Parution : Matthew Collins (dir.), « Reading Dante with Images. A Visual Lectura Dantis », Turnhout, Brepols, 2021
A new approach to the traditional Lectura Dantis: Dante scholars study selected cantos while also taking into consideration the illustrations of those cantos, thus engaging with illustrations as interpretation, and further considering the Commedia from the perspective of its ekphrastic nature.
This volume contains an unprecedented meeting of two major traditions, each of which are forms of careful engagement with Dante’s Commedia: the Lectura Dantis, and the illustrations of this work. The Lectura Dantis, initiated by Giovanni Boccaccio in the fourteenth century, consists of a canto by canto study of Dante’s poem. The history of Commedia illustration has equally deep roots, as illuminated manuscripts of the text were being produced within decades of the work’s completion in 1321. While both of these traditions have continued, mostly uninterruptedly, for more than six hundred years, they have never been directly brought together. In this volume, Dante scholars take on a single canto of the Commedia of their choosing, reading not just the text, but also exploring the illustrations of their selected text to form multifaceted and multi-layered visual-textual readings. In addition to enlivening the Lectura Dantis, and confronting the illustrated tradition of the poem in a new fashion, these studies present a variety of approaches to studying not just the Commedia but any illustrated literary work through a serious inquiry into the words themselves as well as the images that these words have inspired.
Matthew Collins holds a PhD from Harvard University’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He has published, among other things, on the reception history of Dante’s Commedia in illuminated manuscripts, drawings, and early printed illustrations, as well as later literary receptions of the work, including the influence of Dante on Giacomo Leopardi and Bob Dylan.