American Dante Bibliography for 1980

Anthony L. Pellegrini

This bibliography is intended to include the Dante translations published in this country in 1980 and all Dante studies and reviews published in 1980 that are in any sense American. The latter criterion is construed to include foreign reviews of American publications pertaining to Dante.



The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. [I. Inferno.] A verse translation, with introduction and commentary, by Allen Mandelbaum. Drawings by Barry Moser. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London: University of California Press, 1980. xxiv. 307 p. illus. (“The California Dante.”)

The translation in iambic pentameter, with the Italian text on facing pages, comes with an introduction, in which the translator characterizes some of the effects of Dante’s poetry and seeks to define the nature of his own present rendering. Each canto is introduced by a brief argument and the volume concludes with “A Note on the Drawings for the California Dante” by Mr. Moser and biographical notes on the translator and the illustrator. There are 42 pen and wash illustrations to the Inferno. The volume is sumptuously printed in Monotype Dante, a typeface designed in 1957 by the late Giovanni Mardersteig. (In his introduction, Mr. Mandelbaum announces that to accompany the eventual three volumes of the Comedy there will be three companion volumes of commentary. “The California Lectura Dantis,” to be done by a group of scholar-critics.)

The Divine Comedy. Translated, with a commentary, by Charles S. Singleton. [I.] Inferno. 1: Italian text and translation, 2: Commentary. Bollingen Series, LXXX. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 382, viii, 683 p. illus., plates, maps.

Initial double volume of the “First Princeton/Bollingen Paperback Printing,” combining the two parts, translation and commentary, in one volume and preserving the pagination of the original hard-cover edition (1970). (See Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 107-108.)

“Cerberus.” [Translated by Allen Mandelbaum from Inferno VI, 4-36.] In University Publishing, IX (1980), p. 1. 

Pre-printed as a specimen of Mr. Mandelbaum’s new verse translation in iambic pentameter of the Divine Comedy (see above). Accompanied by an illustration of Cerberus by Barry Moser.

“Canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno.” [Translated by Allen Mandelbaum.] In Italian Quarterly, XXI, No. 79 (1980), 83-87. 

Pre-printed from Mr. Mandelbaum’s new verse translation of the Divine Comedy (see above). Accompanied by an illustration by Barry Moser.



[Anon.] “Dante’s Dimensions.” In Scientific American, CCXLIII, No. 3 (1980), p. 98. 

Comments on Dante’s universe as a coherent exposition of medieval cosmology, noting its marvelous symmetry as analyzed by Mark A. Peter as a “three-sphere” conception with the poet’s addition of the fourth dimension of speed.)

Ahern, John. “Reading Dante.” In America Poetry Review, IX, No. 3 (1980), 12-17. 

Review-article on The Divine Comedy, translated, with a commentary, by Charles S. Singleton (Bollingen Series, LXXX; Princeton, Nev Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1970-1975), 3 v. in 6 (see Dante Studies, LXXXIX, 107-108, XCII, 182, and XCIV, 155-156), including advice to the beginner on how to read Dante’s poem—e.g., try to stay close to the text, with some eventual help from the Singleton commentary notes as necessary.

Ainsworth, Maryan Wym. “Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Dantis Amor.” In Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, I, No. 1 (Nov. 1980), 69-78.

Presents a newly discovered pencil drawing by Rossetti, compares it with several of his other finished works in order to study the formal evolution of the artist’s conception of Dantis Amor, and relates the series iconographically to Dante’s Vita Nuova and Paradiso. The author concludes “that the Troxell design and its variants are allegorical representations of Dantis Amor-Dante’s theory of love.” Comes with seven half-tone illustrations.

Barber, Joseph A. “Petrarch’s Use of the Metric Figures in the Canzoniere.” In MLN, XCV, No. 1 (1980), 1-38.

Includes a comparison of Dante’s practice in an examination of Petrarch’s use of the metric figures of dialoepha, synaloepha, diaeresis, and synaeresis, transforming an as yet ill-defined Italian system of versification into the refined and sophisticated instrument that he bequeathed to later generations of poets.

Bisceglia, Julie Jeanne. “Paradigms of Personality: Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and the Traditions of Ovid and Dante.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XLI (1980), 258A. 

Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1980, 377 p.

Blake, William. Blake’s Dante: The Compete Illustrations to the “Divine Comedy.” [Edited] by Milton Klonsky. New York: Harmony Books, 1980. 172 p. illus.

Presents all of Blake’s illustrations to Dante’s Comedy, 102 plates (some in color) and seven engravings, along with several further illustrations to accompany the editor’s introduction, which includes an historical account of the illustrations, done in the last years of Blake’s life; an explanation of them, including many citations in Blake’s own words and some from W.B. Yeats; a comparison of Blake’s style with Michelangelo’s; critical comments on the differences between Blake’s vision of man’s relationship to the Divine and Dante’s; and brief indications on the fortune of Blake’s illustrations after his death. The plates come with relevant passages from the Comedy (in English translation, based on the Carlyle-Okey-Wicksteed version of 1899-1901, but with changes suggested by other translators) and explanatory notes. Contents: Introduction (pp. 6-21); List of Plates: The Plates: List of Engravings: Notes; Acknowledgements; Bibliography; and Index. Some of the illustrations are published here in color for the first time.

Brown, Calvin S. “Dante, Shakespeare, and the Common Heritage.” In Review (University Press of Virginia), II (1980), 361-365. 

Review article on Francis Fergusson, Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1977) (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 221, XCVII, 179 and 191, etc.)

Button, Carol. “Deledda’s Purgatorio.” In Italica, LV (1980), 96-106.  

Offers a reading of Grazia Deledda’s novel, Il segreto dell’uomo solitario, based on Dante’s Purgatorio, on which strong similarities between the two works suggest the novel was structured.

Cambon, Glauco. “The Purgatorial Smile: A Footnote on Dante’s Humor.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 105-115. 

Contends that Dante’s Purgatory is the true locus of humor in the Commedia. In contrast to the negative excess of the Inferno and the mystical excess of the Paradiso, the Purgatorio is punctuated with smiles of humanizing humor along the process of self-liberation in a kind of comedy of manners and secular ritual with civilizing effect that relates Dante to playwrights of Renaissance and modern Europe. In illustrations are cited especially the episodes of Statius and Virgil (Purg. XXI), Pope Adrian (XIX), Forese Donati (XXIII), and Dante-Pilgrim himself (XXVII) along the purgatorial way of liberation suffused with gentle humor.

Casagrande, Gino, and Christopher Kleinhenz. “Inferno VII: Cariddi e l’avarizia.” In Aevum, LIV (1980), 340-344. 

Contend that the association of Charybdis figuratively with avarice (an established topos in the exegetical tradition) as used by the twelfth-century Alain de Lille in a homily on the Trinity could have influenced the reference to Charybdis in Inferno VII, 22-24. That passage of Alain’s, along with another in his De planctu naturae suggestive of much of the conceptual structure of Dante’s canto, would reinforce recant critical findings on the intellectual affinity between the two writers.

Chiarenza, Marguerite Mills. “Falsity and Fiction in the ‘Allegory of Poets.’” In Quaderni d’italianistica, I, No. 1 (1980), 80-86. 

Seeks to clarify Dante’s distinction (Conv. II, i) between the “allegory of poets” and the “allegory of theologians,” contending that by the first he understood mythological poetry (as evidenced by his example taken from Ovid) and would have considered his own work distinct from, although related to, both types of allegory. The author examines the “allegory of poets” theoretically and historically and concludes that, where tradition had, incongruously, allowed a poet’s work to be seen simultaneously as false on the literal level and true allegorically, Dante more coherently “conceived of a representation which, though false to the letter of reality, was true to its Spirit; and to be true to the spirit of reality meant to be implicitly meaningful” (allegorically). Dante therefore resolved medieval tendencies toward allegorization and Christianization of myth by his commitment to a unique and functional role for poetry which demanded a truthful reading for the letter (example: the Apollo-Marsyas myth in the invocation of Par. I). For us. ambiguities arise when we construe the allegory of poets according to modern notions of fiction. The innovative allegory of Dante’s Comedy is attributable to the ambivalence of his being a Christian poet in a pagan tradition and to his need to insure that the truth he read into pagan poetry was written into his.

Cook, Albert. “Image as a Norm: Some Problems.” In Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, XXXVIII (1980), 249-254. 

Briefly examines the nature and use of image and metaphor in Pindar, Plato Dante, and Rimbaud and concludes there is no one normative function under which their practice can be subsumed, for the symbols themselves depend on the entire conception of the complex individual communicative act in the respective works.

Cook, William R. (Joint author). “Simon the Magician and the Medieval Tradition.” See Herzman, Ronald B....

Creasy. William C. “The Shifting Landscape of Hell.” In Comitatus, XI (1980), 40-65. 

