Skip to main content

Questions tagged [italian-language]

Questions regarding literature originally written in Italian, regardless of whether they were written or published in Italy or elsewhere.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
0 answers
33 views

Is the fact that "La bottega del caffè" is an ensemble comedy an innovation by Goldoni?

Reading La bottega del caffè, one striking fact is that if you ask who the main characters are, the answer is that there are none. It is truly what we would call today an ensemble piece: there are ...
4 votes
2 answers
125 views

"La guerra" by Goldoni: why was it about waiting for a war commissioner to become rich?

I've started reading Carlo Goldoni's play titled La guerra ('The War'). I haven't found any translation into English. One of the characters is Don Polidoro, the war commissioner. He praises war ...
4 votes
0 answers
31 views

Have Bertolt Brecht's plays been influenced by Goldoni's "La guerra"?

Even if it seems that Goldoni's play La guerra ('The War') has never been translated into English, according to the translator Alexander Gross, the play was translated into German no fewer than five ...
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

Did Goldoni decide to set the action of "La bottega del caffè" during a Venetian carnival for the sake of verisimilitude?

I know that Goldoni is the great reformer of Italian theater, who transformed the 'commedia dell'arte' into true and ‘modern’ theatre texts, entirely scripted, with the various roles defined and ...
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is Dante's Magnum Opus Called a 'Divine Comedy'?

I can see little reason for Dante to name his work a 'divine comedy.' At least with Inferno, I can better see it as a tragedy. Why did he choose to name his work as he did?
3 votes
2 answers
892 views

Free will in Dante's Divine Comedy

I am reading Dante's Divine Comedy. In many cantos, souls predict Dante's future, and it is said that God knows everything past, present and future and that souls can enter heaven only if they are ...
5 votes
1 answer
850 views

Until what year was Machiavelli's The Prince banned in England?

Machiavelli's treatise The Prince, written in the early 16th century and first published in 1532, was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1559. According to Robert Bireley, quoted on Wikipedia, ...
5 votes
1 answer
197 views

What does Chapter XLVIII in Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy, Book I, mean?

I don't understand what Book I Chapter 48 of Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy is trying to convey: Chapter XLVIII He who would not have an Office bestowed on some worthless or wicked Person, should ...
1 vote
0 answers
23 views

Was the feeling of attraction towards a lower social class present in Moravia's "Agostino" discussed by critics?

Alberto Moravia's Agostino is clearly a Bildungsroman: the events that happened to the thirteen-year-old ingenuous protagonist during the summer of 1942 mark his entry into adolescence. But some other ...
3 votes
0 answers
87 views

What's the significance of this sentence in the tale "Ladri in chiesa" by Alberto Moravia?

The tale Ladri in chiesa (Thefts in church) belongs to the book Racconti romani (Roman tales) by Alberto Moravia. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any translation to English of this short ...
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

Censorship reaction to Moravia's "La mascherata"

La mascherata is a novel by Alberto Moravia, published in 1941, during Italian fascist era. It is set in an imaginary dictatorship in Latin America. It is clearly a book against dictatorship. This ...
2 votes
0 answers
127 views

Has complete Moravia's "Racconti romani" been translated to English?

At Internet Archive one can find a book with the title Roman tales, which is in fact a selection of Moravia's Racconti romani translated to English by Angus Davidson and published in 1959. In words of ...
7 votes
1 answer
217 views

"The legend of the oyster and the pearl" by Dario Fo

A poem written by Dario Fo, "The legend of the oyster and the pearl", text here (included in the play Isabella, tre caravelle e un cacciaballe) ends with the lines di morte nel pallore lei ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Dante plagiarize the Divine Comedy from Kitab al-Miraj?

By looking up what the Kitab al-Miraj was, you can see many similarities to the Divine Comedy: a traveler's journey through the afterlife. Is it possible that Dante plagiarized this work?
5 votes
1 answer
304 views

How did Dante know so much about geography and astronomy in his Purgatorio?

