Metamorphosing DanteAppropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesVienna: Turia + Kant, 2010
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Cite as: Fabio Camilletti, Manuele Gragnolati, and Fabian Lampart, ‘Metamorphosing Dante’, in Metamorphosing Dante: Appropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, ed. by Manuele Gragnolati, Fabio Camilletti, and Fabian Lampart, Cultural Inquiry, 2 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 9–18 <>

Metamorphosing DanteFabio Camilletti ORCID , Manuele Gragnolati ORCID and Fabian Lampart

Keywords: Alighieri, Dante – Divina Commedia; Alighieri, Dante – Vita nuova; productive reception; influence

After almost seven centuries, Dante endures and even seems to haunt the present. His works have been used, rewritten, and appropriated in diverse media and cultural productions; the image of Dante himself has provided many paradigms for performing the poet’s role, from civic to love poet, from experimenter in language to engaged poet-philosopher, from bard of the ‘sublime’ Inferno to scribe of heavenly rarefaction. Metamorphosing Dante: Appropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries investigates what so many authors, artists, and thinkers from varied (artistic, political, geographical, and cultural) backgrounds have found in Dante in the twentieth century and in the first decade of the twenty-first.

Dante’s work has actually provided many linguistic and narrative structures, characters, and stories, evoking and reactivating a wide range of possibilities. In constructing Dante as one of the pivotal authors of the canon, the nineteenth century worshipped him in manifold — sometimes enthusiastically exaggerated — ways. Following the establishment of the scholarly tradition of Dante studies in the twentieth century, which was deliberately constructed in opposition to the frequently uncritical manipulations of the previous era, the influence of Dante’s oeuvre has become more oblique, challenging, and question-raising. Its impact has been fluid, sometimes subterranean, and always complex, each reappropriation also investigating its own Weltanschauung, moving forward while gazing back on its past.


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