Sperandio, Renata (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The purpose of the present research is to investigate the presence of Dante in four authors of the twentieth century and to discuss in what ways these authors contribute to our perception of Dante. This study begins with the analysis of Primo Levi’s reaction to Dante, and the first two chapters deal respectively with Levi’s troubled relationship with the monumentality of Dante in Levi’s personal culture and with the modern writer’s attempts at rejecting that very monumentality. In the third and fourth chapters, the focus is on the inclusion of Dante within Edoardo Sanguineti’s poetry, and on the issue of ideologically oriented exploitation of Dante both in Sanguineti’s novels and plays and in his critical analyses of the Comedy. The following chapters are about the presence of Dante in Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. In Beckett, a network of Dantean inclusions shows how Dante’s presence can be fertile, controversial, and yet apparently discarded. The last chapter discusses Seamus Heaney’s Dantisms and especially the question of translation as both a technical and a cultural issue. The result is the perception of a vital Dantean presence, which generates approaches and revalidations in spite of its apparent distance and of its cultural diversity.
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