untitled.] In Commonweal, CV (8 Dec. 1978), 790-791. (Under “Books: Critics’ Christmas Choices.”)

Comments briefly on the parlous state of today’s world and on his own search for the “truthful image of God, of ourselves, of history,” which he has found in Dante’s Purgatorio. (Note, Father Berrigan is working on a free translation of Dante’s poem.)

Boitani, Piero. “The Sibyl’s Leaves: A Study of Paradiso XXXIII.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 83-126. 

Presents a detailed lectura Dantis of the final canto of the Commedia interpreting synthetically and in depth its structural and rhetorical form, the essential images and analogies, and the way the philosophico-theological bases and Scriptural and exegetical allusions are here intensely concentrated and transformed into poetry. In particular, the author shows how, in the struggle to define his ultimate vision of God per intelligibiles processiones and to describe Him per sensibiles similitudines, the poet skillfully resorts to the language of metaphor, such that the entire canto is seen as “an explosion of metaphors.”

Bosco, Umberto. “Il canto VIII del Paradiso.” In The Two Hesperias: Literary Studies in Honor of Joseph G. Fucilla on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday, edited by Americo Bugliani (Madrid: Ediciones José Porrúa Turanzas, 1978), pp. 89-100. (Studia humanitatis, 8, The Catholic University of America.) 

Presents a brief lectura Dantis focused on the Carlo Martello episode in Paradiso VIII.

Bregy, Katherine. From Dante to Jeanne d’Arc: Adventures in Medieval Life and Letters. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978. xiii, 138 p.

Contains a general essay on Dante’s life and work entitled “Dante’s Dream of Life” (pp. 1-17), which originally appeared as “Dante and His Vision of Life” in Commonweal, V (1927), 568-572. (It was awarded the 1927 Leahy Prize for the best essay on Dante.) The volume is a reprint of the 1933 edition (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company); for another recent reprint (1964), see 83rd Report, 51.

Brownlee, Kevin. “Dante and Narcissus (Purg. XXX, 76-99).” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 201-206.  

Sees in Purgatorio XXX, 99, an implicit presentation of Dante as a “corrected” Narcissus through the poet’s reworking of two passages in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, III (418-419 and 487-490). This, along with other Narcissan allusions in the Comedy, evinces increased importance of Ovid from this point in the poem as part of Dante’s continuing valorization of classical poetry within his Christian poem.

Caliendo, Philip Martin. “Dante and the Dance of Heaven.” In La Fusta, III, No. 2 (Fall 1978), 9-25.

Contends that Dante’s over twenty references to dancing (mostly in the Paradiso), far from being largely ornamental, are truly substantive, reflecting a long tradition of the dance as a means of expression based on primitive psychology and religious ritual, indeed as the supreme manifestation of physical life and the ultimate symbol of spiritual life. The author cites a significant Scriptural reference to dancing (Matt. II: 17) and three probable medieval sources for the poet’s expressive use of the dance—the booklet Dieta Saltis (of uncertain authorship), the School of St. Victor, and St. Thomas Aquinas on the nature of Act.

Cassell, Anthony K. “‘Mostrando con le poppe il petto’ (Purg. XXIII, 102).” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 75-81.  

Finds a solution to the crux of the obscure interdict cited by Dante in Purgatorio XXIII, 98-111, in a spiritual commandment included in the ecclesiastical Constitutions of Florence of 1310 drawn up by Bishop Antonio d’Orso Biliotti and approved by the Synod. The pertinent text, reproduced here from the provisions “De consuetudine,” explicitly requires that women’s dress reveal nothing below the neck.

Cervigni, Dino S. “A Survey of American and Canadian Dissertations in Italian and Italian-Related Subjects (1971-1977).” In Italica, LV (1978), 36-67. 

Lists 44 items on Dante in this supplement to Remigio Pane’s “Studi danteschi: A Bibliography of Doctoral Dissertations, 1896-1976,” in La fusta, II (1977), 104-126.

Chiarenza, Marguerite Mills. “The Singleton Paradiso. In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 207-212.

Review-article on The Divine Comedy, translated, with a commentary, by Charles S. Singleton, [III.] Paradiso . . . Bollingen Series, LXXX (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975, 2 v.). (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 155-156.)

Cioffari, Vincenzo. “Replica ad una recensione.” In Studi medievali, 3a Serie, XIX, Fasc. (1978), 760-762.

Riposte to a review by Giuseppe Billanovich in Studi medievali, 3a Serie, XVII, Fasc. I (1976), 254-262, of his edition of Guido da Pisa, Expositiones et glose super Comediam Dantis. . . (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1974). (See Dante Studies, XCII, 223-224; extensively reviewed.)

Della Terza, Dante. “Il canto di Brunetto Latini.” In Orbis Mediaevalis: mélanges de langue et de littérature médiévales offerts à Reto Raduolf Bezzola à l’occasion de son quatre-vingtième anniversaire, edited by Georges Güntert, Marc-René Jung, and Kurt Ringger (Berne: Francke Verlag, 1978), pp. 69-88.

Offers a reading of Inferno, XV, stressing the poet’s artistic strategy of scenographically building up to the pilgrim’s dramatic encounter with Brunetto, the allusive language reflective of Brunetto’s own cultural idiom in the Trésor and Tesoretto, the overt and underlying theme of exile, and, whatever the merits of Pézard’s interpretation of the sin punished here, the effective association of Brunetto with the sodomites, thus reducing the once venerable figure of Dante’s former master to his present state of degradation. The essay has been reprinted in the author’s collection, Forma e memoria: saggi e ricerche sulla tradizione letteraria da Dante a Vico (Roma: Bulzoni, 1979), pp. 13-39 (see above, main section, under Studies).

DiOrio, Dorothy M. “Dante’s Condemnation of Usury.” In Re: Artes Liberales, V, No. 1 (1978), 17-25.

Outlines briefly the concept of usury as it evolved through biblical, patristic, ecclesiastical, and Scholastic teachings and is reflected in Dante’s poem (Inf. XI, 94-111), which appeared at a time when ecclesiastical interpretations and decrees regarding the gravity of usury were at their height. Dante’s classification of usury with sodomy is attributable to the influence of Aristotle who considered usury unnatural, a “gain against nature,” and to Scholastic theories, which through a mistranslation of the Greek led to St. Thomas Aquinas’ Scholastic view of usury as contrary to natural justice. The author concludes that Dante’s aristocratic status and lack of understanding of practical commerce led him to condemn Cahors and usury so harshly in Inferno XI and XVII on the basis of contemporary theoretical principles.

Di Scipio, Giuseppe Carlo. “The Symbolic Rose in Dante’s Paradiso.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVIII (1978), 4804A. 

Doctoral dissertation, City University of New York, 1977. 207 p.

