ed. by Sara Fortuna, Manuele Gragnolati, Jürgen Trabant

Oxford: Legenda, 2010

Dante’s conception of language is encompassed in all his works and can be understood in terms of a strenuous defence of the volgare in tension with the prestige of Latin. By bringing together different approaches, from literary studies to philosophy and history, from aesthetics to queer studies, from psychoanalysis to linguistics, this volume offers new critical insights on the question of Dante’s language, engaging with both the philosophical works characterized by an original project of vulgarization, and the poetic works, which perform a new language in an innovative and self-reflexive way. In particular, Dante’s Plurilingualism explores the rich and complex way in which Dante’s linguistic theory and praxis both informs and reflects an original configuration of the relationship between authority, knowledge and identity that continues to be fascinated by an ideal of unity but is also imbued with a strong element of subjectivity and opens up towards multiplicity and modernity.

Sara Fortuna teaches Philosophy of Language at the Università Telematica Guglielmo Marconi and is associate member at ICI Berlin.

Manuele Gragnolati is Reader in Italian at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Somerville College, as well as associate member and special advisor to the director at ICI Berlin.

Jürgen Trabant is Wisdom professor of European Plurilingualism at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Jacobs University Bremen.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Dante’s Plurilingualism – Sara Fortuna, Manuele Gragnolati, Jürgen Trabant


Mother Tongues in the Middle Ages and Dante – Giulio Lepschy

Millena variatio: Overcoming the Horror of Variation – Jürgen Trabant

Man as a Speaking and Political Animal: A Political Reading of Dante’s De vulgari eloquentia – Irène Rosier-Catach

Volgare e latino nella storia di Dante – Mirko Tavoni

Le idee linguistiche di Dante e il naturalismo fiorentino-toscano del Cinquecento – Stefano Gensini

Aristotele e Dante, filosofi della variabilità linguistica – Franco Lo Piparo


The Roots of Dante’s Plurilingualism: ‘Hybridity’ and Language in the Vita nova – Zygmunt G. Barański

Language as a Mirror of the Soul: Guilt and Punishment in Dante’s Concept of Language – Bettina Lindorfer

Plurilingualism sub specie aeternitatis and the Strategies of a Minority Author – Elena Lombardi


Dante’s Blind Spot (Inferno XVI-XVII) – Carlo Ginzburg

‘Trasmutabile per tutte guise’: Dante in the Comedy – Lino Pertile

(In-)Corporeality, Language, Performance in Dante’s Vita Nuova and Commedia – Manuele Gragnolati

Lost for Words: Recuperating Melancholy Subjectivity in Dante’s Eden – Francesca Southerden

Dante After Wittgenstein: ‘Aspetto’, Language, and Subjectivity from Convivio to Paradiso – Sara Fortuna and Manuele Gagnolati

Is Ulysses Queer? The Subject of Greek Love in Inferno XV and XXVI – Gary Cestaro


Riscrivere Dante in un’altra lingua. Conversazione con Giorgio Pressburger su Nel regno oscuro – Emma Bond, Manuele Gragnolati, and Laura Lepschy