Traces the dramatically changing concept of hell in theology, literature and the visual arts as of a primarily physical nature (poena sensu) to one predominantly psychological and spiritual between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. The author bases his survey on such works as Dante’s Commedia with its strong influence on early depictions in the visual arts in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance by Nardo di Cione, Giovanni Pisano, and Francesco Traini—all of which depictions of infernal punishments had ample sources in Scripture and writings of saints like Augustine. The landscape of hell and the nature of damnation begins to shift to a realm of chiefly spiritual isolation, or poena damni, during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, as evidenced by the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Jean Mandyn and more strongly by works of John Calvin and also by Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. With this change in emphasis also comes an increased stress by theologians on the poena damni in their sermons, among Catholics as well as Protestants. In the seventeenth century, with increasing stress on Divine Love as the essence of God, rather than the old principle of Divine Justice, much more debate ensued over the nature of hell, since defining the nature of damnation had implications about the nature of God Himself.

Dale, Corinne.Lancelot and the Medieval Quests of Sir Lancelot and Dante.” In Walker Percy: Art and Ethics, edited by Jac Tharpe (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980), pp. 99-106. 

Examines parallels with Mallory’s Sir Lancelot and Dante’s Beatrice (esp. in the Purg.) in Walker Percy’s novel, Lancelot (1977), in which the ambiguous ending is seen to suggest a message of the transforming power of human love.

D’Andrea, Antonio. “La struttura della Vita Nuova: le divisioni delle rime.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 13-40. 

Examines the “divisioni” of the Vita Nuova in relation to the scholastic tradition and to some specific possible models (Boethius’ De consolatione philosophiae, Brunetto Latini’s Rettorica, Albertus Magnus’ commentary to the Sententiae of Peter Lombard. . . ) and concludes that the model is to be found in the Scholastic commentaries of the thirteenth century. Thus the divisioni evince that Dante had acquired another aspect of medieval culture, the Scholastic, doctrinal, philosophical, which is in some degree incorporated in the libello. The pattern of the divisioni, their variation, the manner of the incipit of each, the introduction of related questions, all point to an important role the divisioni actually play in enhancing the structure and meaning of the Vita Nuova, for example, by expressing the tension set up from various standpoints in the work, between the initial enigma presented at the beginning of the first sonnet and the enigma at the end of the work which looks toward a mysterious future.

Dasenbrock, Reed Way. “Dante’s Hell and Pound’s Paradiso: ‘tutto spezzato.’” In Paideuma, IX (1980), No. 3, 501-504. 

Finds a Dantean echo in Pound’s use of spezzato (Inf. XXI, 108, recalling the “ruina” caused by Christ’s harrowing of Hell) in Canto 74, which canto, in keeping with Pound’s own reference to the Cantos as “by no means an orderly Dantescan rising,” the author contends does not initiate the “Paradiso” section of the work, as many claim, but should, because of its structure, be construed in a more complex relation to the whole Commedia. In short, the Cantos reveal a pattern of transformation not modeled on Dante.

Davis, Charles T. “Poverty and Eschatology in the Commedia.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 59-86. 

Examines, illustrating from the Commedia and Christian tradition, Dante’s vague prophecies of earthly reformation in an eschatological vision of eventual political peace and renewal together with the eradication of cupidity and restoration of clerical poverty as prerequisite to ecclesiastical reform. In this vision based on Augustinian and Thomistic ideals of charity and justice, Dante’s models are Saint Francis the mendicant and Henry VII the Roman Emperor. The study addresses a number of specific aspects of Dante’s poem, such as the exemplary condemnation of a pope like Nicholas III, among others, the image of the Church as meretrix, the Veltro/DXV prophecies, the rationale of dual rule of the world in the hands of Emperor and Pope in their distinctive spheres. While indebted to the Franciscan Spirituals, Dante differed from their ideal of a new age in the future by his more radically backward-looking vision of renovatio betokening an ideal of a totally powerful emperor and a totally poor clergy that he associated with the past.

De Bonfils Templer, Margherita. “‘Quando Amor mi spira, noto...’ (Purg. XXIV).” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 79-98. 

Contends that Dante’s statement of his poetics in the Bonagiunta episode (Purg. XXIV) has been variously construed by critics now in the sense of sincerity or spontaneity, now in a theological sense, but neglecting to pay proper attention to the poet’s citing of his earlier canzone, Donne ch’avete intelletto d’amore, as his reference point, which for Bonagiunta is emblematic of a new poetic style that, significantly, the latter only now that he is in Purgatory can appreciate. One key to understanding the passage lies in the contrast between the use of “femmina” by Bonagiunta (thus marking himself as of the “old” earthbound school, in referring to the woman of Lucca) and the use of “donne” in Dante’s earlier poem cited to characterize the new, loftier style. Another key point made by the author relates to the verb “notare” used by Dante to define his poetics, a verb that should be construed (according to its use by Dante elsewhere) in the sense of seconding or matching in harmony, in a spiritual sense, and applied in this context to the close relation between love and poetic expression. It is in this sense and in the purgatorial setting that reference to the first canzone of the Vita Nuova must be understood, while the purgatorial setting itself illuminates that past poetic instance cited. It is obvious that the loftier love Dante recognizes as source of his inspiration in the Bonagiunta episode has its roots in the love of the Vita Nuova. The author also touches on the use of “penne” which she insists it would be too pedestrian to construe as “writing pens,” but must be taken as “wings” (as some critics have), citing Socrates’ speaking of the hardening of the wings in the Phaedo, a metaphor that entered the linguistic terminology of later mystics familiar to Dante.

Dickson, Kay. “Toward Order and Transcendence: Dante’s Use of Synaesthesia in the Divine Comedy.” In Romance Notes, XXI, No. I (1980), 111-116. 

Discusses some major instances of synaesthesia in the three cantiche of the Divine Comedy as the move to a climax of sensory fusion, relating them to one another in their reflection of the progression from disorder to consonance with the divine order and final transcendence. Dante’s use of synaesthesia is therefore seen as not just poetically decorative, but as vitally serving the thematic structure of the poem.

DiOrio, Dorothy M. “Concetto e condanna di Dante sull’usura.” In Rivista di cultura classica e medioevale, XXI-XXII (1980), 135-142.  

Text in English, identical with her article, “Dante’s Condemnation of Usury, in Re: Artes Liberales, V, No. I (1978), 17-25.

Di Scipio, Giuseppe C. “Dante and St. Paul: The Blinding Light and Water.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 151-157. 

Contends that the elements of blinding light from heaven, cleansing water, and the time of midday common to Paul’s mystical experience on the way to Demascus and to Dante-Pilgrim’s entry into the Empyrean (Par. XXX), along with supporting references elsewhere (in Inf. II, Par. I, Purg. I, and Par. XXVI) serve to confirm the comparison of Dante’s journey to the vision of God with that of Paul’s similar experience.

Eliot, Elizabeth Ann. The Crowned Knot of Fire: A Study of the Influence of Medieval Symbolism on Modern Poetry. New York: Vantage Press, 1980. v, 153 p.

Considers Dante’s imagery in the Divine Comedy according to principles of medieval iconography and seeks to understand the imagery of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Allen Tate as it is shaped according to the illuminative pattern of the series of dreams in the Purgatorio. “During the Middle Ages, as today, both the condition and the symbol of the imaginative act was the dream. But the medieval art of reading was more visual than ours....” Contents: Introduction; 1. The Medieval Art of Reading; 2. The Dance of Death; 3. The Dove Descending; 4. The Last Alternatives; 5. The Crowned Knot of Fire; four appendices with sample poems of John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate; Notes; Bibliography.

Emmerson, Richard Kenneth, and Ronald B. Herzman. “Antichrist, Simon Magus, and Dante’s Inferno XIX.” In Traditio, XXXVI (1980), 373-398. 

Luca Signorelli’s Dantesque fresco, “Fatti dell’Anticristo” (commissioned in 1500 for Orvieto Cathedral), though chronologically much later than Dante, is used for reinforcing an interpretation of Inferno XIX because of the common sources they share in traditional Christian iconology and symbolism, and more specifically because of the insights the fresco provides into Dante’s description of the church in his own day. The authors analyze and interpret the fresco on the basis of the many source elements from the common tradition, stressing, for example, the linking of Simon Magus with the Antichrist and Apocalypticism, and also the association of the fall of Simon Magus with the upside-down crucifixion of Peter. Inferno XIX, in turn, is throughout seen to reflect all these elements of Simon, Antichrist, upside-down crucifixion of Peter, and apocalypticism in multiform ways. Dante’s treatment of the canto in this manner manifests his intent of emphasizing the corrupt condition of the Church and Papacy at the time, thus combining the historical moment and universal history and suggesting the fourfold interpretation (here, the anagogical heightens the impact of the allegorical).

Evans, Annette. “Allusion as Structure: Vittorini and Dante.” In Symposium, XXXIV (1980), 13-28. 

Points out many parallels between Vittorini’s Conversazione in Sicilia and the Divina Commedia through a whole pattern of consistent, subtle allusion to Dante’s poem, such as to achieve a level of pertinence that serves to unify the novel. Vittorini alludes to the narrative structure of Dante’s poem in moral terms “in an attempt to recapture and to refute an    entire moral system” that no longer holds for his modern protagonist.

