Reading Dante in Nineteenth-Century Italy

Beatrice Arduini

in Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199584628
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739095 | DOI:
Reading Dante in Nineteenth-Century Italy

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The nationalization of Dante through the political use of his figure as literary ancestor recurred from the mid- to late nineteenth century in Mazzini, Carducci, and Pascoli, and succeeded in firmly placing the poet among the originating geniuses of Italian, and more broadly, European, culture. The development of the Romantic aesthetics of taste and sensibility, however, was institutionalized later in the nineteenth century through the key role assigned to Dante in the national school and university curriculum. This chapter explores how the permanent presence of the poet's writing in the studies and the formation of educated Italians and the memorability of his texts are ensured in part by Michele Barbi's proposals of new editorial standards for Dante's works, in particular for the Vita Nova and the Rime — texts which represent the most suggestive of Dante's so-called minor works for post-Romantic readers, since they can be read as the story of a sentimental education, or a Bildungsroman.

Keywords: Dante; nationalization; university curriculum; Michele Barbi; Vita Nova; Rime

Chapter.  7507 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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