Fergusson, Francis. “Poetry and Drama.” In Symbolism and Modern Literature: Studies in Honor of Wallace Fowlie, edited by Marcel Tetel (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1978), pp. 13-25. 

Includes a discussion of Dante and specifically the example of his ode, Amor, che nella mente mi ragiona,, as well as a few passages in the Commedia, in this disquisition on the mimetic nature of poetry, poetry as “imitation of a contemplative action.” (Other examples cited are a choral ode from Sophocles’ Antigone, a lyric passage from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, and T. S. Eliot’s “Gerontion.”)

Ferrante, Joan M. “Florence and Rome, The Two Cities of Man in The Divine Comedy.” In The Early Renaissance [edited by Aldo S. Bernardo]; Acta [Proceedings of SUNY Regional Conferences in Medieval Studies], Vol. V, 1978 (The Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton), pp. 1-19.

Shows that two cities serve as models of good and evil for human life on earth informing the imagery with respect to Paradise and Hell in Dante’s Comedy. Rome, as symbol of ideal empire, and Florence, as symbol of its Corrupt opposite, respectively are the poet’s recurrent and contrasting images for the two eternal realms, in keeping with his assessment of the historical scene.

Gardner, Helen. The Composition of “Four Quartets.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. (Also, London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1977.) viii, 239 p.

Contains an account (pp. 171-196) of Eliot’s struggles in composing Part II of “Little Gidding” as a Dantesque imitation. (For a review, see above, main section, under Reviews; also, under Studies, Litz, A. Walton.)

Girard, Rene. “To Double Business Bound”: Essays on Literature, Mimesis, and Anthropology. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 1978. xvi, 229 p.

Contains an essay on “The Mimetic Desire of Paolo and Francesca (pp. 1-8), originally published in French with the title, “De La Divine Comédie à la sociologie du roman,” in Revue de l’Institut de Sociologie (Brussels), No. 2 (1963), 263-269 (see Dante Studies, LXXXVII, 182-183, and subsequently reprinted in English as “From The Divine Comedy to the Sociology of the Novel,” in Sociology of Literature and Drama, edited by Elizabeth Burns and Tom Burns (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1973), pp. 101-108.

Goodheart, Eugene. The Failure of Criticism. Cambridge, Mass.; London, Eng.: Harvard University Press, 1978. 203 p.

Contains a chapter on “The Blasphemy of Joycean Art” (pp. 158-174 and 194-196), which focuses on James Joyce’s conceiving of his aesthetic as a rival to Catholic theology and dwells on his exilic condition likened to that of Dante, the pilgrim poet who was the touchstone for his artist-hero, Stephen Dedalus.

Heilbronn, Denise. “‘Io pur sorrisi’: Dante’s Lesson on the Passions (Purg. XXI, 94-136).” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 67-14. 

Comments on Dante’s treatment of the passions in this episode, reflecting the medieval understanding that in the soul-body relation they reside in the involuntary sensitive appetite, independent of the will which is subject to reason. When Statius attempts, out of love, admiration, and deference, to embrace Virgil at the feet, the latter can utter the moral precept reflecting the impossibility of the act in light of their present disparity of spiritual condition, now acting as individual to individual. The embrace at the beginning of the canto was possible as an act expressing brotherhood, which also serves as a tangible instance of the shade mythically made to act as if bodily to anticipate the “scientific” explanation found in Purgatorio XXV.

Herzman, Ronald B., and William A. Stephany. “‘O miseri seguaci’: Sacramental Inversion in Inferno XIX.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 39-65. 

To this canto on which Dante so proudly lavished his poetic artistry, the authors apply a close reading to reveal the manifold ways that the poet “weaves details from canonical and apocryphal scriptures, from iconography, and from sacramental theology and ritual into an indictment of the contemporary Papacy . . . in its failure to live up to the standards expected of the followers of Peter.” In every allusion and analogy utilized by the poet the leitmotiv is, of course, that of inversion. The questions of why Dante singled out this canto to exclaim so admiringly over God’s—Dante’s—art and judgment (vv. 10-12) and how he can claim the right to criticize the spiritual leaders of his time are also answered: the poet will have Marco Lombardo (Purg. XVI, 97-129) single out the very spiritual leaders as most responsible for the world’s failure to reflect the divine harmony, and certainly the situation is the worst under simoniac popes; and the poet’s authorization for assuming a priestly posture in the canto comes from Scripture in I Peter 2:4-5, and from the Commedia itself, in Peter’s concluding speech in the Paradiso (XXVII, 64-66). As for the principal figure encountered in the canto, a strong analogy is drawn between Nicholas III and the archetypal simoniac, Judas Iscariot.

Hollander, Robert. “The Rod of Tiresias: Dante’s Metamorphosis of Ovid (Inferno XX, 44).” In The Early Renaissance [edited by Aldo S. Bernardo]; Acta [Proceedings of SUNY Regional Conferences in Medieval Studies], Vol. V, 1978 (The Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton), pp. 21-33. 

Excerpts from a longer study in progress a discussion of Dante’s deliberate use of the term verga for Tiresias’ magic wand in Inferno XX, 44, relating it to Mercury’s caduceus and Circe’s wand, as well as to uses of virga and variant terms (e.g., baculum) in other classical sources, especially in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Virgil’s Aeneid. Tiresias’ verga here contrasts with the poet’s use of the heavenly messenger’s verghetta in Inferno IX, 89, and the “pastoral” verga associated with the poets Virgil and Statius in Purgatorio XXVII, 80. Dante’s peculiar use of the term in a brilliant conflation of elements and allusions in Inferno XX is seen to represent a deliberate and skillful misreading of the classical texts in order to soften Ovid’s and Virgil’s explicit belief in augury and to incorporate these classical sources skillfully in the Christian context of the Comedy.

Holloway, Julia Bolton. “Dante’s Commedia: Egyptian Spoils, Roman Jubilee, Florence’s Patron.” In Studies in Medieval Culture, XII (1978), 97-104.

Reviews the peregrinations of the Ark and its treasures, including the Egyptian gold taken by the Israelites and refashioned in various ways-treasures that were believed in the Middle Ages to be ultimately enshrined in the Sancta Sanctorum of the papal basilica, St. John Lateran. The items remaining after the basilica’s destruction, viz., Aaron’s rod, the manna, and Tables of the Law were not lost until the Sack of Rome (1527). The author cites several ways in which Dante incorporated these various elements, along with the Arch of Titus (called arcus cum arca by the medieval Romans), their history, and significance into the Commedia. The poem, set in the Jubilee year, 1300, transforms Rome into a new Jerusalem, making use of the ark and the arch. Florence, in turn, is seen to mirror Rome; Virgil is the ancient prophet who guides the pilgrim and, in the guise of John the Baptist (patron saint of Florence), baptizes him according to the New Law on Purgatory’s shore. The Lateran, then, referred to as a “tempio” by the poet, is a key figure in the Commedia. As Florence’s prophet, Dante in the Wilderness of his exile acts in the guise of a false Aaron, then a Moses, then a St. John the Baptist, and eventually a Christ figure on his poetic pilgrimage. In Egyptian gold (which like poetry too, can be fashioned for good or ill), Dante found an apt image for pilgrimage metamorphosis and conversion and, mapping its historical and geographical peregrinations. he links Jerusalem, Rome, and Florence.