Ferrucci, Franco. The Poetics of Disguise: The Autobiography of the Work in Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. Translated by Ann Dunnigan. Ithaca, N.Y.; London: Cornell University Press. 178 p.

Contends, as his general thesis, that when creative writers such as these arrived at a critical impasse in their attempts to recapture and represent reality, they bent their art to disguising it, and it is a function of the interpreting critic to analyze the motive and structure of the device of disguise. Although the crisis of that artistic moment is masked, the key to the crisis made up of signs and symptoms interwoven into the texture of the work and thereby enriching its meaning, constitutes what the author calls the autobiography of the work. Contents: Introduction; 1. The Shield of Achilles; 2. The Return of Odysseus; 3. The Meeting with Geryon; 4. The Two Poetics of the Commedia; 5. Macbeth and the Imitation of Evil; 6. Literary Models and the Autobiography of the Work; Bibliography; Index. Two essays of specific Dantean interest are chapter 3 (pp. 66-102), which deals with Dante dissimulating use of the term “comedy” as the poem’s title, a term explicitly used only twice (in the Inferno) in the whole work—to disguise expressively the really serious, even “tragic,” quality of the Commedia, to come to terms with the poetic disguise necessary for this creative effort, and to justify his use of the metaphoric lie for recounting the experience of his fantastic journey bound as the writer is, unlike God and the angels, to anthropomorphic idiom as a means of communication; and chapter 4 (pp. 103-124), in which the author meditates on the ship metaphor (with the poet and the wayfarer as seafaring protagonists) and the plant metaphor, and on their significance as two recurrent and interrelated poetics informing the Commedia.

Fontana, Ernest L. “William Morris’s Guenevere and Dante’s Francesca: Allusion as Revision.” In English Miscellany, XXVIII-XXIX (1979-1980), 283-292. 

Contends there is a crucial relationship between Morris’s poem, “Defence of Guenevere,” and the Paolo-Francesca episode (Inf: V), as evidenced by Morris’s subtle invocation of the Dantean passage, through use of terza rima, repeated wind imagery, and an ironic playing against Dante’s absolute moral framework of the acceptance of Guenevere’s ineluctable human passion as accommodated in Morris’s naturalistic art, thus tacitly favoring, in short, the original Lancelot du lac author as poetic guide, rather than Virgil or Dante.

Griffin, R. V. (Joint author). “Dante’s Use of the Gorgon Medusa in Inferno IX.” See Suther, Judith D....

Haase, Donald P. “Coleridge and Henry Boyd’s Translation of Dante’s Inferno: Toward a Demonic Interpretation of ‘Kubla Khan.’” In English Language Notes, XVII (1980), 259-265.

Cites historical evidence and parallels of imagery and phrasing in “Kubla Khan” and Boyd’s version to show Coleridge must have read the Inferno in 1796, a year before composing his poem. Further evidence indicates Coleridge may well have intended to imbue his peculiar vision of paradise with a demonic element.

Hamel, Mary. “The Dream of King: The Alliterative Morte Arthure and Dante.” In Chaucer Review, XIV, No. 4 (1980), 298-312. 

Finds evidence that the anonymous author of Morte Arthure read at least the Inferno and points out confirming parallels between the king’s dream of Fortune and the drear opening scene of the dark wood (Inf: I) and the figure of Fortuna (VII).

Hawkins, Peter S. “Virtuosity and Virtue: Poetic Self-Reflection in the Commedia.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 1-18. 

Contends that Dante’s literary virtuosity exhibited in Inferno XXIV-XXV, regarded by many critics as a puzzling “lapse,” is really intentional, as becomes clear if considered as a preparation for Canto XXVI, and finds confirmation when this trio of cantos of the Inferno is examined in parallel with its counterparts in the other cantiche. In this pattern, the author sees a poetry itself undergoing the same process of conversion as Dante-Pilgrim, “as Dante reveals in this triad of parallel cantos the death, rebirth and destiny of human language.” The initial episode is marked by the temporary absence of Virgil’s direct influence (he even is bidden to bc silent by Dante-Pilgrim), during which the poet risks lapsing into “mere poetry” as he is carried away by his display of virtuosity. But by his exaggeration of the literary mode of Ovid he dramatizes certain impulses inherent in the act of writing poetry which are fraught with danger for the reader and especially for the writer. Significantly, Dante catches himself in his vow of Inferno XXVI, 21-24, to rein in his genius, as a preliminary to the presentation of Ulysses who reined in neither his language nor his will. If the poet is not to become a Phaeton, an Icarus, a Ulysses, then he must curb his genius; poetry must be converted, as the parallel cantos of the Purgatorio and the Paradiso illustrate. Virtue is restored to virtuosity, and this means the “reorientation of poetry from the self-enclosure entertained in Inferno XXIV-XXV,” along with the “restoration of God’s Word to human speech.”

Herzman, Ronald B. “Cannibalism and Communion in Inferno XXXIII.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 53-78. 

Elaborates figural connections between betrayal on earth and punishment in hell, cannibalism on earth and cannibalism in hell, the Exodus and sacrament of the Eucharist on earth and their inversion in Dante’s hell through a study of these elements as reflected in the Ugolino episode. The cannibalistic reading of Ugolino’s last act is preferred with further biblical support from Jeremiah 19: 8-9, and the implications of this reading are seen to invert the possibility for love and communion on earth, in, short, to invert the heavenly banquet on earth that is the Eucharist. The author cites from a rich tradition of literary cannibalism among the ancients that may have contributed to Dante’s concern with cannibalism as an inversion of the Eucharist. In connection with Dante’s depiction of cannibalism in this context, the author cites from ancient writers whose texts dwelling on the destruction of community, the inverted banquet, and the eating of children provided much iconographic richness on which Dante could draw, taking, as usual, elements of the classical tradition as foreshadowing Christian revelation. The seeing of cannibalism in Inferno XXXIII as an inversion of the Eucharist is best understood through the distinction between the literal eating by Ugolino of the bodies of the children and the spiritual eating of the body of Christ, a distinction supported by the scriptural, patristic, and scholastic traditions. Since the Eucharist (containing the mystery of salvation) is a re-enactment of God’s love for man, its inversion is linked with betrayal, hatred, and isolation, and therefore indicates a failure to complete the ultimate journey to God, a denial of Exodus. The cannibalism/communion inversion in the story of Ugolino and Ruggieri helps contribute to the meaning of the Inferno by linking Cantos XXXIII and XXXIV, for the parody of the Eucharist is a parody of the heavenly banquet in the vision of God as inverted by the vision of Satan in XXXIV, while the further betrayals of Judas, Brutus, and Cassius link the two cantos even more closely. Seen in this light, the ending of the Inferno parallels structurally the endings of the other two cantiche, in which, respectively, the vision of God is anticipated in the earthly surrogate, Beatrice (as Revelation), and then face to face.

Herzman, Ronald B. and William R. Cook. “Simon the Magician and the Medieval Tradition.” In Journal of Magic History, II, No. I (1980), 28-43. 

Trace the character of Simon Magus and the tradition of sin and heresy he evoked, both in literature and in art, beginning with his first appearance in Acts of the Apostles 8: 9-24, and show how Dante in composing Inferno XIX was able to depend on reader awareness of the figure with all its associations of false magic and the inversion of spiritual ideals and the association of the sin of simony and heresy. The article comes illustrated with seven photographic reproductions of medieval depictions of Simon Magus contrasted with Simon Peter, reflecting the literary tradition.

Herzman, Ronald B. (Joint author). “Antichrist, Simon Magus, and Dante’s Inferno XIX.” See Emmerson, Richard Kenneth....

Hicks, Darlene Emily. “Philosophy and Literature: Negativity and Praxis in Dante, Sartre, Cortázar and Genet.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XL (1979), 5042A. 

Doctoral dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 1979, 257 p.

Hollander, Robert. Studies in Dante. Ravenna: Longo Editore. 222 p. (L’interprete, 16.) 

