Fiore and the Detto d’Amore, The
A Late-Thirteenth-Century Italian Translation of the Roman de la Rose Attributable to Dante Alighieri
Paperback | 9780268008932 | August 2000
Hardcover | 9780268055547 | August 2000
eBook (PDF) | 9780268055561 | August 2000
This is the first English translation of Il Fiore, the late-thirteenth-century narrative poem in 232 sonnets based on the Old French Roman de la Rose, and the Detto d’Amore, a free-wheeling version of many Ovidian precepts of love in 240 rhymed couplets. The elaborate allegory of the Fiore presents the complex workings of love, understood primarily as carnal passion, in the human psyche through the use of personifications of a wide array of characters who engage in various social (and bellic) interactions. There are personifications of social stereotypes and attitudes, mythological figures, abstract qualities, psychological and physical states, and personality traits. The Detto d’Amore includes features of the perennial controversy between proponents of the pleasures of erotic passion and those who counsel pursuit of the sublime joys found solely in the exercise of reason. The incomplete poem also contains a conventionalized—and idealized—description of the physical traits of the lady, as well as a portrait of the perfect courtly lover. The importance of these two works lies in part in their possible attribution to the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri. But even if Dante is not the author, the Fiore is a valuable witness to the literary taste and cultural concerns of medieval Italy and to matters of poetic influence and reception among different literary traditions.
Santa Casciani is Director of the Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Program in Italian American Studies at John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. She is the editor of Dante and the Franciscans (2006) and co-editor of Word, Image, Number: Communications in the Middle Ages (2002).
Christopher Kleinhenz is Carol Mason Kirk Professor of Italian Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is co-editor of Medieval Multilingualism: The Francophone World and Its Neighbors (2011) and editor of Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia (2003).
“Casciani and Kleinhenz perform a valuable service to the field of general medieval studies with this well-constructed volume. It could be used as a textbook in the classroom, yet the translation can also serve as a research guide. It gives scholars the pertinent information to compare the Fiore with the French original; it delineates the recent scholarship on the texts; and it provides a useful and thorough bibliography. This work should open up these two Italian poems to students and researchers in the English-speaking world.” ~Speculum-A Journal of Medieval Studies