Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Literature of by Kristina M. Olson

By Kristina M. Olson

In Courtesy misplaced, Kristina M. Olson analyses the literary effect of the social, political, and fiscal adjustments of the fourteenth century via an exploration of Dante’s literary and political impact on Boccaccio. The e-book finds how Boccaccio rewrote the previous during the lens of the Commedia, torn among nostalgia for elite households in decline and the necessity to advertise morality and magnanimity in the Florentine Republic.

By reading the passages in Boccaccio’s Decameron, De casibus, and Esposizioni during which the writer rewrites moments in Florentine and Italian historical past that had additionally seemed in Dante’s Commedia, Olson illuminates the ways that Boccaccio expressed his deep ambivalence in the direction of the political and social adjustments of his period. She illustrates this via an research of Dante’s and Boccaccio’s remedies of the assumption of courtesy, or cortesia, in an period whilst the chivalry of the declining aristocracy used to be being supplanted by way of the civility of the emerging service provider classes.

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Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Literature of History (Toronto Italian Studies)

In Courtesy misplaced, Kristina M. Olson analyses the literary effect of the social, political, and monetary modifications of the fourteenth century via an exploration of Dante’s literary and political impression on Boccaccio. The booklet finds how Boccaccio rewrote the prior during the lens of the Commedia, torn among nostalgia for elite households in decline and the necessity to advertise morality and magnanimity in the Florentine Republic.

Additional resources for Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Literature of History (Toronto Italian Studies)

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Any possible affinity or appreciation that Boccaccio felt for the Grimaldi family in their efforts to support Florence might underlie the necessity and good will inherent in Borsiere’s transformation of Ermino; in other words, Boccaccio wanted the Grimaldi to be known as exceptionally generous to the same extent as the general reputation of the Genoese was negative. For that transformation to occur, Boccaccio suggests in essence that the historical lesson of Inferno 16 must be reversed: the gente nuova must learn the ways of cortesia, not lead to its extinction, which Boccaccio locates in his own times, not just those of the pilgrim living alongside the Cerchi family (as I will discuss in chapter 2).

9. 8, Guiglielmo Borsiere, is first named in the Commedia in Inferno 16, after the cited invective from that canto (“La gente nuova e i subiti guadagni,” 73–5). Iacopo Rusticucci asks Dante if “cortesia e valor” still exist in Florence, as their fellow Florentine, Guiglielmo Borsiere, has reported disturbing news about the state of contemporary Florentine society to his fellow citizens located among the sodomites in the Seventh Circle: ché Guiglielmo Borsiere, il quale si duole con noi per poco e va là coi compagni, assai ne cruccia con le sue parole.

21 The times of Cacciaguida, according to Dante’s vision, are infused with Roman virtues, austerity and simplicity, restraint and the absence of greed and excess. That Romanized “buon tempo antico” differs from another lost golden age, that of the times of cortesia, which can be located for Dante in Florence before the times of Guiglielmo Borsiere (Inf. 16), and in Lombardy, before Frederick II’s death in 1250 (Purg. 115–20). Dante will also benefit from “la cortesia del gran Lombardo,” Bartolomeo della Scala (Par.

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