Holoka, James P. “Lover and Beloved in La Vita Nuova 3 and Purgatorio 9.” In Classical Folia, XXXII, No. 1 (1978), 93-98.

Citing resemblances in phrasing and disposition of the principals, the author contends that Dante refashioned the visione of Love bearing Beatrice aloft before the Lover in Vita Nuova III for the dream sequence of the Eagle bearing the sleeping Wayfarer aloft in Purgatorio IX.

Hope, T. E. “Gallicisms in Dante’s Divina Commedia: A Stylistic Problem?” In Studies in Medieval Literature and Languages in Memory of Frederick Whitehead, edited by W. Rothwell [et al.] (Manchester, Eng.: Manchester University Press; New York: Barnes and Noble, 1978), pp. 153-172. 

A new reprint of the volume, originally published in 1973 (see Dante Studies, XCIII, 250-251).

Iannucci, Amilcare A. “The Nino Visconti Episode in Purgatorio VIII 43-84).” In La Fusta, III, No. 2 (Fall 1978), 1-8.

Contends that beyond its biographical interest, the Nino Visconti episode should be seen as a little sacra rappresentazione through which the individual experience rises to universal significance. In the Eden-like setting reminiscent of Genesis 3, the episode liturgically recreates the central drama of salvation—the reversal of the Fall—reflected in Nino’s personal drama in which his daughter represents Mary and his former wife, Eve, in their effect on his spiritual well-being. The symbolic significance of the two armorial emblems of the two branches of the Visconti family involved here in Nino’s story and other reinforcing details, along with the general setting, all serve to reinforce this instance (among so many in the Commedia) of personal and universal history mutually reflecting each other.

Kamber, Gerald. “The Dantean Sources of Gautier’s ‘Affinités secrètes.”‘ In La Fusta, III, No. I (Spring 1978), 3-28.

Traces a number of Dantean echoes, analogies, and parallels (e.g., from Inf. V and XXV) found in Théophile Gautier’s opening poem to the Emaux et camées “Affinités secrètes,” which reflects the stilnovistic neo-Platonism he could, with his Italianate interest, have known through Dante’s Commedia.

Kay, Richard. “Dante’s Double Damnation of Manto.” In Res Publica Litterarum, I (1978), 113-128. 

Offers a solution to the apparent contradiction in Dante’s locating Manto of Thebes, daughter of Tiresias, in two different circles of Hell, according to the references to her in Inferno XX, 52-102, and Purgatorio XXII, 109-114. In the general context of the Comedy Dante is seen to distinguish two figures of Manto, the one historical according to Virgil’s “true” account of the founding of Mantua (Inf. XX), the other poetical as presented by Statius in the Thebaid, where she is a virtuous family-centered virgin only passively assisting her father in his priestly office and never actively abusing her prophetic powers. It follows that the careful craftsman Dante was not guilty of an oversight by placing Manto both in the Noble Castle of Limbo and among the fraudulent diviners. Professor Kay concludes that the double mention of Manto was intentional for leading the reader on to discovery. In Dante’s poem, the “Manto principle” accommodates real historical persons and literary characters created by particular authors, all of them, however, whether historical or fictional, subject to a common moral code. Thus, Dante chose Manto to exemplify his view that the moral rules govern literature as well as life.

Kay, Richard. Dante’s Swift and Strong. Essays on Inferno XV. Lawrence: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1978. xx, 446 p. 

Challenges the traditional literal interpretation of the sinners in Inferno XV with the question: “How can sodomy account for the division of the sinners into two mutually exclusive bands?” and, from a close reading of the text in the light of other of Dante’s writings, Scripture and its exegetes, and the histories of the sinners identified in the canto, concludes that sacrilege is the sin common to both the “swift,” i.e., scholars and clerics who pursued vain professional ends, and the “strong,” i.e., politicians who vied for misguided power—all apparently innocent of sexual perversion in life, but guilty in their caecitas mentis of the violation, perversion, or rejection of divine or natural law. Evidence is further adduced for construing Sodom as a complex Biblical image of crimes against nature, of which the sexual is merely one and specifically punished by Dante under the general sin of lust. Contents: (1) The Sin of Brunetto Latini; (2) Natural Grammar and Priscian’s Perversity; (3) Francesco d’Accorso, the Unnatural Lawyer; (4) The Pastoral Misrule of Bishop Mozzi; (5) “Dal servo de servi fu transmutato”; (6) The Swift and the Strong; (7) Nomina sunt consequentia rerum; (8) The Image of Sodom: Old Testament; (9) The Image of Sodom: New Testament; (10) The Sin of the Runners. The work comes with a Preface, List of Abbreviations, Notes, List of Works Cited, Indices of Citations, and General Index. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 are somewhat revised from their original versions published in 1969, 1974, and 1972, respectively (see Dante Studies, LXXXVIII, 186, XCIV, 190-191, and XCI, 171-172). (For reviews, see below, under Reviews.)

Kay, Richard. “The Pope’s Wife: Allegory as Allegation in Inferno 19. 106-111. In Studies in Medieval Culture, XII (1978), 105-111.

Relates the passage in question, with its apocalyptic imagery drawn from Scripture to the transformation scene of the car bearing Beatrice in the mystical procession at the top of Purgatory, and contends that Dante allegory conceals two allegations through which the poet makes clear the Roman Church was corrupt since the time of Pope Sylvester I when she became rich and claimed special privilege for its clergy, a claim that was possible only so long as the pope himself was virtuous. Supporting the allegory of the pope’s wife and the “seven heads” (v. 109) is a reference to seven witnesses cited in Gratian’s collection of ecclesiastical law, in turn supported by Guido da Pisa’s later interpretation of the passage about the whoring image of the Church. The “ten horns” (v. 110) are seen as biblical reference, viz., to the tenth chapter of a book of Kings, justifying the placement hierarchically of one church over the others.

Kirkpatrick, Robin. Dante’s “Paradiso” and the Limitations of Modern Criticism: A Study of Style and Poetic Theory. Cambridge-London-New York-Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1978. xi, 227p.