This answer on the History of Science & Maths SE says that Dante's Purgatorio contains a lot of what would now be considered "worldbuilding" which seems fairly advanced for the time: ...
5 votes
1 answer
741 views

What does "were with him when Divine Love first moved those fair things" mean in Dante's "Inferno"?

Towards the beginning of the Inferno, when the narrator encounters the leapord, lion, and wolf, we find this passage: The time was at the beginning of the morning; and the sun was mounting up with ...
3 votes
1 answer
71 views

Did Augusto del Noce coin the phrase "the crisis of modernity"?

I first heard the phrase "the crisis of modernity" in a lecture on neo-Nazism. The phrase "Crisis of Modernity" doesn't have a Wikipedia page but Augusto del Noce, who wrote a book ...
3 votes
1 answer
99 views

What was the first picaresque novel in Italian literature?

The first picaresque novel in European literature was the Spanish novel Lazarillo de Tormes, which was first published in 1554. The section on the sources of Lazarillo de Tormes in the Wikipedia on ...
13 votes
3 answers
6k views

What did Dante mean by "Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe" in the Inferno?

So, I was recently re-reading the Inferno, and I have come across this quote which I can't make sense of. "Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe," (VII.1) It seemed rather weird that it wouldn't ...
6 votes
3 answers
732 views

Why the phrasing "where the sun is silent" in Dante's "Inferno"?

I'm reading Dante's Inferno, and towards the beginning, I came across this line: And as one who is eager in gaining, and, when the time arrives that makes him lose, weeps and afflicts himself in all ...
7 votes
1 answer
114 views

When was Machiavelli's Art of War first translated into Chinese?

Bookeater recently asked when Sun Zi's Art of War was first adopted outside China. However, Sun Zi was not the only author who wrote a treatise on this topic. Machiavelli wrote Dell'arte della guerra /...
4 votes
1 answer
152 views

Why is this chunk of the Decameron Day 3 Story 10 left untranslated?

In the Decameron Web full text of the Decameron and English, which uses the Rigg (1903) translation and is hosted by Brown University, a significant chunk of Day 3 Story 10 is left untranslated: ***...
10 votes
1 answer
314 views

In Foucault's Pendulum, which names are allusions to the real world, and which are not?

Foucault's Pendulum has a litany of character names that intrigue me. I wonder where many of them come from. For example, Casaubon, the name of one of the main characters, seems like it comes from ...
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the planet that "leads men straight on every road" in Dante's "Inferno"?

At the beginning of Inferno, Dante comes across a hill, which is being lit by the rays of a "planet": But at the far end of that valley of evil whose maze had sapped my very heart with fear!...
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

What's the source of Michelangelo's quote: "Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."?

Many quote Michelangelo as saying that "trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle." For example, the following passage is from the book Self-Help; with Illustrations of Character ...
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Meaning and significance of "cacheremo" in the Decameron?

In Day 3 Story 8 of the Decameron (Italian original), a prisoner in an abbey, who believes himself to be in purgatory, asks how far he is from his own country, and received the following reply: “And ...
4 votes
2 answers
218 views

What's the significance of Emilia's song at the end of Day 1 of the Decameron?

At the end of Day 1 of the Decameron, after the "crown" has been transferred from Pampinea to Filomena, they all have dinner together and then play music and dance. Emilia sings the ...
5 votes
1 answer
319 views

Boccaccio's portrayal of the Catholic Church

Day 1 Story 2 of the Decameron is essentially a searing satirical critique of the Catholic Church in Rome. A Christian man, Jehannot, is trying to convert his Jewish friend to Christianity; the Jew, ...
4 votes
1 answer
756 views

How much time did one canto in Dante's Divine Comedy represent (if any)?

Dante's Divine comedy is divided up in Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) – each of these consists of 33 cantos. Now I'm wondering if there is any indication about how ...
4 votes
0 answers
39 views

What does this mean about the interpretation of Lauretta's song at the end of Day 3?

