Due from Fordham, around about now, is Teodolinda Barolini's Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture:

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 Dante’s Vita nuova, Petrarch’s lyric sequence, and Boccaccio’s Decameron. Barolini also looks at the cultural implications of the editorial history of Dante’s 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 women’s use and instruction, as explored by Guittone, Dante, and Boccaccio—but not by Petrarch—were more progressive than the courtly style for which the Italian tradition is celebrated.

Readers Comments

  1. Hmmm. Looks like an interesting book, Mark. But oddly enough it seems to leave out (at least as far as the infor we have on it so far) despite its attempts at looking for encompassing origins, the connections to Arab culture & influence —unless they are deeply buried in the book. Which would be a shame, as in today's Kulturkampf an investigation of the actual connections between these cultures & their reciprocal influences would be very helpful.
    — Pierre

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