Reacting against such modern critics as Croce and Eliot and their followers for what he sees as a deficient and unsatisfactory analysis and appreciation of Dante’s very special poetic achievement in the Paradiso, the author is concerned here not only with the altered style, indeed the “change . . . in the very fabric” of Dante’s poetic utterance in the transition from the first two canticles to the last, but also necessarily with the theoretical ground of literary criticism. Addressed specifically are the psychology, form, a truthfulness of poetry in order to investigate and define the principles the poet’s art in the cantica. Contents: Introduction; I. The ‘modest voice’ and the Paradiso; 2. Dante’s conception of poetic discipline; 3. The stable phrase; 4. Independence and the reader of the Paradiso; 5. Word and image in the Paradiso; 6. The organization of the canto in the Paradiso; Conclusion. The work comes equipped with Preface, Acknowledgements, Abbreviations, Note on the Translations, Notes, Select Bibliography, Cantos of the Commedia Cited in the Text, Index of Names, and Index of Topics. (For reviews, see above, main section, under Reviews and see below.

Kleinhenz, Christopher. “Giacomo da Lentini and Dante: The Early Italian Sonnet Tradition in Perspective.” In Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, VIII (1978), 217-234. 

Re-examines the origins of the sonnet form, analyzes several sonnets of Giacomo da Lentini, and suggests a re-evaluation of this rich metric genre, particularly in the light of Dante’s adverse judgment of the form, as expressed in the De vulgari eloquentia.

Kleinhenz, Christopher. “Petrarch and the Art of the Sonnet.” In Francis Petrarch, Six Centuries Later: A Symposium, edited by Aldo Scaglione (Chapel Hill: Department of Romance Languages, University of North Carolina; Chicago: The Newberry Library, 1975), pp. 177-191.

Includes a discussion of Di donne io vidi una gentile schiera as an example of Dante’s characteristic expansion of the personal context to embrace the universal—a major contribution to the art of the sonnet, which Petrarch perfected.

Levine, Herbert J. “Yeats at the Crossroads: The Debate of Self and Anti-self in ‘Ego dominus Tuus.’” In Modern Language Quarterly, XXXIX, No. 2 (June 1978), 132-153.

Includes reference to the influence of Dante’s inspirational relationship to Beatrice in an analysis of Yeats’s struggle between his Hic and Ille, self and anti-self, while attempting to reconcile the mortal and immortal aspects of being as reflected in his poem, ‘Ego Dominus Tuus.”‘

Lobner, Corinna del Greco. “The Metaphysics of Brunetto’s Basilisk in ‘Scylla and Charybdis.”‘ In James Joyce Quarterly, XV (1978), 134-137.

Contends that in borrowing the figure of the basilisk from Brunetto Latini’s Li Livre dou tresor, but adapted to his own peculiar manner, in “Scylla and Charybdis,” Joyce sought to evince his skill with language in token of surpassing his teacher, viewed here in the context of the episode in Inferno XV, thus following the example of Dante himself, whom he admired as his intellectual father.

Manca, Marie Antoinette. Harmony and the Poet: The Creative Ordering of Reality. The Hague, Paris, and New York: Mouton Publishers, 1978. 197 p. (De proprietatibus litterarum: Series maior, 4.)

Contains a chapter on Dante (pp. 31-70), treating a number of representative episodes in the three cantiche of the Comedy, in which the poet is seen as seeking the complete reconciliation of opposites on a transcendental and mystical plane in a vision of absolute synthesis and unity. This is in the context of the book’s general theme of “harmony” examined in six poets — Dante, Shakespeare, Rimbaud, Walt Whitman, Rene Char, and Hart Crane — according to two basic modes of Harmony, the “Platonic absolute mode and the Heraclitan relativistic mode” of considering reality. Contents: Introduction: Remarks on Critical method; Part One: Chapter I. Harmony: The Two Major Modes; Part Two: II. Justice, Piety, and the Dantean Quest, III. The Endless Jar; Part Three: IV. Whitman’s “Fang’d and Glittering One,” V. The Disinherited Quest: Arthur Rimbaud, VI. The Harmonious Vision of Song, VII. Hart Crane: The Bridge; Selected Bibliography; Index. (For a review, see below, under Reviews.)

Mannocchi, Phyllis Frances. “Songs of Love for Midons and Madonna: The Role of the Beloved in the Lyrics of Four Early Troubadours, Dante, and Petrarca.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXIX (1978), 2238A. 

Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1978. 307 p. (Includes an analysis of Beatrice’s role in the three movements of love in the Vita Nuova.)

Marchione, Sister Margherita. “Dante and the American Way.” In The Old Century and the New: Essays in Honor of Charles Angoff, edited by Alfred Rosa (Rutherford, Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1978), pp. 207-225.

Observes that Dante, as evinced by his Commedia and Monarchia, would have heartily subscribed to such ideals and principles as justice for all, the inalienable rights of the individual, respect for the dignity of the human person, and freedom, on which the spiritual fabric of America is based.

Martinez, Ronald Lorenson. “Dante, Statius, and the Earthly City.’ In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXVIII (1978), 6707A-6708A. 

Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1977. 410 p. (Examines Dante’s concept of the earthly city as he applied it to the Thebaid and the Inferno as the key to his understanding of Statius’ Christianity.)

Milani, Virgil I. “An Anachronism in Dante’s Inferno.” In Linguistics, No. 203 (Jan. 1978), 51-53.

Speculates on how Virgil might possibly have known the Lombard dialect attributed to him in Inferno, XXVII, 19-21, when Lombardy did not exist until six hundred years after his lifetime, and concludes that, given Dante’s usual accuracy, such anachronisms belong to the realm of poetic license.

Moleta, Vincent. “The Vita Nuova as a Lyric Narrative.” In Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 369-390. 

Reads the first seventeen chapters of the Vita Nuova as the establishment by Dante of what had not been successfully achieved before: the linking of previously composed disparate lyrics into an organic narrative line, establishing an identity of poet/author and love persona. In so doing, Dante is seen to progress from the Provençalizing style acquired through Guittone d’Arezzo to the tragic style of Guido Cavalcanti to the “sweet new style” that was his own. Also, a progression is seen from the narrative line ordered upon the series of sonnets, rationalized and maintained by the prose passages, to an increasingly nobler lyric mode through the introduction of the ballata form and to the first canzone. Finally, the author suggests that Dante’s mastery of biographical lyric narrative achieved in the Vita Nuova may provide a better interpretation of the variously explained crux of “I’ mi son un...” in Purgatorio XXIV, 49-54.

Montale, Eugenio. “Dante, Yesterday and Today.” In Canto, II, No. 3 (Fall 1978), 75-94.

