Desire in Dante and the Middle Ages

Edited by Manuele Gragnolati, Tristan Kay, Elena Lombardi and Francesca Southerden

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

1 June 2012  •  276pp

ISBN: 978-1-907747-96-0 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-315094-94-6 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

MedievalItalianPoetryTheology


This volume takes Dante’s rich and multifaceted discourse of desire, from the Vita Nova to the Commedia, as a point of departure in investigating medieval concepts of desire in all their multiplicity, fragmentation and interrelation. As well as offering several original contributions on this fundamental aspect of Dante’s work, it seeks to situate the Florentine writer more effectively within the broader spectrum of medieval culture and to establish greater intellectual exchange between Dante scholars and those from other disciplines. The volume is open to diverse critical and methodological approaches, and explores the extent to which modern theoretical paradigms can be used to shed light upon the Middle Ages.

Reviews:

  • ‘A series of Dante symposia organized by Manuele Gragnolati and colleagues over the past few years have brought youthful vitality to an ancient field... There is much careful scholarship and thoughtful reading in this book, which should attract Dante and medieval studies scholars alike, particularly those interested in contemporary critical approaches to medieval texts.’ — Gary Cestaro, Renaissance Quarterly 66.1 (Spring 2013), 323-24
  • ‘As well as offering several original contributions on this fundamental aspect of Dante’s work, it seeks to situate the Florentine writer more effectively within the broader spectrum of medieval culture and to establish greater intellectual exchange between Dante scholars and those from other disciplines.’ — unsigned notice, Studi Medievali 53.2 (2012), 1029-30
  • ‘The essays not only present a rich view of contemporary thinking on medieval notions and expressions of desire but address some of the most compelling issues of modern Dante and medieval scholarship... desire in the medieval context emerges as an issue to be expressed through the unique capabilities of poetry, an experience to be physically, spiritually, and emotionally undergone, and, ultimately, a state to be manifested in the very act of writing.’ — Ruth Chester, Modern Language Review 109.1, January 2014, 221-22 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a well-conceived collection, with an excellent bibliography, that will be valuable both for Dante scholars and every medievalist or early modernist with an interest in topics related to desire: the body, perception, memory, mysticism, just to name a few. The volume achieves a rare balance of interdisciplinarity and cohesiveness, bringing together approaches to the text as diverse as queer theory and translation studies, but maintaining a common intent to map desire as a hermeneutic tool in Dante studies and beyond.’ — Eleonora Stoppino, Speculum 89.3, 2014, 773-74
  • ‘This is a very useful source for Dante scholars, because it offers original and innovative contributions on the many-sided aspects of desire. [...] It is also a very valuable study for any scholar interested in the topic on a comparative or interdisciplinary level and seeks to illustrate how the current discourse on desire can apply to Dante and the medieval world.’ — Niccolino Applauso, Italica 90.4, Winter 2013
  • ‘This interesting interdisciplinary collection contributes significantly to our growing understanding of desire in the Middle Ages.’ — Beatrice Priest, Medium Aevum 82.2, 2013
  • ‘Il punto di forza di questo volume risiede a mio avviso nell'impiego di originali modelli d'analisi dell'opera dell'Alighieri che, offrendo percorsi inediti e accostamenti seppur talora arditi, hanno il pregio di costituire un effervescente contributo al panorama degli studi danteschi. Proprio la materia d'analisi, il desiderio, che si pone come proteiforme agente di cambiamento, l'insieme di questi articoli non manchera' di stimolare nuovi indirizzi di ricerca.’ — Gabriella Addivinola, L'Alighieri 42, 2013

Contents:

1-13
Introduction: Transforming Desire
Manuele Gragnolati, Tristan Kay, Elena Lombardi, Francesca Southerden
Cite
14-28
Modern Lovers: Evanescence and the Act in Dante, Arnaut, and Sordello
Bill Burgwinkle
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29-44
‘L’ora che volge il disio’: Comparative Hermeneutics of Desire in Dante and ‘Attār
Daniela Boccassini
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45-57
Ever-Growing Desire: Spiritual Pregnancy in Hadewijch and in Middle High German Mystics
Annette Volfing
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58-70
‘Quali colombe dal disio chiamate’: A Bestiary of Desire in Dante’s Commedia
Giuseppe Ledda
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71-85
Dante Painting an Angel: Image-making, Double-oriented Sonnets and Dissemblance in Vita Nuova xxxiv
Fabio A. Camilletti
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86-100
The Call of the Beautiful: Augustine and the Object of Desire in Purgatorio x
Peter Dent
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101-113
Desire and Devotion, Vision and Touch in the Vita Nuova
Robert S. Sturges
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114-127
Intellectual Memory and Desire in Augustine and Dante’s Paradiso
Paola Ureni
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128-151
Sexualities and Knowledges in Purgatorio xxvi and Inferno v
Marguerite Waller
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152-163
Between ‘Unio’ and Alienation: Expressions of Desire in the Strophic Poems of Hadewijch
Almut Suerbaum
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164-184
Desire, Subjectivity, and Lyric Poetry in Dante’s Convivio and Commedia
Tristan Kay
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185-207
Desire as a Dead Letter: A Reading of Petrarch’s RVF
Francesca Southerden
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208-226
Queer Metaphors and Queerer Reproduction in Alain de Lille’s De planctu naturae and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la rose
Jonathan Morton
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227-238
Desiring Tales: Two Vernacular Poetics of Desire
Monika Otter
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Bibliography entry:

Gragnolati, Manuele, Tristan Kay, Elena Lombardi, and Francesca Southerden (eds), Desire in Dante and the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012)

First footnote reference: 35 Desire in Dante and the Middle Ages, ed. by Manuele Gragnolati, Tristan Kay, Elena Lombardi and Francesca Southerden (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Gragnolati, Kay, Lombardi, and Southerden, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Gragnolati, Manuele, Tristan Kay, Elena Lombardi, and Francesca Southerden (eds). 2012. Desire in Dante and the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Gragnolati, Kay, Lombardi, and Southerden 2012: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Gragnolati, Kay, Lombardi, and Southerden 2012: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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