Chapter

History

in Italian Literature

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199231799
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777073 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199231799.003.0002

Series: Very Short Introductions

History

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Italy's long history of division and foreign domination had a number of important consequences for Italian literature, the most fundamental of which concerns language. ‘History’ takes the example of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, who were Tuscans, and the language they wrote in was grounded in Tuscan usage. However, none of their writing was purely Tuscan or Florentine, just as their thought, reading, and imagination were anything but provincial. The rules for imitating their language were formulated with great precision in the 16th century. Italian literature has become much more like that of other European countries, and much less concerned with the perhaps impossible task of keeping distinctively Italian traditions alive.

Keywords: Boccaccio; history; Italian; language; Petrarch

Chapter.  5088 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (European)

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