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Dante in the Long Nineteenth CenturyNationality, Identity, and Appropriation$
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Aida Audeh and Nick Havely

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584628.001.0001

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Reading Dante in Nineteenth-Century Italy

Reading Dante in Nineteenth-Century Italy

(p.70) 4 Reading Dante in Nineteenth-Century Italy
Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century

Beatrice Arduini

Oxford University Press

The nationalization of Dante through the political use of his figure as literary ancestor recurred from the mid- to late nineteenth century in Mazzini, Carducci, and Pascoli, and succeeded in firmly placing the poet among the originating geniuses of Italian, and more broadly, European, culture. The development of the Romantic aesthetics of taste and sensibility, however, was institutionalized later in the nineteenth century through the key role assigned to Dante in the national school and university curriculum. This chapter explores how the permanent presence of the poet's writing in the studies and the formation of educated Italians and the memorability of his texts are ensured in part by Michele Barbi's proposals of new editorial standards for Dante's works, in particular for the Vita Nova and the Rime — texts which represent the most suggestive of Dante's so-called minor works for post-Romantic readers, since they can be read as the story of a sentimental education, or a Bildungsroman.

Keywords:   Dante, nationalization, university curriculum, Michele Barbi, Vita Nova, Rime

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