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Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture$
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Teodolinda Barolini

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227037

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823227037.001.0001

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Dante and the Lyric Past

Dante and the Lyric Past

(p.23) Chapter 1 Dante and the Lyric Past
Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture

Teodolinda Barolini

Fordham University Press

Dante is heir to a complex and lively Italian lyric tradition that had its roots in the Provencal poetry nourished by the rivalling courts of twelfth-century southern France. The conventions of troubadour love poetry—based on the notion of the lover's feudal service to “midons” (Italian, Madonna), his lady, from whom he expects a “guerdon” (Italian, guiderdone), or reward—were successfully transplanted to the court of Frederick II in Palermo. Palermo became the capital of the first group of Italian vernacular lyric poets, the so-called Sicilian School; the centralized imperial court did not offer a suitable venue for the transplantation of Provence's contentious political poetry, which was left behind.

Keywords:   love poetry, Sicilian School, guerdon, Dante, midons, Palermo, lyric poets

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