Petrarch and Dante: Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, Tradition by Zygmunt Baranski

Petrarch and Dante: Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, Tradition

EditorZygmunt Baranski, Theodore J. Cachey Jr

Paperback | May 15, 2009

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Since the beginnings of Italian vernacular literature, the nature of the relationship between Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) and his predecessor Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) has remained an open and endlessly fascinating question of both literary and cultural history. In this volume nine leading scholars of Italian medieval literature and culture address this question involving the two foundational figures of Italian literature.

Through their collective reexamination of the question of who and what came between Petrarch and Dante in ideological, historiographical, and rhetorical terms, the authors explore the emergence of an anti-Dantean polemic in Petrarch's work. That stance has largely escaped scrutiny, thanks to a critical tradition that tends to minimize any suggestion of rivalry or incompatibility between them.
The authors examine Petrarch's contentious and dismissive attitude toward the literary authority of his illustrious predecessor; the dramatic shift in theological and philosophical context that occurs from Dante to Petrarch; and their respective contributions as initiators of modern literary traditions in the vernacular. Petrarch's substantive ideological dissent from Dante clearly emerges, a dissent that casts in high relief the poets' radically divergent views of the relation between the human and the divine and of humans' capacity to bridge that gap.
“An absolute A-list of contributors here considers all that falls, all forms of regard and disregard, between two of the great poets and cultural legislators of the western world. Timely, original, and highly recommended.” —David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor, University of Pennsylvania
"A collection of sparkling essays exploring Petrarch's efforts to conceal his enormous debt to Dante while seeking to replace Dante's authority with his own. I found it hard to stop reading." —Ronald Witt, Duke University
Petrarch and Dante is a magnificent volume of uniformly superb essays. Instead of surveying Petrarch’s variety or his influence upon later culture, the authors have ingeniously focused on shifting relationships with the poet’s most formidable Italian predecessor, Dante; in so doing, they have produced scholarship that teases out the issues with great subtlety and nuance.” —William J. Kennedy, Cornell University

About The Author

Zygmunt G. Baranski is Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of New Hall.Theodore J. Cachey, Jr., is professor of Italian at the University of Notre Dame.
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Details & Specs

Title:Petrarch and Dante: Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, TraditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:426 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:May 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0268022119

ISBN - 13:9780268022112

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Editorial Reviews

“Bringing together leading scholars of medieval studies, this highly readable and engaging volume presents original contributions. . . . Through a variety of methodological tools that bridge the study authorship, textuality, and linguistic and cultural politics, the essays each examine a particular strategy by which Petrarch sought to limit Dante’s authority, especially in vernacular terms and with respect to the metaphysical and religious claims of the Commedia. The question of exactly where the dialogue between Dante and Petrarch begins and ends remains open, but it is that open-endedness which the volume promotes as its greatest critical strength.” —Medium Aevum