Offers a comprehensive, thoughtful over-view of Dante and his works from the standpoint of a modern poet and, on the question of what Dante means for a poet of today, concludes that “the Commedia will remain the last miracle of world poetry,” that, tempting as the notion continues to be, he can never be imitated successfully, especially now that the cultural and spiritual conditions have so changed in the world. Montale points out that, interestingly, the more distant Dante’s world becomes the greater our desire to know and understand him. (This address, translated here by Jonathan Galassi, was “delivered 24 April 1965 at the International Congress of Dante Studies held in Florence in honor of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s birth.”)

Musa, Mark. “Virgil’s Ulysses and Ulysses’ Diomedes.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 187-194.  

Rejecting the usual interpretation of Virgil’s insistence on speaking for Dante in Inferno XXVI, the author recalls the merely pejorative treatment of Ulysses in the Aeneid (the Greek hero is treated favorably in Statius’ Achilleid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, both known to Dante) and denies any mindreading by Virgil concerning the Pilgrim’s specific question for Ulysses rather, he construes Virgil’s action as an attempt to dictate the theme of Ulysses’ words. In addition, the canto’s indirect references to the unseen Diomedes indicate that he was present on Ulysses’ last voyage and is now listening to Ulysses’ account and remembering and re-living that fatal end, thus providing further enrichment to the episode as presented by Dante here.

Mussetter, Sally A.Inferno XXX: Dante’s Counterfeit Adam.” In Traditio, XXXIV (1978), 427-435.

Construes the figure of Master Adam, beyond his identification with Adam of Brescia, as an analogue of the Old Adam, devoid of spirituality, unredeemed, and nostalgic for the Edenic paradise from which he has fallen—an interpretation sustained by Dante’s complex contrasting of the literal and the spiritual reading of signs. In his spiritual blindness, for example, Master Adam can only harp on water in its physicality rather than as a spiritual sign, and he himself has physically assumed the hydroptic shape of the alembic, instrument of the falsifying alchemist’s art. Even his falsifying of the coinage represents a perversion of the coin as God’s traditional sign of the soul to be redeemed, while the three carats of dross that Adam added to the symbolic coin suggest a trinitarian violation of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost “reflected in the soul of man as the created image reflects its Exemplar.”

Nemerov, Howard. Figures of Thought: Speculations on the Meaning of Poetry and Other Essays. Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, 1978. 198 p. illus. 

Contains an essay on “The Dream of Dante” (pp. 71-84), reprinted from Prose, No. 9(1974), 113-133. (See Dante Studies, XCV, 185.) For a review, see below, under Reviews.

Nevin, Thomas. “Ser Brunetto’s Immortality: Inferno XV.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 21-37. 

Examines the significance of the Brunetto episode, focusing on the character of the bond between former master and student Dante and the latter’s debt to Brunetto in relation to Brunetto’s damnation to the seventh circle. Building upon André Pézard’s thesis that Brunetto’s sin against nature is to be taken figuratively, the author contends that in his works Dante’s old teacher manifests a vision limited to philosophical allegory and lacks the eschatalogical imperative of his Christian faith. Lacking in Spiritual vision and guilty of cupidity, his will could never be consonant with the will of God. His condition is set in relief by Dante’s own confession of errancy in Purgatorio XXX-XXXI. In sum, Brunetto manifestly was not intellectually a Christian poet, for all the words of his prophecy to the Pilgrim and the poet’s imagery in the canto point to a man of circumscribed vision that conceived of immortality in time- and earth-bound terms. A man of intellect, his is the sterility of a mind misdirected away from its only possible fruition in its natural home in God. Hence his location among the blasphemers and usurers.

Pellegrini, Anthony L. “American Dante Bibliography for 1977.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 213-255. 

With brief analyses.

Priest, Paul. “Allegory and Reality in the Commedia. In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 127-144. 

Contends that the Comedy is an allegory of poets, but that as a poetic fiction it also serves the purposes of the allegory of theologians, since by referring to a figuratively structured reality Dante’s poetic fiction preserves the original relations of the four senses. With a further discussion of the devices of allegory in general, in which he contends that the value and pleasure of allegory inheres not in one of the sense levels, the literal or the allegorical, but in the conjunction and relation of the two; and since in this view it is immaterial whether the elements are fictional or historical, it follows that in that relation lies the unity between the two allegories of poets and of theologians. In fine, “If all allegory is one, poetic allegory can do what God’s allegory does.” Concluding, the author discusses the way Dante shadows forth “ultimate reality” through recurrent patterns of imagery, for example, of the Cross, throughout the poem, whose essential structure is seen to reflect the mystery of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Radcliff-Umstead, Douglas. “Erotic Sin in the Divine Comedy.” In Human Sexuality in the Middle Ages, University of Pittsburgh Publications on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Vol. IV, edited by Douglas Radcliff-Umstead (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1978), pp. 41-96.

Presents a reading of the Comedy from the perspective of the erotic element in its various manifestations and ramifications in diverse worldly attachments generally, as understood by the Middle Ages, from the perverted, reason-destroying passion of lustfulness (libido, cupiditas, concupiscentia, and luxuria) to the correction of carnal longings and ultimately the embracing of the highest form, “the glorious divine rapture of love fulfilled.” The whole gamut is exemplified in a discussion of relevant illustrative episodes in the three cantiche of the poem, including the role of Beatrice in Dante’s own spiritual development.

Reynolds, Mary T. “Joyce’s Editions of Dante.” In James Joyce Quarterly, XV, No. 4 (Summer 1978), 380-384.

Describes in some detail the cheap edition of the Divina Commedia by Eugenio Camerini (1904 printing) and the used copy of a deluxe “Prima edizione prerafaellistica” (1911) with the illustrations of Dante Gabriele Rossetti, which Joyce bought in Trieste for his working library while writing Ulysses and other novels.

Richards, Earl Jeffrey. “Dante’s Commedia and Its Vernacular Narrative Context.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXIX (1978), 2250A. 

Doctoral dissertation, Princeton University, 1978. 242 p. (Focuses, in the context of the early narrative tradition, primarily on parallels between the Divina Commedia and the Roman de la Rose within the theoretical framework of translatio.)

Al-Sabah, Rasha Hammod. “The Figure of the Arab in Medieval Italian Literature.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XXXIX (1978), 2244A. Doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1977. 141 p. (Chapter 1 focuses on a brief passage in Inferno XXVII which is seen to encapsulate “an entire polemical tradition against Islam.”)

Sayers, Dorothy L. The Whimsical Christian: 18 Essays. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1978. x, 275 p.

Contains an essay, “Dante and Charles Williams” (pp. 180-204), which previously appeared as “Charles Williams: A Poet’s Critic” in her The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement and Other Posthumous Essays on Literature, Religion, and Language (London: Victor Gollancz, 1963), pp. 69-88, and, with its present title, in an identical collection, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World: A Selection of Essays (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), pp. 159-177. (See Dante Studies, LXXXVIII, 192-193, for an analysis and the genesis of this essay.)

