IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 109: Interpretations of Dante: Medieval to Modern

Monday 10 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Melanie Duckworth, School of English, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:James P. Wade, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
Paper 109-aThe Speaking Body: A Reading of the Illustrations of Bodleian Library, Holkham MSS., Misc. 48
(Language: English)
M. Cristina Figueredo, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York / School of English, University of Leeds
Index terms: Art History - General, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 109-bFanny and Francesca: Frances Kemble (1809-98) as Reader and Viewer of Inferno, V
(Language: English)
Nicholas R. Havely, Department of English & Related Literature, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 109-cEveryday Infernos: The Divine Comedy in Australian Art and Literature
(Language: English)
Melanie Duckworth, School of English, University of Leeds
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Abstract

This session looks at how Dante has been interpreted, visually and poetically, in 14th-century Italy, 19th-century England, and 20th-century Australia. The first paper examines the illustrations of MS Holkham Misc. 48, concentrating on depictions of gestures which are not common to other Commedia illustrations, comparing them to contemporary monumental painting, particularly that of Giotto, and showing how they provide different levels of reading the text. The second paper focuses on a poem by the Victorian actress Fanny Kemble, considering its context within her work as writer and performer; its place in the 19th-century myth of Francesca in poetry and painting, and its relationship to readings of Dante’s women by other Victorian writers. The third paper looks at the ways in which artists and writers have superimposed the Commedia on depictions of Australian cities, landscapes, dreams, and wars, resulting in an ongoing reception and re-visiting of the poem.