Event: Public Talk: Dante's Mountains
Date: 3 October 2022
Venue: Faculty of Arts Library, Msida Campus
Speaker: Prof. Nick Havely (Emeritus Professor, University of York)
The Institute of Anglo-Italian Studies at the University of Malta is proud to announce Dante’s Mountains, a public talk which is going to be delivered on 3 October 2022 by the eminent Dante scholar Nick Havely.
The public talk will be held in English at the Faculty of Arts Library, Msida Campus, at 18:30, and will be open to the general public.
Mountains and mountainous landscapes formed a prominent part of Dante’s experience, his writing and the afterlife of his work. This lecture therefore focuses upon three related subjects. It begins by identifying certain mountain ranges as part of Dante’s actual travels during his exile. For instance, he would have had to cross what he calls “the leafy shoulders of the Apennines” a number of times during his wanderings between Tuscany and Northern Italy, and he refers to specific mountainous regions in his early verse and prose. Secondly, mountains form a feature of the imaginative landscape in all three parts of the Commedia. One of the three parts of his poem of course consists entirely of a climb up an imagined mountain in the southern hemisphere – Mount Purgatory – but mountainous landscapes are also evoked at significant points in Dante’s Hell and his Paradise. Finally, we shall see how mountains figure in the afterlife of a poet who in one 19th-century monograph was called “Dante alpinista”, and how tracing his footprints (“le orme di Dante”) across Italian peaks and passes has formed part of his attraction for readers up to the present day. The lecture will be accompanied by images from the art of Dante’s time, from illustrated manuscripts of the Commedia, and from a variety of modern sources.
Nick Havely is Emeritus Professor at the University of York, where he taught courses on English literature and Dante. His recent books include: Dante’s British Public (2014) and, in the past year, two co-edited volumes, Dante Beyond Borders: Contexts and Reception (a collection of essays by an international group of scholars) and After Dante: Poets in Purgatory, a new translation of the Purgatorio by sixteen contemporary poets. He has held Leverhulme and Bogliasco Fellowships, and has been elected an Honorary Member of the Dante Society of America. His current project is a book on travellers in the Tuscan Apennines from the Middle Ages to the Second World War.