Scaglione, Aldo. “Dante and the Rhetorical Theory of Sentence Structure.” In Medieval Eloquence: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Medieval Rhetoric, edited by James J. Murphy (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1978), pp. 252-269.

Remarks in the De vulgari eloquentia Dante’s pioneering treatment of the vernacular according to the traditional theories reserved for Latin and examines especially the section (II, vi) devoted to the gradus constructionis, commenting on the four gradus distinguished by Dante—insipidus, sapidus, venustus, and excelsus—and on the vulgare illustre associated with the last, and analyzing Dante’s conception of constructio, used by him in the sense of compositio, or sentence structure, and the many examples he gives of each rhetorical or syntactical type. Professor Scaglione notes how Dante’s views s conformed with and departed from the traditional and how in his treatises he boldly fused the three disciplines of grammatica, rhetorica, and poetria. He concludes that in his own Latin style Dante appears to be a conspicuous heir to the classical tradition and that “Dante’s style, both Latin and vernacular, both in prose and verse” deserves much further study.

Shapiro, Marianne. “A Dantesque Alba by Cerveri de Girona.” In Kentucky Romance Quarterly, XXV, No. 4 (1978), 509-514.

Cites, with text and English version, one of six religious poems by Cerveri de Girona (1240-1280), Aixi con cel c’anan erra la via, representing a departure from the usual erotic alba by its stern moralistic quality. This anti-alba recalls at several points the opening of Dante’s Inferno and contains other Dantesque elements. Without necessarily drawing a direct relationship between Dante and Cerveri, this anti-alba represents a late development in the Provencal lyric of superimposing moral and didactic elements onto a courtly, secular genre, pointing to the example of Dante himself.

Sheldon, Walter L. The Divine Comedy of Dante: Four Lectures Intended Especially For Those Who Have Never Read the Poem but Would Like to Know Something about It. Norwood, Penn.: Norwood Editions, 1978. 126 p. illus., diagrs.

Reprint of the 1905 edition (Philadelphia: S. B. Weston).

Shoaf, R. A. “‘Auri sacra fames’ and the Age of Gold (Purg. XXII, 40-41 and 148-150. In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 195-199. 

Reads Purgatorio XXII, 40-41, in the light of verses 148-150, as “Why do you not govern, o sacred hunger of gold (like the hunger appropriate to the Age of Gold) the appetites of mortals?” This reading avoids the triple distortions of Italian in the traditional interpretation and accords better with the canto’s context, even to enhancing the virtue of temperance as a counter-example to prodigality and gluttony.

Singleton, Charles S. La Poesia della Divina Commedia. Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino, 1978. 572 p. (Collezione di testi e di studi: Linguistica e critica letteraria.)  

Gathers together, in Italian translation by Gaetano Prampolini, a number of previously published and closely related essays—his two volumes of Dante Studies 1 and 2, respectively, Commedia: Elements of Structure (1954) and Journey to Beatrice (1958), which have already appeared in Italian in 1961 (in an earlier version) and in 1968; and four further essays not yet printed in Italian—”The Poet’s Number at the Center” (1965), “The Vistas in Retrospect” (1965), “In Exitu Israel de Aegypto” (1960), and “The Irreducible Vision” (1969). The original places of publication of these works are duly indicated in an “Avvertenza.” They have also been registered in this bibliography as they have appeared over the years (see, respectively, in the order they are listed above, 73rd Report, 60-61, 77th Report, 52-53, Dante Studies, LXXXIV, 100, Ibid., 101, 79th Report, 48-49, and Dante Studies, LXXXIII, 178). Contents: PARTE PRIMA: Elementi di struttura— Introduzione I. Allegoria, II. Simbolismo, III. Il disegno al centro, IV. La Sostanza delle cose vedute, Appendice: Le due specie di allegoria; PARTE SECONDA: Viaggio a Beatrice—Introduzione; Viaggio a Beatrice: I. Il viaggio allegorico, II. Le tre luci, III. Le tre conversioni, IV. La giustificazione V. L’avvento di Beatrice, VI. La giustificazione nella storia, VII. La meta sulla vetta, VIII. Madonna Filosofia ovvero la Sapienza; Il ritorno all’Eden: IX. Rimpianto per l’Eden, X. Fiumi, ninfe e stelle, XI. Virgo ovvero la giustizia, XII. Matelda, XIII. La giustizia naturale, XLV. Entrando nell’ Eden; PARTE TERZA: L’irriducibile visione—Il numero del poeta al centro; Le visuali retrospettive; “In exitu Israel de Aegypto”; L’irriducibile visione; Nota bibliografica degli scritti teologici citati. There is also a “Presentazione” (pp. 7-10) in which Professor Singleton reproduces the bulk of his preface to his Saggio sulla “Vita Nuova” [An Essay on the Vita Nuova] as an ideal introduction to this volume, since those words established the critical approach (of recupero) that has informed and guided the course of his Dante studies.

Smith, Nathaniel B. “The Lark Image in Bondie Dietaiuti and Dante.” In Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 233-242. 

Examines later echoes of Bernart de Ventadorn’s suggestive lark image in his Can vei la lauzeta mover, particularly in a poem by the late thirteenth-century Florentine Bondie Dietaiuti, who interprets the image more explicitly with less poetic effect, and in Paradiso XX, 73-78, where Dante, hewing more closely to Bernart, brings the image to its loftiest expression.

Spanos, Margaret. “The Sestina: An Exploration of the Dynamics of Poetic Structure.” In Speculum, LIII (1978), 545-557. 

Examines the complex dynamics and symbolic function of the sestina form as exemplified by Arnaut Daniel, Dante, and Petrarch, and concludes that the genre has important implications for poetics, thus justifying its former prestige among Renaissance poets.

Spraycar, Rudy S. “Dante’s lago del cor.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 1-19. 

Relates Dante’s “lago del cor” in Inferno I to Cocytus in the pit of Hell as a dramatic adumbration of the heart frozen in sin and to the melting of the repentant Pilgrim’s heart in Purgatorio XXX before Beatrice, seen here as the Holy Spirit. Other pertinent structural, thematic, and theological elements are cited in the poem along the way, as well as several exegetical texts from Gregory, Augustine, and pseudo-Bruno the Carthusian which touch on the association of cold with sin and its melting by the south wind (suggesting the direction of Purgatory to Dante), which is associated with the Holy Spirit and eventual conversion.

Stanton, Edward F. “Machado and Dante: ‘Recuerdos de sueño, fiebre y duermivela.’” In MLN, XCIII (1978), 328-334. 

Remarks in Antonio Machado’s most Dantesque poem, “Los Complementarios: Recuerdos de sueño, fiebre y duermivela,” many ironic parallels of concept, structure, figurative language, and style with the Inferno. However, the differences prevail over the similarities because of the diverse modern vision vis-à-vis the medieval.