Contains seven studies, of which only the last is new. Contents: Preface; 1. Vita Nuova: Dante’s Perceptions of Beatrice; 2. The Invocations of the Commedia; 3. Dante Theologus-Poeta; 4. Purgatorio II: Cato’s Rebuke and Dante’s scoglio; 5. Dante’s Use of the Fiftieth Psalm (a Note on Purg. XXX 84); 6. Babytalk in Dante’s Commedia; 7. The Tragedy of Divination in Inferno XX; Index of Commentators. The original places of publication of the first six studies are duly indicated (see, respectively, Dante Studies XCIII, 231, XCV, 183-184, XCV, 165-166, XCIV, 170-171, XCII, 186-187, and XCIV, 169-170). In the long seventh essay (pp. 131-218) is presented a lectura Dantis of Inferno XX, a canto long considered puzzling for its many unresolved cruxes. Hollander focuses on what he perceives to be its three main themes- “the disturbing closeness of poets and poetry to divination, Dante’s own poetic dependence upon classical forbears who were themselves besmirched by this sin, the difficulty of the tragic ideal in a Christian context.” Several matters of detail are also addressed, e.g., the poet’s use of canzon for the cantica and the sense and classical background of certain items of language in the canto; but in separate sections particular attention is given to a “Digression: Isidore Thomas, and the Octonary of Divination,” which notes that the specific diviners named in the canto are eight (Amphiaraus, Tiresias, Aruns, Manto, Eurypylus, Michael Scotus, Guido Bonatti, Asdente) among other associations with the number eight; to an exploration of “Dante’s Misreading of His Authors,” specifically the five classical texts reflected in this canto, which misreading is deemed to be deliberate; and to a section on the “Bilocaton of Manto,” whose dual appearance in the Commedia (in Inferno XX and in Limbo, as referred in Purgatorio XXII) has hitherto earned Dante an indictment of self-contradiction. The latter issue is approached here from the standpoint of Boccaccio’s suggestive treatment of Manto as two figures, one pious and one impious, which leads Hollander to offer the solution that the Manto of Malebolge is inspired by (pagan) Virgil’s creature, while the Manto of Limbo is inspired by the filial virgin of (converted) Statius’ Thebaid IV. Finally, the composition of the canto as a whole is related to the tragic quality of Virgil’s poem but with an admixture of comic style through Dante’s use of the sermo humilis in the Christian context of his poetic world.

Iannucci, Amilcare A. “Limbo: The Emptiness of Time.” In Studi Danteschi, LII (1979-80), 69-118. 

Contends that in his unique treatment of Limbo (Inf. IV) as the intermediate of three hells, Dante departed from the traditional representation, relating it to the descensus ad inferos. He departed from the theologians by placing the virtuous pagans permanently with the unbaptized children. By contrasting the merit of the virtuous pagans and their pitiable condition in Limbo, which causes perplexity in the Pilgrim, the poet is able to exploit the situation dramatically as a Greek tragedy within the larger comedic Christian context of the Commedia. Dante is seen essentially to reserve Limbo for original sin, which the pre-Christian pagans had inherited from Adam, but unlike the Hebrews or Christians, did not receive God’s grace for salvation in his inscrutable plan of predestination. With his Limbo, “Dante represents the tragedy of those who lived, literally or figuratively, in that graceless period between the fall and the incarnation: in the emptiness of time.” The author goes on to illustrate in detail how Dante dramatizes the tragedy of the virtuous pagans by revolutionizing the traditional representation of Limbo as found, for example, in the lauda and the sacra rappresentazione, and shows how Dante echoes the theme of Limbo elsewhere in the Commedia, especially with the pathetic/tragic figure of Virgil in the Purgatorio as a foil against the pagan Cato, the antepurgatorial souls, and Statius, all marked for salvation. Much attention is given to the motif of the harrowing of hell, with several parallels cited in the poem such as the descent of Beatrice herself into Limbo to engage Virgil as the Pilgrim’s guide, which with its Christological correspondences figures a re-enactment of the redemption. Another important focus of the author is the nobile castello, seen to express the limits of humanism alone, that is, without revelation, in a manner to define the tragic limits of pagan civilization even at its most worthy. He cites further parallels and symbols, while focusing on the theme of tragedy of the virtuous pagans as sympathetically treated by Dante in the poem.

Jacoff, Rachel. “The Post-Palinodic Smile: Paradiso VIII and IX.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 111-122. 

Examines the citation of the Convivio ode, Voi che ‘ntendendo il terzo ciel movete, in the context of Paradiso VIII and the following canto as a further subtle example of Dante’s practice of retrospective reading and self-correction, in this instance an indirect emendation to Principalities from his earlier claim of Thrones as the angelic intelligences of the sphere of Venus. But here too, in keeping with the poet’s practice of using a single verse from a previous work to evoke its whole context, several elements in the Convivio ode and its prose commentary echo the opening of Inferno I, thus suggesting that the Commedia represents a narrow escape from the Convivio and its abortive philosophical position. The poet in fact, after leaving the Convivio unfinished, succeeded in uniting the binary categories of that work through the incarnational poetics of the Commedia, which in Paradiso VIII recalls palinodically the poet’s earlier forsaking the memory of Beatrice for Philosophy in the ode cited. The recantation of the ode in Paradiso VIII, and with it the Convivio’s devaluation of the Vita Nova, implies, traditionally, a conversion. And in Paradiso IX the smiles of Cunizza and Folco looking backward over past errors (which no longer affect them now), coming immediately after the palinode of Canto VIII, help explain why Dante does not express his usual regret over past error, for like Cunizza and Folco, he can feel equally free of guilt here.

Kay, Richard. “Dante’s Acrostic Allegations: Inferno XI-XII.” L’Alighieri, XXI, No. 2 (1980), 26-37.

Postulates a series of acrostics as an integral part of the fundamental structure of the poem. The first letter of each terzina forms the letters of the acrostics, which in their thematic divisions closely follow the structural articulation of the poem, and are held to refer to other texts that Dante used as his source material destined for poetic treatment in those sections. Questions regarding Dante’s possible technique of abbreviation and rendering of numerical indications are discussed, and an appropriate analysis is made of the episode of the heavenly messenger before the gates of Dis. The paper is presented as “a progress report,” therefore the author does not hazard definitive conclusions.

Kay, Richard. “Two Pairs of Tricks: Ulysses and Guido in Dante’s Inferno XXVI-XXVII.” In Quaderni d’italianistica, I, No. 2 (1980), 107-124. 

Marshals evidence to draw a close parallelism between the cases of Ulysses and Guido da Montefeltro, and particularly to show that behind Ulysses’ voyage was a ruse to reach the Isles of the Blessed (or Fortunate Isles) of ancient Greek myth, that is, that pagan equivalent of the Earthly Paradise. This being so, then in his “orazione picciola,” far from engaging in an innocent harangue to persuade his men to a noble enterprise, Ulysses was actually manipulating his crew. Thus, Ulysses committed a sin that in common with Guido’s would be called astuteness or cunning, which Dante had condemned in the Convivio (IV, xxvii, 5 ) as especially unseemly in old age, when wisdom cannot be divorced from goodness.

Kleinhenz, Christopher. “Plutus, Fortune, and Michael: The Eternal Triangle.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 35-52. 

Notes in Inferno VI Virgil’s description of the apocalyptic events of Judgment Day and the contrasting images of physical and spiritual imperfection and the vera perfezion of the True City developed in the canto, along with the mention of Michael at the beginning of Canto VII to thwart the infernal guardian Plutus, all as preparation for the Pilgrim’s descent to the fourth circle where avarice and prodigality are punished. Also noticed are the structural links unifying Cantos VI, VII, and VIII by transitional connectors and internal parallels and similarities, as well as the mutual presence and conception here of Fortune and Plutus because of their close association in the literary and iconographical tradition—Plutus as the god of wealth or excessive concern with worldly goods and Fortune as earthly arbiter over their transmission in the world. The perfectly spinning wheel of Fortune (presented as an angelic intelligence ordained by God) both suggests the perfect circlings of the heavenly spheres and contrasts with the imperfect, ceaseless, and futile half-circlings of the sinners punished in the fourth circle. The reference to Michael (representing Christ) recalls the rebellious angels and their fate, thus confirming also the association of Plutus with Lucifer. But Michael is also associated with the end of time when he will combat the Antichrist and, as Christ’s surrogate, see to the distribution of heavenly rewards at the Last Judgment. Thus, a number of patterns result: the association of Cerberus, Lucifer, and Plutus on the one hand, and on the other, Michael, DXV, and Christ; and also a series of opposing pairs—Veltro-lupa, Michael-Antichrist, Michael (DXV, Christ)-Lucifer (and rebellious angels), Michael-Plutus, and Fortune-Plutus. Canto VII, then, points to a triangular relationship among Plutus, Fortune, and Michael in an upward moving hierarchy from Hell to Earth to Heaven. The antithetical relationship among the various figures has its universal counterpart in the struggle between the forces of good and evil. In sum, the specific and the general, the temporal and the eternal, come together in Inferno VII through the figures of Plutus, Michael, and Fortune in a way suggesting the larger design of Dante’s poem.

Kleinhenz, Christopher. (Joint author). “Inferno VI: Cariddi e l’avarizia.” See Casagrande, Gino...

Kuropatwa, Joy. “Dante and ‘The Golden Dog.’” In Canadian Literature, No. 86 (1980), 49-58. 

Contends that William Kirby’s novel, The Golden Dog (Le Chien d’Or): A Romance of Old Quebec (1877), reveals a structural and thematic use of Dante’s Divine Comedy in its explicit and implicit Dantean references and patterns of imagery, such as to constitute a key to the novel’s moral vision.

Larner, John. Italy in the Age of Dante and Petrarch, 1216-1380. London and New York: Longman, 1980. x, 278, 16 p. illus. (A Longman History of Italy, Vol. 2.)

