This chapter offers a comparative analysis of the way the bones and graves of Dante and Petrarch have been perceived and used, from the burial of these poets in the thirteenth century to today. Within this long history of veneration, appropriation, and violation, it focuses on two elements that promise to provide a deeper understanding of the ideologies informing these practices: the conflicting interpretations of what motivated people to get close to these bones by opening the tombs of Dante and Petrarch, and the relationship between scientific discourses emerging from the late nineteenth century on the one hand, and the memorial culture promoted by stakeholders in the heritage movement rooted in a much older habit to celebrate famous compatriots on the other.
The religious upheavals of the early modern period and the fierce debate they unleashed about true devotion gave conversion an unprecedented urgency. With their rich variety of emotive, aesthetic and rhetoric means of expression, literature and the visual arts proved particularly well-adapted means to address, explore and represent the complex nature of conversion. At the same time, many artists and authors experimented with the notion that the expressive character of their work could cultivate a sensory experience for the viewer that enacted conversion. Indeed, focusing on conversion as one of early modern Europe’s most pressing religious issues, this volume demonstrates that conversion cannot be separated from the creative and spiritual ways in which it was given meaning.
Contributors include Mathilde Bernard, John R. Decker, Xander van Eck, Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi, Lise Gosseye, Chloë Houston, Philip Major, Walter Melion, Bart Ramakers, E. Natalie Rothman, Alison Searle, Lieke Stelling, Jayme Yeo, and Federico Zuliani.
Beauty is a central concept in the Italian cultural imagination throughout its history and in virtually all its manifestations. It particularly permeates the domains that have governed the construction of Italian identity: literature and language.
The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language assesses this long tradition in a series of essays covering a wide chronological and thematic range, while crossing from historical linguistics to literary and cultural studies. It offers elements for reflection on cross-disciplinary approaches in the humanities, and demonstrates the power of beauty as a fundamental category beyond aesthetics.