Steiner, George. On Difficulty and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1978. xi, 209 p.

Contains his review-article, “Dante Now: The Gossip of Eternity,” reprinted from Encounter XLVI (January 1976), 36-38, 40, 42-45 (see Dante Studies, XCVI, 251), based on his reading, of C. S. Singleton’s translation, with commentary, of the Divine Comedy , 1970-75 (see Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 107-108, XCII, 182, and XCIV, 155-156).

Stephany, William A. (Joint author). “‘O miseri seguaci’: Sacrament Inversion in Inferno XIX.” See Herzman, Ronald B....

Strauss Walter A. “Proust—Giotto—Dante.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 163-185. 

Traces some essential analogies of structure and spirit with Dante’s Divine Comedy in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, relating both literary masterpieces to the architectonic and symbolic symmetry of the Gothic cathedral or, more immediately, its parallel in the Arena Chapel in Padua featuring Giotto’s frescoes of redemptive history, which was so well known to Proust. The latter himself pointed out that his novel was constructed “comme une église,” just as Dante’s poem has been likened to a Gothic cathedral. Further, just as Dante undergoes a profound change at the center of his poetic journey, so does Proust at the center of his novel, that is, the point he calls the “intermittences du coeur,” involving the vital rediscovery of (mother) love, corresponding to Dante’s resumption of his love in the encounter with Beatrice in the Purgatorio. Dream sequences also surround the central point in each work, and memory plays an important role. And there is an enhancing bifurcation of author and protagonist in each case. However, where the medieval Dante eventually achieves redemption in transcendence according to the Christian vision, the modern Proust’s questing journey resolves itself inwardly in a discovery or creation of the self within the self. For the medieval poet the way was established and given, a matter of faith, while for the modern writer it was no longer there, he was on his own.

Sturm-Maddox, Sara. “The Pattern of Witness: Narrative Design in the Vita Nuova.” In Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 216-232. 

Contends the prose of Dante’s Vita Nuova has been too often subordinated to the poems as the substantive part of the work, that the prose here differs significantly from the regularly cited razos of troubadour collections that indeed Dante’s prose represents an innovation as an explicit dramatization of what in the poet-narrator’s life is only implicit in the latter’s poems. The resulting combination of (1) atemporal lyrics and (2) linear prose emphasizing process, which produce a complementarity and tension, together with the resulting relation between the narrative and poetic patterns, is seen as making for the unique dynamics of Dante’s text. Analysis of the structural design of the prose reveals, along the way of the narrated transformations in the poet-audience relation, a binary structure of two transgressions separated by the death of Beatrice, thus: isolation—limited audience—witness/death of Beatrice/isolation—limited audience—witness. Professor Sturm-Maddox points out the symmetry and correspondences between the six chapter-groupings in this binary pattern that is integrated with the tripartite pattern of the poems. The story of the poet’s love and his discovery of the meaning of Beatrice is thus coordinated with the story of the lover’s poetry and his discovery of its potential new direction. Her analysis concludes: “the prose offers circumstantial verification of the poems, but reciprocally the poems stand as products and consequently as validation of the process toward poetic witness represented in the narrative. At the conclusion of the Vita Nuova the convergence of narrative and poetic patterns is complete: the narrative describes a movement or process toward witness whose evidence is encapsulated in the text in the poems themselves.”

Thompson, David. “Dante’s Virtuous Romans.” In Dante Studies, XCVI (1978), 145-162. 

Examines the early tradition of “rhetorical catalogues of exemplary figures from an idealized Rome viewed as paragons of virtue, patriotism, and frugality. This canon of secular saints met an ambivalent, if not negative, attitude in Augustine, for whom pagan virtue was false virtue. However, Dante’s opinion, though it varied among his works, was closer to Virgil’s in favorably considering Roman deeds and accomplishments as part of providential history. The author closes with a note on Dante’s Limbo and its function, specifically suggesting a literal reading of the “e” in Inferno IV, 34, as “and” (not the adversative “but”) to have the poet imply that the limited recompense (mercedi) here is for a far wider variety of worthy pagans.

Vallone, Aldo. “I biografi di Dante da Giovanni a Filippo Villani.” In The Two Hesperias: Literary Studies in Honor of Joseph G. Fucilla on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday, edited by Americo Bugliani (Madrid: Ediciones José Porrúa Turanzas, 1978), pp. 359-369. 

Briefly surveys fourteenth-century treatments of Dante, so often indistinguishable from literary interpretations and reconstructions, both favorable and unfavorable, including the important and much imitated work by Boccaccio, up to the turn of the century when the Humanistic biographies begin to appear.

Wheelock, James T. S. “Alliterative Function in the Divina Commedia.” In Lingua e stile, XIII (1978), 373-404.

In absence of previous adequate treatment, the author submits a methodical description of alliterative groupings in the Commedia, according to the criterion of functionality as well as rhetorical effect. The many examples cited from the poem are classified, according, to function, under the following, major types (with some sub-divisions within each): (a) mnemonic, (b) enargaeic, (c) vocative, and (d) endstop. It is suggested that the first two functions play a didactic role, the third a dramatic role, and the fourth a prosodic role. The author concludes with a tentative definition of alliteration as a rhetorical schema: “a cohesive grouping of identical or similar sounds within a poetic text coordinated to produce an identifiable effect that has a perceptible function with the whole of that text.”

Williams, Charles. Religion and Love in Dante: The Theology of Romantic Love. Norwood, Penn.: Norwood Editions, 1978. 40 p.

Reprint of the 1941 edition, issued as “Dacre Paper No. 6 (Westminster, England: Dacre Press). There was another American reprint of this work in 1974 (Folcroft, Pennsylvania: Folcroft Library Editions; see below under Addenda). The essay is a brief investigation of what was to become a larger treatment in Williams’ The Figure of Beatrice: A Study in Dante.



Dante Commentaries: Eight Studies of the “Divine Comedy.” Edited by David Nolan . . . Dublin: Irish Academic Press; Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 219.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Choice, XV, 880;

            Stephen C. D. Bemrose, in Italian Studies, XXXIII (1978), 117-119.

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

            Christopher Kleinhenz, in Romance Philology, XXXII (1978), 128-133.

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

            J. D. O’Hara, in Virginia Quarterly Review, LIV (Summer 1978). 538-545.

The Divine Comedy. Translated by John Ciardi. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 213-214.) Reviewed by:

            Brian Swann, in Library Journal, CIII (Feb. 1, 1978), 368.

De Bonfils Templer, Margherita. Itinerario di amore: dialettica di amore e morte nella “Vita Nuova.” Chapel Hill:. . . U.N.C. [University of North Carolina] Department of Romance Languages, 1973. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 187.) Reviewed by:

            Rocco R. Vanasco, in Romanic Review, LXIX (1978), 258-260.