Contains only occasional references to Dante, but generally provides a useful social-historical background to the writer and his works, along with Petrarch, as suggested by the title. There are sixteen plates of illustrations as well as maps and tables. Contents: 1. The idea of Italy and the sources of Italian history; 2. Frederick II; 3. Popes, emperors, and communes, 1250-1380; 4. The family; 5. The nobility; 6. Party conflict and the popolo; 7. Party-leaders and signori; 8. The Countryside; 9. Merchants, workers, and workless; 10. Food, war, and government; 11. Religious life; 12. The difficult years, 1340-80; Index.

Leiva-Merikakis, Erasmo. “Fides Quaerens Experientiam: The Flesh of Dante’s Belief.” In Faith and Reason, VI (1980), 203-219. 

Contends that the Comedy is no mere lyrical illustration of Thomas Aquinas’ theology, as some critics hold, though the poem coincides with it at the aesthetic level. More accurately and importantly, where the theologian, as theologian. represents “faith seeking understanding”; Dante’s poetic journey seen as “faith seeking experience” (fides quaerens experientiam), is a superior form because it involves inner faith seeking completion through exterior faith implying the transformation of all earthly experience in the light of faith and thus belonging to the area of ethical and mystical life as well. The latter point is critical, as evidenced by the stress on the ethical side laid in the Letter to Can Grande and the placing of Saint Thomas at a less exalted level in the Paradiso than, say, the mystic Saint Bernard. Presented as a special kind of autobiography interwoven with the truths of divine revelation and recording in poetic expression the fullest experience of the world, Dante’s journey is an experience sensory in nature and therefore the basis of perfect knowledge capable of effecting inner change in the person undergoing it. This poetic journey, however, represents a progressive ordering of the Pilgrim’s experiences ideologically towards ultimate union with God.

Litz, A. Walton. “From Burnt Norton to Little Gidding: The Making of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.” In Review (University Press of Virginia), II (1980), 1-18. 

Review-article on Helen Gardner, The Composition of “Four Quartets” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978; also London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1977), including a discussion of Eliot’s difficulties with revisions of Part II of “Little Gidding” to get the right purgatorial tone in this deliberately Dantesque imitation.

McGuire, Peter J. “Dante’s Inferno in The Blithedale Romance.” In English Language Notes, XVIII (1980), 25-27. 

Cites an allusion in The Blithedale Romance to “the trees of Dante’s ghostly forest” (Inf. XIII) and therefore to Pier della Vigna as well, and points out its multivalent function in Hawthorne’s novel.

Mellen, Philip. “Gerhart Hauptmann and Dante.” In Seminar: Journal of Germanic Studies, XVI (1980), 12-25.

Cites many parallels in Hauptmann’s various works with the Vita Nuova and Divina Commedia, punctuating his attempts at a symbolic interpretation of reality in Dantean terms and evincing a mutual belief in the spiritual progression of humanity, expressed by Dante in the triad Inferno-Purgatory-Paradise of Augustinian tradition, but conceived by Hauptmann, who associated hell with life on earth, as human fallibility-redemption-utopia.

Meade, William Farley. “The Italian Joyce: A Study of the Contribution of Italy to the Creation and Understanding of Ulysses.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XL (1979), 4584A. 

Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1979. 12.5 p. (Dante, among others, profoundly influenced Joyce.)

Morrall, John B. Political Thought in Medieval Times. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, (1980). 154 p. (Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching Series.) 

Contains a discussion (pp. 95-103 and passim) of Dante’s concept of universal monarchy and the idea of humana civiitas in the context of the work as a whole. First published, London: Hutchison, 1958, second edition 1960.

Nicholson, Jane A. “‘A Five-Hundred-Ten-and-Five’; Purgatorio, Canto XXXIII, Line 43.” In Romance Notes, XXI, No. 2 (1980), 238-239. 

Suggests construing the famous crux, “DXV,” from right to left, in chronological sequence, as V for Virgil, the cruciform X for Christ, and D for Dante, who embodies, figurally, the qualities of poet and savior, as a kind of Virgil through Christ. The Oedipan enigma is also seen to occur in a numerically pregnant canto (XXXII, which at the same time contains a prophecy symmetrical with that of Inferno I; the two cantos thus subtend the two cantiche of Virgil’s area).

Pellegrini, Anthony L. “American Dante Bibliography for 1979.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 159-189. 

With brief analyses.

Parry, Anne Amari. “More on the Image of the Eaten Heart.” In Romance Notes. XXI, No. 2. (1980), 234-237. 

Presents some overlooked evidence of the traditional motif of the eaten heart before the time of Sordello, whose planh is often cited in connection with Vita Nuova III. The blood potion, vestige of a primitive, even archetypal practice of blood brotherhood, eventually passed as metaphor into Provencal and Old French Lyric, from which Dante could draw his own use of the metaphorical ritual to express spiritual union of lover and beloved.

Picchio Simonelli, Maria. “Pubblico e società nel Convivio.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 41-58. 

Seeks to determine what specific contemporary readers Dante had in mind, a difficult problem which, unresolved, can otherwise lead to misinterpretations. A close examination of the Convivio reveals use of the technique of disputatio, sign in itself that Dante had a well-defined public in mind, and also textual indications of polemic against detractors of the truth. From a moral standpoint, it is evident that Dante was addressing average persons on the ethical scale, those not exactly evil, yet not entirely good either, a group furthermore, who had not studied Latin, the means of acquiring learning. Dante condemns the educators, the litterati, and specifically, the litterati italici, whom he finds largely lacking in moral goodness, and even more specifically, the clerics. It is clear from the Convivio and the Commedia as well that Dante had a politically reactionary tripartite conception of society: oratores or freemen, bellatores or governors, and laboratores or laborers, with each order fulfilling its particular function for the common good. Among these groups, of which the laboratores had become arrogant and presumptuous in their ignorance and the learned oratores had become corrupt, Dante seems to have placed his hope for achieving his mission in the bellatores for intellectually edifying and spiritually guiding the citizenry by use of the light-giving vernacular to overcome their blindness.

Pipa, Arshi. “Ironia cavalcantiana.” In L’Alighieri, XXI, No. 2 (1980), 47-56.

Contends that Cavalcanti parodies a number of verses in the Vita Nuova, in particular “Tanto gentile e tanto onesta,” as well as verses by Guinizelli, in an attempt to overturn their meaning.

Pirrotta, Nino. “I poeti della scuola siciliana e la musica.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 5-12. 

Contends that contrary to common prejudice against the union of poetry and music the practice was encouraged by Emperor Frederick II to maintain lustre at his court, and its possibility as an alternative endured long afterwards, as reflected in Dante’s Casella episode (Purg. II) and the De vulgari eloquentia II, 4, before the eventual separation of the two elements. In any case, in such a union the music played a subordinate role as embellishing accompaniment and took its repetitive form from the stanzaic structure of the poems.

Poole, Gordon. “Dante’s canzone. Tre donne intorno a cor.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 123-144. 

While there is general agreement that his puzzling doctrinal canzone, Tre donne intorno al cor mi son venute (Rime, CIV) addresses a crisis in Christendom and in the exiled Dante in a context of decaying justice, there is much disagreement on the identification of the “tre donne.” To resolve this problem, and starting with the other figures in the poem, the author argues for associating Amore with charity (root of all virtue, caritas) and Amore’s aunt, Drittura, with justice (as some have done), but differentiated here in the aspect of natural law (ius naturale). The mother and daughter figures, derived from the latter, are begotten, according to the poem, parthenogenetically from the Godhead and the Holy Ghost and divine law (in the mind of the Godhead), the father and mother of charity (Amore). The daughter and granddaughter figures, in turn, clearly pertaining to human law (lex humana), can be supposed to represent, respectively, ius gentium and ius civile, pertaining to regional law and to specific legal organization of single townships. Written early (between 1302 and 1305?) in the poet’s exile, the canzone is seen to manifest a rationalistic optimism largely in accord with a Thomistic position on these matters, before later passing on to an Augustinian stage, attributing the origin of these various aspects of law, including ius gentium and ius civile as well as ius naturale, to Eden. The author concludes by charting a complete family tree organically correlating the various figures in the canzone under the following identifications: first comes Lex Aeterna, from which branch out, on the one hand, Ius Divinum, which together with the Spiritus Sanctus, begets Caritas, and on the other, Ius Naturale, from which derive, in turn, Ius Gentium and Ius Civile. This scheme fits Dante’s view of the human world organized hierarchically with eternal law manifested in the institutions of Church headed by the Pope and State ruled by the Emperor, the first being entrusted with divine law accepted on faith and the second transmitting eternal law in the form of natural law to be accepted through reason and from which the various aspects of human law derive. Charity and Justice, of course, together constitute the fount of all human virtues, the way to man’s earthly and heavenly beatitudes.

Popolizio, Stephen. “Literary Reminiscences and the Act of Reading in Inferno V.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 19-33. 

