Chapter

Notes Toward a Gendered History of Italian Literature, with a Discussion of Dante's Beatrix Loquax

Teodolinda Barolini

in Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823227037
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241019 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823227037.003.0017
Notes Toward a Gendered History of Italian Literature, with a Discussion of Dante's Beatrix Loquax

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The dialectic between courtly and anti-courtly ideologies is a historical constant in the early Italian tradition: it is present not only in Dante, but in poets before Dante, like Guittone d'Arezzo, and it is a major feature of Boccaccio's work as well. For this reason, the ideological shifts manifested by these authors lend themselves to the construction of a historical overview of gender in this tradition, allowing us to frame a gendered history of early Italian literature in terms of the dialectic between a courtly ideology and a competing set of values. Courtliness, the set of values associated with what Dante and his peers call cortesia, is by definition a gendered issue, since its logic is constructed around a male/female binary.

Keywords: Dante; Guittone d'Arezzo; Boccaccio; gender; courtliness; cortesia; Italian literature; ideologies

Chapter.  7867 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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