Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Dante and the Church & Dante and His Literary Precursors, Four Courts, 2007

My prive scilence over the past few weeks has been due to a hectic HT, but I thought I'd better send a flare up just so that you know I'm alive. Things have been busy here this term, both teaching and getting to interesting lectures. Caroline Bynum Walker gave a lecture at Schools last evening entitled "Visual Matter: Christian Materiality in the Later Middle Ages". Fascinating stuff. Last week Derek Pearsall came to talk about the C-Text of Piers Plowman, a new edition of which will appear with Exeter UP next year. Greatly anticipated.

In other news: I just picked up s/h copies of these two collections of essays, each originally comprising lectures delivered at the Annual Dante Lecture Series at University College Dublin. This lecture series is the main outlet for Dante research in Ireland and its organizers and participants, as well as the UCD Foundation for Italian Studies, are all much to be commended. Both of these collections merit attention. I'm still making my way through them, but I greatly enjoyed George Holmes' 'Dante and the Franciscans' (pp. 25-38) and Alexander Murray's 'Purgatory and the Spatial Imagination' (pp. 61-92), a very fascinating and broad account. I am next going to read Catherine Keen's 'Fathers of Lies: (Mis)readings of Clerical and Civic Duty in Inferno XXIII' (pp. 173-207).

The other volume on Dante's literary precursors has twelve essays. Again, I'm still making my way through it, but have already greatly enjoyed A. Teresa Hankey's 'Dante and Statius' (pp. 37-50, though I'm unconvinced) and Peter Hainsworth's excellent 'Dante and Monte Andrea' (pp. 153-177, and I am convinced). Next will be Claire E. Honess, 'Dante and Political Poetry in the Vernacular' (pp. 117-151).

I guess the appearance to two volumes at once must have to do with the RAE last year. One curiosity (as opposed to a criticism): The Dante and the Church convention for citing the Commedia is Petrocchi's edition, but in Dante and His Literary Precursors, it is to Sanguineti's new edition. I'd love to know if there were any philological reasons for the discrepancy. Also it uses Gorni's Vita nova, and De Robertis' Rime, but in the SISMEL edition of 2005 rather than the 2002 Edizione Nazionale published by Le Lettere, while the Church volume simply refers to the Ricciardi Opere minori for everything except the Commedia. So between the two volumes, we're getting everything, I suppose.

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