Examines why Dante makes the reading of books such a major theme in Inferno V, which deals with sinners dominated by emotions, and finds (1) that Francesca and Paolo’s sin was vitally connected with their improper reading of the Lancelot romance, that is, without discretio, and thus emotionally for pleasure rather than analytically with didactic purpose; (2) that the many literary reminiscences, both secular and religious, built into the canto by the poet, especially in Francesca’s account, serve to reinforce the first point that Francesca seeks in literature only what is consoling and exalting, an emotional experience, not a learning process, with the result even of some distortion of fact; and (3) that Dante clearly equates faulty reading of a text with a potential state of sin, as can be seen in the Pilgrim himself at this stage of the journey—he too, not yet capable of reacting analytically and rationally, is emotionally overcome with empathy and falls senseless to the ground, symbolically reenacting the consequences of Paolo and Francesca’s sin.

Reifenberg-Goehl, U. “Der Gedankliche Umbruch im Sonett mit besonderer Beröcksichtigung von Dante und Petrarca.” In Dissertation Abstracts Interntional, XL (1979), 3113C. 

Doctoral dissertation, Universität Münster, 1977, 22.5 p. In German. (“The intellectual change in the sonnet with special reference to Dante and Petrarch.”)

Renucci, Paul. “Nature et histoire dans le Canzoniere de Pétrarque.” In Franecsco Petrarca, Citizen of the World. Proceedings of the World Petrarch Congress, Washington, D.C., April 6-13, 1974, edited by Aldo S. Bernardo (Padova: Editrice Antenore; Albany: State University of New York Press), pp. 17-51. 

Includes ample discussion of the essential differences between the literary representation of the amorous relationship of Dante to Beatrice and that of Petrarch to Laura. Where in the first there is a marked chronological progression towards spiritualization of love, consummated in the Divine Comedy, in the second, despite changing external circumstances, and the poet-lover’s higher aspirations, love, unfulfilled and ever short of ultimate happiness, remains as a fundamental passion peculiar to the human condition, and bequeathed by Petrarch to posterity as an enduring mythology and inexhaustible source of poetic inspiration.

Reynolds, Mary T. “Dante in Joyce’s Exiles.” In James Joyce Quarterly, XVIII, No. 1 (1980), 35-44. 

Points out Dantean echoes and parallels—and inversions—in James Joyce’s play, Exiles (1913-1915), with the Vita Nuova elements in Purgatorio XXX-XXXI, some of which already appear as early as chapter 22 (written in 1905) of Stephen Hero and also in an intermediate work, Giacomo Joyce. Exiles is evidence of Joyce’s maturing syncretism and his firm reading of the Divine Comedy, patterns of which he however transformed in his own fiction, thus marking his distance as a modern artist from Dante. For example, against Dante’s plumbing of the soul theologically, Joyce followed a psycho-analytic approach; also, symptomatic of the modern break with the Catholic past, he attributes a negative image to the Beatrice in Exiles. But it is in this play that he initiates Dante as a Catholic preference in Irish artistic life.

Sayers, Dorothy L. Further Papers on Dante. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 

Reprint of the 1957 edition (London: Methuen; also, an American edition—New York: Harper), extensively reviewed. (See 76th Report, 52 and 57, 77th Report, 58 and 63, and 79th Report, 54.)

Shapiro, Marianne. Hieroglyph of Time: The Petrarchan Sestina. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980. xii, 254 p.

Contains a discussion (pp. 91 ff.) of Dante’s sestina, Al poco giorno e al gran cerchio d’ombra, in relation to Arnant Daniel and to Petrarch, and other references to Dante passim. Contents: Prefatory Note; Chapter 1. Introduction; 2. Arnaut and Arnaldians; 3. Concepts of Time and the Petrarchan Sestina; 4. Dante; Five Sestinas by Petrarch; 5. Dialectics of Renaissance Imitation: The Case of Pontus de Tyard; 6. The Pastoral Sestina; 7. The Ship Allegory; 8. Epilogue; References [bibliography], Index of Subjects, and Index of Names.

Singleton, Charles S. “The Poet’s Number at the Center.” In Essays in the Numerical Criticism of Medieval Literature, edited by Caroline D. Eckhardt (Lewisburg, N.J.: Bucknell University Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1980), pp. 79-90. 

Reprinted from Modern Language Notes, LXXX (1965), 1-10 (see Dante Studies, LXXXIV, 100). (This essay has also appeared, in Italian, in Professor Singleton’s collection of Dantean pieces, La poesia della Divina Commedia [Bologna: Società Editrice Il Mulino, 1978]—see Dante Studies, XCVII, 175-176.)

Slattery, Dennis Patrick. “Dante’s Image of Hope in Paradiso.” In Renascence, XXXIII (1980), 24-35. 

Examines the final vision of the Divinity encompassing also the image of man (Par. XXXIII, 117-131) as an image of hope, which has its beginning in the opening image of Inferno I and elaboration in the whole poetic journey itself, patterned on Christ’s death to this world, descent into and ascent in the After Life, and resurrection into Paradise, as commemorated at Easter. The poem is seen structurally to maintain a tension between kronos, or history in this life, and kairos, or sacred time, between revelation and salvation, with the concrete-universal image of hope as the sustaining element, offering Dante and his reader a possibility to be sought in this world. Through the final vision/image of hope, the poet is actually pointing to our life on earth, as is supported also by other allusions to birth/rebirth patterned on the christological example with references to Mary in the same final canto.

Smarr, Janet Levarie. “Celestial Patterns and Symmetries in the Vita Nuova.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 145-150. 

Citing an article by Robert Hollander noting in the Vita Nuova nine visions of Beatrice plus one in the Empyrean and an article by Robert Durling on Dante’s use of cosmological structures as early as the rime petrose, the author submits a perceived pattern of the ten celestial spheres correlated with Dante’s visions of Beatrice in the libello. In addition to a celestial correlation with the Beatrician appearances as a progression or ascending pattern toward God, there seems to be a coordinated pairing of the visions from the first and ninth toward the central, crucial event of Beatrice’s withholding her greeting. It is evident that Dante sought very early to inform his poetry with a cosmological model and symmetrical construction, which he fully achieved in the Commedia.

Smith, Nathaniel B. “Arnant Daniel in the Purgatorio: Dante’s Ambivalence toward Provencal.” In Dante Studies, XCVIII (1980), 99-109. 

Notes Dante’s linguistic patriotism for Italian and analyzes the Provencal verses that Arnaut is made to speak in Purgatorio XXVI, 140-147, which under many aspects are quite common to the Provencal poets in general. Literarily, then, Dante has made Arnaut a universal archetype of the troubadours reflecting their form, style, and vocabulary, as well as their thematic obsession with love. Such a figure of Arnaut, represented as linguistically and poetically universal, accords with Dante’s conception of a universal world culture with a common tradition enabling Greeks, Latins, and thirteenth-century men to converse in intellectual partnership. This universality given to Arnaut here is seen to betray Dante’s ambivalence towards troubadour poetry, which he obviously admires even as he seeks to defend his own vernacular against the rival Provencal and French.

Spengemann, William C. The Form of Autobiography: Episodes in the History of a Literary Genre. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980. xvii, 154 p.

Contains a chapter on “Historical Autobiography” (pp. 34-61), which includes a discussion of Dante’s Vita Nuova and extended comparisons with St. Augustine’s Confessions, John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding, and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, with respect to the evolution of the genre. There is some further reference to Dante, passim, and a brief bibliographical section on the Vita Nuova (pp. 218-220) as part of the concluding chapter, “The Study of Autobiography: A Bibliographical Essay.” Indexed.

Stefanini, Ruggero. “Dante in Borges: L’Aleph, Beatriz e il Sud.” In Italica, LVII (1980), 53-65. 

Calling attention to the merits of a recent work on Borges, Roberto Paoli’s Borges. Percorsi di significato (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Facoltà di Magistero-Istituto Ispanico; Messina-Firenze: D’Anna, 1977), the author elaborates on many parallels with Dante in Borges’ El Akph, Beatriz, and El Sur, in particular with the Paradiso, the Vita Nuova, and the Purgatorio, respectively.

Sturm-Maddox, Sara. “Transformations of Courtly Love Poetry: Vita Nuova and Canzoniere.” In The Expansion and Transformations of Courtly Literature, edited by Nathaniel B. Smith and Joseph T. Snow (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press), pp. 128-140. 

Explores Dante’s Vita Nuova and Petrarch’s Canzoniere in their intertextual relation to the courtly lyric tradition and focuses more specifically on the “protogeneric” narrative pattern of the poet-lover in that tradition. While there are similarities in the two works, especially in their development of a story line with the help of the prose in the one and the significant distribution and ordering of poems in the other, the conclusion differs in each case: Petrarch, whose work is indebted to Dante’s more than he admits, does not transform Laura into a Beatrice, but turns ultimately to the Virgin herself.

Suther, Judith D., and R. V. Griffin. “Dante’s Use of the Gorgon Medusa in Inferno IX.” In Kentucky Romance Quarterly, XXVII (1980), 69-84. 

