By Kristina M. Olson
In Courtesy misplaced, Kristina M. Olson analyses the literary impression of the social, political, and fiscal modifications of the fourteenth century via an exploration of Dante’s literary and political impression on Boccaccio. The ebook unearths how Boccaccio rewrote the earlier during the lens of the Commedia, torn among nostalgia for elite households in decline and the necessity to advertise morality and magnanimity in the Florentine Republic.
By studying the passages in Boccaccio’s Decameron, De casibus, and Esposizioni during which the writer rewrites moments in Florentine and Italian heritage that had additionally seemed in Dante’s Commedia, Olson illuminates the ways that Boccaccio expressed his deep ambivalence in the direction of the political and social adjustments of his period. She illustrates this via an research of Dante’s and Boccaccio’s remedies of the assumption of courtesy, or cortesia, in an period whilst the chivalry of the declining aristocracy was once being supplanted through the civility of the emerging service provider classes.
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Extra info for Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Literature of History (Toronto Italian Studies)
9. 9. 8, Guiglielmo Borsiere, is first named in the Commedia in Inferno 16, after the cited invective from that canto (“La gente nuova e i subiti guadagni,” 73–5). Iacopo Rusticucci asks Dante if “cortesia e valor” still exist in Florence, as their fellow Florentine, Guiglielmo Borsiere, has reported disturbing news about the state of contemporary Florentine society to his fellow citizens located among the sodomites in the Seventh Circle: ché Guiglielmo Borsiere, il quale si duole con noi per poco e va là coi compagni, assai ne cruccia con le sue parole.
7 At the same time, Italian elites, who had developed a great appreciation for the chivalric literature of the West and its code of “courage, honor, strength, liberality and elegance in manners,”8 brought together the images of the Carolingian epic hero and the knight in love in their attempt to fashion an image of knighthood in a time when the legitimacy of noble claims was in question. 9 Because the thirteenth-century Florentine elite, in particular, was not neatly divided between merchants and non-merchants, the culture of knighthood, Najemy suggests, allowed specific elite families to distinguish themselves by referencing a distant feudal past.
2) identifies this moment as the beginning of the conflict between the Florentine Guelphs and Ghibellines at the very beginning of his chronicle; however, his account of Gualdrada Donati’s words differs. In all of these moments, elite families are shown as prone to outbursts of violence over small offences16 (which are parodied by Boccaccio in Dec. 8). This elite ideology was countered by the popolo with specific legislation to curb magnate power (such as the Ordinances of Justice from 1293, as I will discuss at the end of this chapter), and also in literature, with an ideology of civic responsibility that was based on Roman thought.