Dante and Cavalcanti (On Making Distinctions in Matters of Love): Inferno v in Its Lyric Context

Barolini, Teodolinda

The lyric context of Inferno v is a great deal richer and more complex than the routine citations of Guido Guinizzelli's Al cor gentil rempaira sempre amore vis-à-vis Francesca's Amor ch'al cor gentil ratto s'apprende would suggest. While we have discussed Francesca's self-congratulatory exploitation of Guinizzellian principles on love and inborn nobility into our reading of Inferno v, her blatant citational tactics seem to have obscured the importance of the lyric tradition for other parts of the canto. I will attempt in this essay to cast a wider net with respect to Inferno v and the Italian lyric tradition, and to explore how Dante fashions the canto as a meditation of that tradition and that discourse--quintessentially a discourse of desire.


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Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society

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Dante Society of America
Published Here
January 21, 2014