Dante's Tenzone with Forese Donati: The Reprehension of Vice

Front Cover
University of Toronto Press, Nov 19, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 240 pages
0 Reviews

‘And by now, mind, it’s too late to redeem your debts by giving up guzzling.’
Dante's poetic correspondence (or tenzone) with Forese Donati, a relative of his wife, was rife with crude insults: the two men derided one another on topics ranging from sexual dysfunction and cowardice to poverty and thievery. But in his Commedia, rather than denying this correspondence, Dante repeatedly acknowledged and evoked the memory of his youthful put-downs.

Dante's Tenzone with Forese Donati examines the lasting impact of these sonnets on Dante's writings and Italian literary culture, notably in the work of Giovanni Boccaccio. Fabian Alfie expands on derision as an ethical dimension of medieval literature, both facilitating the reprehension of vice and encouraging ongoing debates about the true nature of nobility. Outlining a broad perspective on the uses of literary insult, Dante's Tenzone with Forese Donati also provides an evocative glimpse of Dante's day-to-day life in the twelfth century.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Dantes Harsh New Style
The Poetics of Insult in the Duecento
Readings of the Sonnets
Reminiscences of the Correspondence in Inferno XXIX and XXX
Purgatorio XXIII and XXIV
The Literary Memory of the Sonnets in Boccaccio and Others
Manuscripts and Stemmas

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Fabian Alfie is a professor of Italian in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Arizona.

Bibliographic information