Dante AlighieriDante AlighieriDante AlighieriDante AlighieriDante AlighieriDante AlighieriDante Alighieri
Creditsversione italiana
bullet The Author

Above all through the canonical role rapidly taken on by the Commedia, Dante Alighieri founded the Italian literary tradition. Thanks to the immediate and overwhelming success of his poem, he also made a decisive contribution to the unification process of literary Italian. The common image of Dante is reassuring, for he is perceived as the supreme synthesis of medieval European culture and a classic in Western intellectual history and consciousness. This image stems from several facets of his work: the powerfully exemplary force of his own biography and spiritual life, the complex ideological and cultural system he expresses, his vast array of genres, his sharp theoretical reflection and critical intelligence as exercised on his own poetic practice and that of others, and his broadminded welcoming of reality in its many forms, accompanied by his bold use of stylistic and linguistic variation – all of which underlie his marvellous and unprecedented inventiveness. The outcome of his creativity is able to lend itself even today to a whole host of uses. It is indeed difficult not to subscribe to Gianfranco Contini’s pithy remark: “the genuine impression of someone coming after Dante is not that one has encountered some tenacious and well-preserved survivor, but that one has come across someone who got there first”.

Biographical pathway bullet Biographical pathway

This pathway retraces various stages of Dante’s life, each located within the historical context of the main events of his time. The aim is to highlight documentary evidence, distinguishing between objective data on the one hand and, on the other, the anecdotal evidence that thrives in connection with the Florentine exile and also the subjective, autobiographical - so to speak - evidence to be found in Dante’s texts, inevitably filtered through the author’s own memory and feelings even where it has not been deliberately simulated.

Textual pathway bullet Textual pathway

This pathway describes the formal organization, main themes and complex events relating to the manuscript and editorial history of Dante’s substantial output, which was highly innovative in relation to the literary conventions of his time. Alongside his marvellous Commedia are his works in Latin and the vernacular, to be considered “minor” purely in comparison with the sheer monumentality of his major work

Thematic pathway bullet Thematic pathway

This pathway has been arranged into five sections, each devoted to a specific area: Dantean geography; the influence on Dante’s poetry of the auctores of the classical, Christian and Mediolatin tradition and Dante’s complex relationship with the men of letters of his own time; the key areas of Dante’s ideological and poetic thought; selected early and more recent readers and critics, whose contributions have been decisive in leading to a more satisfying understanding of the message that Dante conveys in his works; finally, essential resources for scientifically-based research into Dante’s work.

viaggi nel testoOPAC SBNOPAC SBNInternet Culturale

Biographical pathway - Textual pathway - Thematic pathway
Home "Pathways through Literature" - Dante Alighieri - Francesco Petrarca - Giovanni Boccaccio - Baldassarre Castiglione
Ludovico Ariosto - Torquato Tasso - Ugo Foscolo - Alessandro Manzoni - Giacomo Leopardi

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict        Valid HTML 4.01 Strict