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16 - Later Reception from 1481 to the Present

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2018

Zygmunt G. Barański
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Simon Gilson
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

This chapter examines the reception of Dante’s Commedia from the late fifteenth century to the present day, reconstructing the ways Dante’s work enters the canon of world literature after suffering oblivion throughout the early modern age. By keeping a strongly intermedial perspective – the chapter does not only cover editions and translations of the Commedia, but also literary, theatrical, visual, and cinematic works inspired by it –,  it proposes a new periodization of Dante’s reception. The first section covers the years from the Florentine edition of 1481 to 1766, examining what is arguably the lowest point in the history of Dante’s fame. The second section moves from 1767 – the first complete translation of the Commedia into a modern language – and covers the years up to 1830, witnessing the pan-European re-appreciation of Dante on the part of anti-Classicist and Romantic movements. The third section, ‘1831-1913’, focuses on the Italian and Anglo-American environments, examining the birth of a modern scholarship on Dante and the reception of the Commedia as the model for a totalizing work of art. The last one maps Dante’s presence in the twentieth century and beyond, and especially of the Inferno as a framework for narrativizing the horrors of the present.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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