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  • Author or Editor: Elisabetta Benigni x
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In: Adab and Modernity
In: Oriente Moderno

This article examines the ideological implications of the literary debate about the Arab-Islamic influences on Dante’s Divina Commedia and the emergence of the idea of Mediterranean literature. It traces the question of “influences” back to 16th century Italy, casts the modern controversy about Dante and the Arabs in the broader context of borders, and questions the definition of European and Romance literatures in relation to Arabic literature. It then focuses on the 20th century debate about the Arabic roots of the Commedia in Italy, Spain and the Arab world in order to account for the reception and translation of the Commedia into Arabic.

In: Philological Encounters


This article examines the possibility to draw a comparison between intellectual features of the Italian peninsula and of the Arab provinces of the Eastern Mediterranean during nineteenth century movements of “awakening” (Risorgimento and Nahḍah). By putting aside issues of national historiography, this study attempts to investigate the cultural debates in the area with a comparative approach and a focus on the concept of cultural transfer. It discusses in particular the widespread circulation of translations and the rise of debates about language, to underscore the need to interrogate the concept of modernity from a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective.

In: Oriente Moderno