In this book, Teodolinda Barolini explores the sources of Italian literary culture in the figures of its lyric poets and its GCGBPthree crownsGC Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Barolini views the origins of Italian literary culture through four prisms: the ideological/philosophical, the intertextual/multicultural, the structural/formal, and the social.The essays in the first section treat the ideology of love and desire from the early lyric tradition to the Inferno and its antecedents in philosophy and theology. In the second, Barolini focuses on Dante as heir to both the Christian visionary and the classical pagan traditions (with emphasis on Vergil and Ovid). The essays in the third part analyze the narrative character of DanteGs Vita nuova, PetrarchGs lyric sequence, and BoccaccioGs Decameron. Barolini also looks at the cultural implications of the editorial history of DanteGs rime and at what sparso versus organico spells in the Italian imaginary. In the section on gender, she argues that the didactic texts intended for womenGs use and instruction, as explored by Guittone, Dante, and BoccaccioGbut not by PetrarchGwere more progressive than the courtly style for which the Italian tradition is celebrated.Moving from the lyric origins of the Divine Comedy in GDante and the Lyric PastG to PetrarchGs regressive stance on gender in GNotes toward a Gendered History of Italian LiteratureGGand encompassing, among others, Giacomo da Lentini, Guido Cavalcanti, and Guittone dGArezzoGthese sixteen essays by one of our leading critics frame the literary culture of thirteenth-and fourteenth-century Italy in fresh, illuminating ways that will prove useful and instructive to students and scholars alike.
Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture
Fordham University Press