Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library

In Print

Boccaccio's expositions on Dante's comedy

Boccaccio's expositions on Dante's comedy

In the fall of 1373, the city of Florence commissioned Giovanni Boccaccio to give lectures on Dante for the general population. These lectures, undeniably the most learned of all the early commentaries, came to be known as the Expositions on Dante's Divine Comedy. Though interrupted at Inferno XVII, they provide profound, near-contemporary interpretations of Dante's poem and contain, in many ways, some of the most beautiful aspects of Boccaccio's admirable literary production: narrative vignettes worthy of the best pages of the Decameron, insights on the rapidly changing approach to literary commentary, and a heartfelt belief that poetry is the most faithful guardian of history, philosophy, and theology.

Michael Papio's excellent translation finally makes the entirety of Boccaccio's often overlooked masterpiece accessible to a wider public and supplies a wealth of information in the notes that will prove useful to specialists and to general readers alike.

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