Review briefly the Medusa figure in classical literature and in the monster lore of the Middle Ages to account for Dante’s use of the figure. From the ambiguous oxymoronic figure of a Grim Queen combining monstrosity and beauty, the authors submit that in its antithetical yet prepotent character the Gorgon Medusa (who is never actually seen) in Inferno IX serves as the structural counterpart or annunciatory opposite of Beatrice’s appearance in Purgatorio XXX. Supporting this view are the many numerological associations of 3 and 9 in the Commedia and the Vita Nuova surrounding the two figures, along with elements of the rime petrose. The Gorgon suggests the divine presence in its punitive aspect, while Beatrice points to a God of charity.

Tysone, Edith Slosson. “Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Dante’s Inferno: A Comparison of the Images of Hell, Damnation and Corruption. In Iowa State Journal of Research, LIV (1980), 461-468. 

Cites five parallels between Macbeth and the Inferno, particularly Macbeth’s advance perception of the treacherous murder of Duncan, with its fourfold sinful aspect that exactly parallels Dante’s fourfold division of treachery in Cocytus. Such cogent evidence in this play, along with Dantean echoes in Measure for Measure and Richard III, prompts ever more poignantly the question of whether and to what extent Shakespeare knew and was influenced by Dante.

Valentine, Robert Y. “Arturo Cova: Spirit and Savage Plant.” In Revista de Estudios Hispanicos, XIV, No. 2 (1980), 39-46.  

Elaborates on the parallels and echoes of Inferno XIII, with its bleeding, talking trees of the suicides, in the characterization of Arturo Cova in Jose Eustasio Rivera’s novel of self-destruction, La vorágine (1924).

Valesio, Paolo.Regretter: Genealogia della ripetizione nell’episodio di Paolo e Francesca.” In Yearbook of Italian Studies, IV (1980), 87-104. 

Seeks to clarify further the Paolo and Francesca episode in Inferno V by examining the intertextual genealogy of significant forms constituting the larger literary context of Dante’s treatment even in its discontinuity, more specifically in verses 112-117, where Dante seeks to know the “prima radice” of the ill-fated love affair. Especially significant is the element of repetitivity of the language of love in the literary tradition on which Dante-poet builds. Important in this genealogy is the merging of the Lancelot-Guinevere with the Tristan-Iseut stories. The author lends much more importance than hitherto has obtained to the reading of the Lancelot-Guinevere story in the light of the Tristan-Iseut tale, but in the latter’s combination of the Bern text of the “Folies de Tristan” and the Oxford text probably derived from it. A key element is the term, regretter, with its implication of nostalgic remembrance. for intertextually coloring the Dantean episode in Inferno V, specifically in Francesca’s dual narrative of her story.

Valtz, Denise. “A Reappraisal of Giovanni Gentile’s Criticism of Dante.” In Forum Italicum, XIV (1980), 195-209. 

Reviews Giovanni Gentile’s critical position on Dante to prove that he deserves more important consideration as a twentieth-century critic than he has been accorded (probably for political reasons), pointing out that even Erich Auerbach seems indebted to him. In particular, the author contends that Gentile, far from separating the poetic and philosophical aspects of Dante, as some have claimed, actually considers them a unity along with the subjective element he posited in every individual under the general concept of “autocoscienza.” In other words, according to Gentile’s critical approach, as can be seen from his theoretical articles of 1904-1913 and his Dantean studies of 1909-1921, Dante must be considered of a piece as a poet-philosopher striving towards a fusion of knowledge and virtue in the service of social betterment. To exemplify Gentile’s illustration of Dante’s “autocoscienza,” the author cites his treatment of the Purgatorio, his method finding its natural conclusion in his reading of Canto VI.

Vance, Eugene. “Désir, rhétorique et texte—Semences de différence: Brunet Latin chez Dante.” In Poétique, No. 42 (April 1980), 137-155.

Elaborates on Andre Pézard’s thesis and the ideological matrix established by it (Dante sous la pluie de feu) in examining Inferno XV as a brilliant poetic synthesis of amorous desire, rhetoric, and text—three notions commonly associated together in the Middle Ages. For their relevant bearing on the canto, the author (with citations from Augustine, Aquinas, Bernard Sylvestris, and Alain de Lille) specifically considers such matters as “exile” in its cultural and spiritual as well as political sense (of which the canto is seen as a meditation in all its aspects); language as the cement of human communication that maintains the political order; the critical role of analogy in medieval thinking; the recognized importance of music and poetry as aiding nature in its cosmic fulfillment of the divine plan against the corrupting factor of Chaos (figured in the image of silva, forest); the understanding of perversion as extending beyond sodomy to man’s relation not so much to his own species as to his polis and culture, a relationship expressed particularly in the use man makes of his language; a text as the locus of social and cultural perversion; the historical Brunetto’s choice of French as his language of expression while in exile, considered by Dante a political as well as moral choice, with Brunetto having voluntarily exiled himself from his own culture through that choice of language, much as, analogically, the sodomites exiled themselves (contra natura). The author goes on to note the poetic strategies employed by Dante, especially his metaphors used with three-fold analogical value on the principle of proportionalitas, constrastively pairing reason and passion, construction and flooding, and the creative force of God and the elements of Chaos. The flames raining downward (contrary to fire’s nature to rise) are seen to reinforce the idea of perversion of natural principle. The very act of Brunetto’s turning back to talk with Dante is suggestive of the dangerous art of trope (tropare). And Brunetto’s dwelling upon his literary work as his most valued treasure reflects a further distortion of the true (heavenly) treasure, thus exhibiting authorial pride in idolatrous self-identification with the written word. In sum, representative of the potentially dangerous, self-destructive art of rhetoric (inter-associated with grammatica and litteratura), with the practitioner himself as the first victim of its deceiving ways, Brunetto incarnates all the vices associated with rhetoricians since Plato’s time: love of money, opportunism, devotion to external things, self-adulation in the word, etc. The presence of Priscian too, apart from possible association with Julian the Apostate, may perhaps be explained as a figure of idolatry of the written sign, a sin commonly feared by the medieval Christian.

Vetrugno, Vittoria Giovanna. “The Poetry of Dante and Crocean Criticism.” In Dissertation Abstracts International, XL (1979), 5857A. 

Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, 1979. 429 p. (Seeks to reconcile the struttura-poesia controversy by showing there is no such conflict in a true work of art like the Commedia.)

Viscusi, Robert Joseph. “The Dandy Dante: Max Beerbohm’s Epic Allegories.”In Dissertation Abstracts International, XL (1979), 5881A. 

Doctoral dissertation, New York University, 1979. 626 p. (On Max Beerbohm’s attempt to imitate Dante and “do for the world of the 19th-century English dandy what Dante . . . had done for the world of the 14th-century Italian Catholic: to give its vision an epic.”)

Waller, Marguerite R. Petrarch’s Poetics and Literary History. Amherst, Mass.: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1980. xii, 163 p.

Based on recent methods of semiotics and deconstruction, the study contains frequent and substantial comparison and contrast between Petrarch and Dante, passim. Indexed.

Werge, Thomas. “Dante’s Ulysses and Ahab’s Voyage: The Angel’s Imagination in the Literal World.” In Notre Dame English Journal, XII, No. 2 (1980), 141-174, 

Contends that Dante’s interpretation of Ulysses as a voyager in malo (Inf. XXVI) “reinforces, through its relevance to Ahab’s voyage, the central place of the literal world in Melville’s thought and imagination.” What Allen Tate has called the “angelic imagination” affects, for example, Melville’s dramatization of man’s place in the great chain of being and his conception of images and the analogia mentis, along with his version of God and creation. The bulk of the essay is devoted to the elaboration of Melville’s dramatization of Ahab’s “angelic imagination,” to the literal voyage of the Pequod as embodying the soul on an itinerarium mentis, and to a long disquisition on developments in theology since the Middle Ages that have tended toward a metaphysics of thought without faith or physical object and hence an alienation of man from God, a situation reflected in Ahab’s dwelling in a sphere of pure thought and in his monomaniacal quest for the infinite power, which severs his mind from his body. As with Dante’s Ulysses, Ahab lacks a guide to avoid destruction on such a journey of spiritual exploration, a guide such as Dante-Pilgrim had; by contrast with Ahab, Ishmael, it is pointed out, has guidance thanks to the presence of Queequeg as a “principle of limitation.” And so “limitation, humility, and reciprocity rather than the angelic imagination and the will to . . . power, and a waiting attentiveness to mediating and sacramental images of revelation rather than the seizing of truth from a wholly transcendent divinity, mark the concluding tone of the narrative” in Moby-Dick.

Wetherbee, Winthrop. “The Descent from Bliss: Troilus III. 1310-1582.” In Chaucer’s “Troilus”: Essays in Criticism, edited by Stephen A. Barney ([Hamden, Conn.:] Archon Books, 1980), pp. 297-317. 

Contends that at the center of Troilus and Criseyde, where the love of two protagonists is physically consummated, Chaucer has structured the episode as an extended parody based on the pattern at the center of Dante’s Divine Comedy, specifically the part describing the Pilgrim’s experience in the closing cantos of the Purgatorio (XXVII ff.), beginning with the Pilgrim’s emergence from the fire that purges lust.

