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12 - Medieval and Early Modern Italian Romance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2023

Roberta L. Krueger
Affiliation:
Hamilton College, New York
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Summary

This chapter examines the reception of romance in medieval Italy, focusing on the way in which Italian writers engaged with the form and content of the genre. It examines different modes of adaptation through the lens of three texts from different Italian-speaking communities and time periods. Firstly, the Franco-Venetian Prophecies de Merlin demonstrates the hybrid character of Italian romance, which combines French and Italian language and perspectives -- in this case, to incorporate Italian interests in political prophecy into the Arthurian story. The Tuscan Tavola Ritonda characterizes Italian-vernacular adaptations of French prose cycles, combining ideals of chivalric heroism with civic values to resignify Tristan’s status as the perfect knight. Finally, the late medieval Ferrarese L’Inamoramento de Orlando by Matteo Maria Boiardo draws on the Italian cantari in its incorporation of romance themes and forms alongside chanson de geste. Italian medieval romance emerges as a malleable and porous genre that is always in dialogue with other genres and cultural perspectives.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Suggestions for Further Reading

Allaire, Gloria and Psaki, F. Regina, (eds.), The Arthur of the Italians: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Italian Literature and Culture. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2014.Google Scholar
Cavallo, Jo Ann, The Romance Epics of Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso From Public Duty to Private Pleasure. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Delcorno Branca, Daniela, Tristano e Lancilotto in Italia: Studi di Letteratura arturiana. Ravenna: Longo, 2001.Google Scholar
Everson, Jane E., The Italian Romance Epic In The Age Of Humanism The Matter Of Italy And The World Of Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
Koble, Nathalie, Les Prophéties de Merlin en prose: Le roman arthurien en éclats. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2009.Google Scholar
Zanato, Tiziano, Boiardo. Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2015.Google Scholar

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