Among the thousands of volumes in Ian Greenlees’s astonishing library, one finds the sixteen tomes of "The Complete Works of Walter Savage Landor", one of Greenlees’ favourite authors. A poet, translator, tragedian and prose writer, a first-rank classicist, Landor was well known to his contemporaries, although he is virtually forgotten nowadays. He spent twenty-six years of his life in Italy, mainly in Florence, and he also visited Bagni di Lucca several times. The paper takes into account one of his most interesting “Italian” works, "Pentameron" (1837), a series of dialogues featuring Petrarch and Boccaccio. The title, a clear echo of "Decameron", overtly hints at its structure, that is five days in which the two 14th-century writers entertain themselves in friendly conversations in Certaldo. Athough these conversations deal with a wide range of topics, from politics to religion, their main focus is Dante, namely the "Divine Comedy", on which the two speakers extensively comment. They are in fact spokesmen of different attitudes towards Alighieri and his poem, Boccaccio showing an unconditional reverence for the "sommo poeta" which Petrarch is definitely not ready to subscribe. The latter gives voice to a harsh criticism which echoes attitudes that were well consolidated in English Dantism at Landor’s times. Thanks to the skillful ventriloquism typical of all Landor’s "Imaginary Conversations", the characters’ voices are intertwined with and often overlap the voice of their author, creating a trompe l’oeil effect that continuously challenges the reader to discriminate between what is historically correct and what is, on the contrary, fictional. Hence, much of Landor’s love for Italy and admiration for Italian literature surfaces in these dialogues, where he also anachronistically appears in a few references to himself and his experience as an English exile.

Dialoghi d'autore: il "Pentameron" di Walter Savage Landor tra storia e finzione

FERRARI, ROBERTA
2014

Abstract

Among the thousands of volumes in Ian Greenlees’s astonishing library, one finds the sixteen tomes of "The Complete Works of Walter Savage Landor", one of Greenlees’ favourite authors. A poet, translator, tragedian and prose writer, a first-rank classicist, Landor was well known to his contemporaries, although he is virtually forgotten nowadays. He spent twenty-six years of his life in Italy, mainly in Florence, and he also visited Bagni di Lucca several times. The paper takes into account one of his most interesting “Italian” works, "Pentameron" (1837), a series of dialogues featuring Petrarch and Boccaccio. The title, a clear echo of "Decameron", overtly hints at its structure, that is five days in which the two 14th-century writers entertain themselves in friendly conversations in Certaldo. Athough these conversations deal with a wide range of topics, from politics to religion, their main focus is Dante, namely the "Divine Comedy", on which the two speakers extensively comment. They are in fact spokesmen of different attitudes towards Alighieri and his poem, Boccaccio showing an unconditional reverence for the "sommo poeta" which Petrarch is definitely not ready to subscribe. The latter gives voice to a harsh criticism which echoes attitudes that were well consolidated in English Dantism at Landor’s times. Thanks to the skillful ventriloquism typical of all Landor’s "Imaginary Conversations", the characters’ voices are intertwined with and often overlap the voice of their author, creating a trompe l’oeil effect that continuously challenges the reader to discriminate between what is historically correct and what is, on the contrary, fictional. Hence, much of Landor’s love for Italy and admiration for Italian literature surfaces in these dialogues, where he also anachronistically appears in a few references to himself and his experience as an English exile.
Ferrari, Roberta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/770998
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