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This book presents an interpretation of Maurice Scève's lyric sequence Délie, object de plus haulte vertu (Lyon, 1544) in literary relation to the Vita nuova, Commedia, and other works of Dante Alighieri. Dante’s subtle influence on Scève is elucidated in depth for the first time, augmenting the evident allusions in Délie to the Canzoniere of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca). Scève’s sequence of dense, epigrammatic dizains is considered to be an early example, prior to the Pléiade poets, of French Renaissance imitation of Petrarch's vernacular poetry, in a time when imitatio was an established literary practice, signifying the poet’s participation in a tradition. While the Canzoniere is a major source for Scève's Délie, both works are part of a poetic lineage that includes Occitan troubadours, Guinizzelli, Cavalcanti and Dante. The book situates Dante as an important predecessor and source for Scève, and examines anew the conventional Petrarchan label for Délie. Poetic affinities emerge between Dante and Scève that do not correlate with Petrarch.
Medieval Institute Publications
Scève, Dante, Petrarch, love, poetry, lyric, Renaissance
French and Francophone Literature | Renaissance Studies
Citation for Published Book
Lovell, Alison Baird. The Shadow of Dante in French Renaissance Lyric: Scève's Délie. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2020.