Di Girolamo, Costanzo. Teoria e prassi della versificazione. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1976. Reviewed by:

            Franco Brioschi, in Belfagor, XXXIII (1978), 239-244.

Fergusson, Francis. Literary Landmarks: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Literature. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1975. (See Dante Studies, CI, 220-221.) Reviewed by:

Ray Ellenwood, in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, V, No. 2 (1978), 231-232.

Fergusson, Francis. Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 221.) Reviewed by:

            Harry Levin, in Renaissance Quarterly, XXXI (1978), 105-107.

Foster, Kenelm, O.P. The Two Dantes and Other Studies. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 221-222; also, see the review-article by Ricardo J. Quinones in the present volume.) Reviewed by:

            John Ahern, in Commonweal, CV (26 May 1978), 344;

            [Anon.], in Choice, XV (1978), 1060;

            Vittore Branca, in Times Literary Supplement, 28 July 1978, p. 865;

            Julia Bolton Holloway, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, XLVI (1978), 612;

            Marilyn Schneider, in Library Journal, CIII (15 May 1978), 1062.

Guido da Pisa. Expositiones et Glose super Comediam Dantis, or Commentary on Dante’s Inferno. Edited with notes and introduction by Vincenzo Cioffari. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies; XC, 223-224, XCV, 178, and XCVI, 239 and 254.) Reviewed by:

            Marianne Shapiro, in Romanic Review, LXIX (1978), 257-258.

Herde, Peter. Dante als Florentiner Politiker. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner,  1976. (Frankfurter Historische Vorträge, 3.) Reviewed by:

            Charles T. Davis, in Speculum, LIII (1978), 583-585.

Italian Literature, Roots and Branches. Essays in Honor of Thomas G. Bergin. Edited by Giose Rimanelli and Kenneth John Atchity. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976. Contains five (of sixteen) essays of Dantean interest. (See Dante Studies, XCV, 167.) Reviewed by:

            Christopher Cairns, in Italian Studies, XXXIII (1978), 111-112;

            Mark Davie, in Modern Language Review, LXXIII (1978), 656-657;

            Joan M. Ferrante, in Renaissance Quarterly, XXXI (1978), 209-211;

            Julius A. Molinaro, in Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 132-134.

Kay, Richard. Dante’s Swift and Strong: Essays on Inferno XV. Lawrence, Kans.: Regents Press of Kansas. (See above, under Studies.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Choice, XV (1978), 1377;

            Julia Bolton Holloway, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, XLVI (1978), 611.

Kirkpatrick, Robin. Dante’s “Paradiso” and the Limitations of Modern Criticism: A Study of Style and Poetic Theory. Cambridge, England, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1978. Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Times Literary Supplement, 13 Oct. 1978, p. 1181.

La Favia, Louis Marcello. Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola: Dantista. Madrid: Ediciones José Porrúa Turanzas, S. A., 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 226-227.) Reviewed by:

            Aino Paasonen, in Forum Italicum, XII (1978), 443-445.

Montano, Rocco. Miti della critica postcrociana. Napoli: G. B. Vico Editrice, 1975. (La nuova critica, No. 4.) Contains ample references to Dantean criticism. Reviewed by:

            Ernesto G. Caserta, in Italica, LV (1978), 82-85.

Musa, Mark. Advent at the Gates: Dante’s Comedy. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 236-237, XCIV, 184, and XCVI, 240.) Reviewed by:

            James Thomas Chiampi, in Romance Philology, XXXII (1978), 230-233.

Nemerov, Howard. Figures of Thought: Speculations on the Meaning of Poetry and Other Essays. Boston: David R. Godine, 1978. Contains an essay on “The Dream of Dante” (see above, under Studies). Reviewed by:

            Benjamin De Mott, in New York Times Book Review, 16 April 1978, p. 11.

Pépin, Jean. Dante et la tradition de l’allégorie. Montreal: Institut d’Etudes Médiévales, 1970. (See Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 118, XCI, 184, XCII, 2001201, and XCIII, 246.) Reviewed by:

            E. C. Ronquist, in Philological Quarterly, LVII (1978), 137-140.

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

            Rosanna Zanettin, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXII (1978), 234-235.

Poggioli, Renato. The Oaten Flute: Essays on Pastoral Poetry and the Pastoral Ideal. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975. Contains his “Dante ‘poco tempo silvano’: A Pastoral Oasis in the Commedia,” pp. 135-152. (See Dante Studies, XCIV, 175.) Reviewed by:

            Judith A. Kates, in Comparative Literature, XXX (1978), 84-86.

Russell, Rinaldina. Tre versanti della poesia stilnovistica: Guinizelli, Cavalcanti, Dante. Bari: Adriatica Editrice, 1973. (See Dante Studies, XCII, 195-196.) Reviewed by:

            Guido Baldassari, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXII (1978), 518-519.

Sarolli, Gian Roberto. Prolegomena alla “Divina Commedia.” Firenze: Olschki, 1971 (See Dante Studies, XCI, 191-192, XCIII, 247 and 259, and XCIV, 185 and 200.) Reviewed by:

            Christopher Kleinhenz, in Romance Philology, XXXII (1978), 128-133.

Seung, T. K. Cultural Thematics: The Formation of the Faustian Ethos New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976. (See Dante Studies, XCV, 173-174.) Reviewed by:

            P. R. J. Hainsworth, in Modern Language Review, LXXIII (1978), 926-927;

            Paul Priest, in Medium Aevum, XLVII (1978), 146-149;

            John A. Scott, in Italian Studies, XXXIII (1978), 113-116.

Simonelli, Maria. Materiali per un’edizione critica del “Convivio” di Dante. Roma: Edizioni dell’Ateneo, 1970. (Officina romanica, vol. XVI.) Reviewed by:

            Christopher Kleinhenz, in Romance Philology, XXXII (1978), 128-133.

Singleton, Charles S. La poesia della Divina Commedia.” Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino, 1978. {See Dante Studies, XCVII, 175-176) Reviewed by:

            Francesco Semi, in I problemi della pedagogia, (dicembre 1978), p. 858.

Thompson, David. Dante’s Epic Journeys. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XVIII, 215-221, 242-243, and 247, XCIV, 186, XCV, 179, and XCVI, 241.) Reviewed by:

            E. C. Ronquist, in Philological Quarterly, LVII (1978), 137-140.

Wilhelm, James J. Dante and Pound: The Epic of Judgement. Orono, Me.: University of Maine Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 243-244, XCV 179, and XCVI, 241.) Reviewed by:

            Glauco Cambon, in Comparative Literature, XXX (1978), 189-192.