Accounting for Dante: Urban Readers and Writers in Late Medieval Italy

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9780268041229: Accounting for Dante: Urban Readers and Writers in Late Medieval Italy
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In Accounting for Dante, Justin Steinberg reexamines Dante's relation to his contemporary public, an audience that included those poets who responded to Dante's early work as well as the readers who first copied, preserved, and circulated his poetry. Based on original research of manuscripts and documents, Steinberg's study reveals in particular the importance of professional, urban classesnamely, merchants and notariesas cultivators of early Italian poetry.
 
Although not officially trained as glossators or scribes, these newly educated readers were full participants in an emergent vernacular literature, demonstrating at times a marked degree of sophistication in their choices of which lyric poems to include in their personal anthologies. Adapting their methods of memorializing contracts and keeping accounts to the collecting of medieval Italian poetry, these urban readers and writers made copying Italian poetry a crucial aspect of how they understood and represented themselves as individuals and communities. Steinberg describes how notaries and merchants transcribed Dante's poetry in nontraditional formats, such as in the archival documents of the Memoriali bolognesi and the register-book Vaticano Latino 3793. 
 
In bringing to light evidence of the urban reception of the early Italian lyric, Justin Steinberg restores the political, social, and historical contexts in which Dante would have understood the poetic debates of his day. He also examines how Dante continuously responded in his literary careerfrom the Vita Nuova, to the De Vulgari eloquentia, to the Commediato the interpretations and misinterpretations of his early lyrics by this municipal audience.
 
 

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Winner of the 2005 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies, Modern Language Association, Accounting for Dante is a volume in the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies, published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

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"Accounting for Dante is highly original. It explores Dante's attitudes to vernacular lyric poetry in the light of contemporary manuscript culture--a perspective that has been largely ignored by Dante studies. Steinberg convincingly demonstrates the degree to which Dante's judgments on other Italian poets are conditioned by their manuscript transmission. The book is an exhilarating read. Justin Steinberg is not only a sophisticated historian and an incisive literary critic, but he also writes with verve and precision. Accounting for Dante will very soon become a classic of Dante and medieval Italian scholarship." --Zygmunt G. Baranski, Serena Professor of Italian, University of Cambridge

"This is an important, timely, and highly original book. Dante Studies has been slow to connect Dante as social and political creature to contemporary forms of textual production; Dante's own accounts of literary tradition, and his place in it, have been taken as gospel. Justin Steinberg, in this pioneering application of material text and paleographical approaches, resituates Dante in lively milieux of contemporary mercantile and lawyerly practice. The result is a brilliant and refreshing account of Dante as contemporary poet, rather than ageless bard: as a man who remakes poetic tradition, through astute understanding of textual circulation and social prestige, as deliberately as Eliot and Pound." --David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor, University of Pennsylvania

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Book Description University of Notre Dame Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Accounting for Dante , Justin Steinberg reexamines Dante s relation to his contemporary public, an audience that included those poets who responded to Dante s early work as well as the readers who first copied, preserved, and circulated his poetry. Based on original research of manuscripts and documents, Steinberg s study reveals in particular the importance of professional, urban classes - namely, merchants and notaries - as cultivators of early Italian poetry. Although not officially trained as glossators or scribes, these newly educated readers were full participants in an emergent vernacular literature, demonstrating at times a marked degree of sophistication in their choices of which lyric poems to include in their personal anthologies. Adapting their methods of memorializing contracts and keeping accounts to the collecting of medieval Italian poetry, these urban readers and writers made copying Italian poetry a crucial aspect of how they understood and represented themselves as individuals and communities. Steinberg describes how notaries and merchants transcribed Dante s poetry in nontraditional formats, such as in the archival documents of the Memoriali bolognesi and the register-book Vaticano Latino 3793 . In bringing to light evidence of the urban reception of the early Italian lyric, Justin Steinberg restores the political, social, and historical contexts in which Dante would have understood the poetic debates of his day. He also examines how Dante continuously responded in his literary career - from the Vita Nova , to the De Vulgari eloquenta , to the Commedia - to the interpretations and misinterpretations of his early lyrics by this bourgeois audience. Seller Inventory # AAN9780268041229

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Book Description University of Notre Dame Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Accounting for Dante , Justin Steinberg reexamines Dante s relation to his contemporary public, an audience that included those poets who responded to Dante s early work as well as the readers who first copied, preserved, and circulated his poetry. Based on original research of manuscripts and documents, Steinberg s study reveals in particular the importance of professional, urban classes - namely, merchants and notaries - as cultivators of early Italian poetry. Although not officially trained as glossators or scribes, these newly educated readers were full participants in an emergent vernacular literature, demonstrating at times a marked degree of sophistication in their choices of which lyric poems to include in their personal anthologies. Adapting their methods of memorializing contracts and keeping accounts to the collecting of medieval Italian poetry, these urban readers and writers made copying Italian poetry a crucial aspect of how they understood and represented themselves as individuals and communities. Steinberg describes how notaries and merchants transcribed Dante s poetry in nontraditional formats, such as in the archival documents of the Memoriali bolognesi and the register-book Vaticano Latino 3793 . In bringing to light evidence of the urban reception of the early Italian lyric, Justin Steinberg restores the political, social, and historical contexts in which Dante would have understood the poetic debates of his day. He also examines how Dante continuously responded in his literary career - from the Vita Nova , to the De Vulgari eloquenta , to the Commedia - to the interpretations and misinterpretations of his early lyrics by this bourgeois audience. Seller Inventory # AAN9780268041229

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