Friday, 12 January 2007


Joy unbounded. Back in May 2005 I posted on a volume of the Mondadori reprint of the Ricciardi Opere minori of Dante. I had been looking for vol. 1/1, the Vita nuova and Rime ed. by Domenico de Robertis and Gianfranco Contini. It had been and has been annoying me for a long time. Well, guess what? I found it. Quite by chance, just a casual browse on an Italian version of Abebooks which is called Maremagnum. I find it a very useful site for s/h Italian books, though I do wish that Italian postal charges were a little lower. They seem to also list some of the booksellers on Abebooks, and indeed on Abebooks you'll find some of the sellers who list with Maremagnum. The site charges a commission, which seems fair enough, and they do tell you what they charge. The bookseller is called Studio Bibliografico Orfeo and it is in via Torleone 20/a, 40125 Bologna (tel. +39 051 6360113). Needless to say after looking for this book for about five years it is very satisfying to find it in Bologna. They also sent me a very elegant catalogue of their stock and it looks very interesting. Not a huge amount of Dante, but a few nice things.

The value of these editions is their commentaries, which are excellent. The texts themselves are, bit by bit, being superseded by more recent editions, such as de Robertis' edition of the Rime (I want it I want it etc), Brambilla-Ageno's text of the Convivio and Gorni's edition of the VN, though in this last case we may be talking more about a question of a reinterpretation of the divisio textus rather than individual lectiones; undoubtedly Barbi's text is still extremely important.

I had heard a rumour that Treccani, who bought the Ricciardi catalogue, were going to publish the Opere minori again, and I have a feeling they're going to bring it out in those editions they sell with the Sunday newspapers. I've already seen one of the Promessi sposi and would guess it's going to be the same for Dante. I have another little find that I'll post about soon, but will wait until it arrives!

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