Wheelock, James T.S. “The Varying Semantics of Analogy in the Commedia.” In Italian Culture, II (1980), 39-48.

Distinguishes Dante’s use of analogy by metaphor and simile in the Paradiso as different from that in the Inferno and Purgatorio. While in the first two cantiche Dante exploits the poetic advantages of complex, this-worldly mimetic in competition with prior masters of the art, he employs elementally simple relationships to communicate his experience in the ineffable realm of the Paradiso for achieving his didactic purpose. His analogies here are based on predictability of common properties familiar to us all, based on obvious directional and formative principles. With the use of elemental terminology is combined the practice of concatenation of similes building to a single mimetic effect. Simplicity and multiplicity, in short, distinguish Dante’s analogies in the Paradiso from those in the Inferno and the Purgatorio.



The Divine Comedy. A new verse translation by C.H. Sisson. Manchester, England: Carcanet New Press Ltd., 1980. (For an American edition, see above, main section, under Translations.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Times Literary Supplement, 26 Sept. 1980, p. 1051;

            Derek Stanford, in Books and Bookmen, XXV (1980), 23-25.

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. [Inferno] A verse translation, with introduction and commentary, by Allen Mandelbaum. Drawings by Barry Moser. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London: University of California Press, 1980. (See above, under Translations.) Reviewed by:

            Carolina Donadio Lawson, in Italian Culture, 11 (1980), 103-109.

            Brian Swann, in Library Journal, CV (1 December 1980), 2501.

Dante’s Rime. Translated by Patrick Sidney Diehl. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979. (See Dante Studies, XCVIII, 160.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Choice, XVI (1980), 1587;

            Anne Paolucci, in Western Humanities Review, XXXIV (1980), 182-185.

Dante Studies, XCVI (1978). Reviewed by:

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXIV (1980), 305-306.

Fergusson, Francis. Trope and Allegory: Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1977 (see Dante Studies, XCVI, 221, XCVII, 179 and 191, and XCVIII, 177.) Reviewed by:

            Sylvan Barnet, in Modern Philology, LXXVII (1980), 324-327;

            Calvin S. Brown, in Review (University Press of Virginia), II (1980), 361-365;

            Anne Paolucci, in Comparative Literature, XXXII (1980), 218-221.

Forti, Fiorenzo. Magnanimitade: studi su un tema dantesco. Bologna: Pàtron, 1977. Contains six studies on magnanimity in Dante’s Commedia. Reviewed by:

            Denise Heilbronn, in Forum Italicum, XIV (1980), 128-131.

Foster, Kenelm. The Two Dantes and Other Studies. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press; London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 221-222, and XCVII, 157-165; extensively reviewed.) Reviewed by:

            Vittore Branca, in Lettere italiane, XXXII (1980), 261-265;

            Daniel J. Donno, in Speculum, LV (1980), 358-360;

            Robert Hollander, in University Publishing, IX (1980), 11;

            John A. Scott, in Modern Language Review, LXXV (1980), 906-909.

Gardner, Helen. The Composition of “Four Quarters.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Contains references to Dante’s influence. Reviewed by:

            A. Walton Litz, in Review (University Press of Virginia), II (1980), 1-18.

Iannucci, Amilcare A. “Ulysses’ ‘folle volo’: The Burden of History.” In Medioevo romanzo, III (1976), 410-445. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 245-246.) Reviewed by:

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXIV (1980), 295-296.

Jenaro-MacLennan, L. The Trecento Commentaries on the “Divina Commedia” and the Epistle to Cangrande. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1974. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 232, XCV, 178 and 189, and XCVI, 240.) Reviewed by:

            Piero Boitani, in Italian Quarterly, XXI, No. 79 (1980), 109-110;

            Denise Valtz Ferreri, in Romanic Review 71 (1980), 341-342.

Kay, Richard. Dante’s Swift and Strong: Essays on Inferno XV. Lawrence, Kans.: University of Kansas Press, 1978. (See Dante Studies, XCVII, 171-172 and 180.) Reviewed by:

            Ronald B. Herzman, in Modern Philology, III (1980), 75-78;

            Robin Kirkpatrick, in Modern Language Review, LXXV (1980), 418-419;

            Jonathan S. Tuck, in University Publishing, IX (1980), 10-11.

Kirkpatrick, Robin. Dante’s “Paradiso” and the Limitations of Modern Criticism: A Study of Style and Poetic Theory. Cambridge, England; New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, 1978. (See Dante Studies, XCVIII, 184-185, also 178 and 189.) Reviewed by:

            John C. Barnes, in Italian Studies, XXXV (1980), 102-103;

            Morton W. Bloomfield, in Speculum, LV (1980), 136-137;

            Vincent Moleta, in Medium Aevum, XLIX (1980), 312-318;

            John A. Scott, in Modern Language Review, LXXV (1980), 107-108.

Lansing, Richard H. From Image to Idea: A Study of the Simile in Dante’s “Commedia.” Ravenna: Longo Editore, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 227, and XCVIII, 178.) Reviewed by:

            Leonard R. N. Ashley, in Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, LII (1980), 707-708;

            Denise Heilbronn, in Forum Italicum, XIV (1980), 128-131;

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXIV (1980), 609-610.

Manca, Marie Antoinette. Harmony and the Poet: The Creative Ordering of Reality. The Hague, Paris, and New York: Mouton Publishers, 1978. Contains a chapter, “Justice, Piety and the Dantean Quest” (pp. 31-70). Reviewed by:

            Peter Kivy, in Italian Quarterly, XXI, No. 80 (Spring 1980), 126-129.

Mazzotta, Giuseppe. Dante, Poet of the Desert: History and Allegory in the Divine Comedy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979. (See Dante Studies, XCVIII, 168-169.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Choice, XVI, No. 12 (1980), 1588;

            Andrea Di Tommaso, in Criticism, XXII (1980), 271-273;

            Joan M. Ferrante, in Renaissance Quarterly, XXXIII (1980), 735-737;

            Reginald Gregoire, in Studi medievali, 3a Serie, Anno XXI, Fasc. 2 (1980), 982-983;

            Anne Paolucci, in Western Humanities Review, XXXIV (1980), 288-290.

Nolan, Barbara. The Gothic Visionary Perspective. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977. (See Dante Studies, XCVI, 230-231.) Reviewed by:

            Richard K. Emmerson, in Modern Philology, LXXVII (1980), 406-411;

            Anne Hudson, in Modern Language Review, LXXV (1980), 618-619;

            Joseph S. Wittig, in Speculum, LV (1980), 161-164.

Padoan, Giorgio. Il pio Enea, l’empio Ulisse. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 1977. Reviewed by:

            Franco Ferrucci, in Italian Quarterly, XXI (1980), No. 81, 124-126.

Perella, Nicolas J. Midday in Italian Literature: Variations on an Archetypal Theme. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1979. (See Dante Studies, XCVIII, 171 and 178.) Reviewed by:

            C[handler] B. B[eall], in Comparative Literature, XXXII (1980), 198-199;

            Glauco Cambon, in Italian Quarterly, XXI, No. 79 (1980), 107-109;

            Clareece Godt, in MLN, XCV (1980), 225-232.

            John A. Scott, in Italian Studies, XXXV (1980), 101-102;

            John A. Scott, in Lettere italiane, XXXII (1980), 564-568.

Quilligan, Maureen. The Language of Allegory: Defining the Genre. Ithaca, N.Y. and London, England: Cornell University Press, 1979. Contains reference to Dante. Reviewed by:

            William J. Kennedy, in MLN, XCV (1980), 1475-1427.

Quinones, Ricardo J. Dante Alighieri. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979. (See Dante Studies, XCVIII, 171-173.) Reviewed by:

            [Anon.], in Choice, XVII, No. 3 (1980), 395-396.

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

            Gabriele Muresu, in Rassegna della letteratura italiana, LXXXIV (1980), 284-287.

Steiner, George. After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1975. Contains a discussion on translating the Commedia in French and German and further reference to Dante. (See Dante Studies, XCVII, 190, also 187.) Reviewed by:

            Anna Laura Lepschy, in Romance Philology, XXXIII (1980) 411-413.

Studies in Medieval Literature and Languages in Memory of Frederick Whitehead. Edited by W. Rothwell [et al.] Manchester, England: Manchester University Press; New York: Barnes and Noble, 1973. Contains T.E. Hope, “Gallicisms in Dante’s Divina Commedia,” pp. 153-172. (See Dante Studies, XCIII, 250-251). Reviewed by:

            Mary B. Speer, in Romance Philology, XXXIII (1980) 580-583.

The Two Hesperias: Literary Studies in Honor of Joseph G. Fucilla on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday. Edited by Americo Bugliani. Madrid: José Porrúa Turanas, S.A., 1977. Contains two Dantean pieces by Umberto Bosco and Aldo Vallone. (See Dante Studies, XCVII, 169 and 178, respectively.) Reviewed by:

            Alfred A. Triolo, in Italica, LVII (1980), 114-115.