At the end of Day 3 of the Decameron, Lauretta sings the following song after dinner, at the request of the new "king" Filostrato: What dame disconsolate May so lament as I, That vainly ...
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Was the Canterbury Tales directly inspired by the Decameron?

Both Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are 14th-century collections of short tales set within a frame story involving a group of people taking turns to tell stories one at a time. ...
4 votes
1 answer
89 views

What is the meaning of "Zima" in the Decameron, Day 3 Story 5?

Day 3 Story 5 of the Decameron features a main character who is referred to by the name of Zima: Now there was then in Pistoia a young man, Ricciardo by name, of low origin but great wealth, who went ...
2 votes
1 answer
239 views

Who was indignant at Dante’s behaviour to the sinners in the “Inferno”?

In several places in the Inferno, the narrator, representing the poet Dante, behaves badly to the sinners suffering in hell. In Canto VIII, Dante is being ferried across the marshy Styx, in which the ...
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

What is the connection between the chicken banquet and the king's intentions towards the marchioness?

Day 1 Story 5 of the Decameron is about a King who visits the estate of a Marquis and Marchioness during the former's absence with the intent of wooing the latter. She understands his intent and ...
6 votes
1 answer
655 views

What does "the ass and the wall are quits" mean?

This phrase is used at least twice in the Decameron: In Day 2 Story 9, when the merchants at the beginning of the story are boasting of their infidelity to their wives and justifying themselves by ...
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who are these crescent saints?

In the Decameron Day 2 Story 7, the protagonist is a princess of "Babylon" who has numerous sexual misadventures after getting shipwrecked on the way to be married. She is, I believe, ...
4 votes
1 answer
176 views

What is the provenance of Story 6 in Day 2 of the Decameron, set against a backdrop of 13th-century Sicily?

Day 2, Story 6 of the Decameron is set against a political backdrop of 13th-century Sicily: it begins with the defeat of King Manfred at Benevento by the new king Charles, and the main characters are ...
6 votes
2 answers
458 views

Is Evil Hole / Malpertugio a realistic name for a district in Naples?

Day 2 Story 5 of the Decameron is set partly in a district of Naples with (at least in the English translation) a striking name that sounds comical and exaggerated. Here follows the translation I'm ...
4 votes
1 answer
244 views

How much of the English history in this Decameron story has any basis in fact?

Day 2 Story 3 of the Decameron is a story which deeply involves the English royal family. I don't know how much contact there was between England and Italy in the 14th century, or how much care an ...
2 votes
0 answers
20 views

Evidences of Manzoni's influence on Dun Karm poems

According to Britannica Online Encyclopedia, Dun Karm is considered the national poet of Malta: Dun Karm, pseudonym of Carmelo Psaila, (born Oct. 18, 1871, Zebbug, Gozo, Malta—died Oct. 13, 1961, ...
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

What does "layering of roles" mean in this sentence?

What does "layering of roles" precisely mean in the following sentence quoted from Pirandello and the Crisis of Modern Consciousness by Anthony Francis Caputi? For the generation of Neveux, Jean ...
3 votes
1 answer
112 views

What "always was and is the occupation of the Agolanti"?

In Day 2 Story 3 of the Decameron: There was formerly in our city a knight, by name Messer Tedaldo, of the Lamberti, according to some, or, as others say, of the Agolanti family, perhaps for no ...
8 votes
1 answer
747 views

What do the names of the Decameron characters signify?

The Wikipedia page for the Decameron claims (without citations) that: Boccaccio himself notes that the names he gives for these ten characters are in fact pseudonyms chosen as "appropriate to ...
5 votes
0 answers
55 views

Italian "Verismo" story: a farmer knows his wife cheats on him but he pretends he doesn't know it to avoid troubles

I'm trying to find an Italian short story of the "Verismo" literary movement I read a long time ago and now I recall only partially: it's probably by Verga or Capuana or, less likely, ...
2 votes
1 answer
221 views

How are the daily themes decided in the Decameron?

Wikipedia claims that the topic of Day 2's stories is decreed by that day's queen, Filomena: Filomena reigns during the second day and she assigns a topic to each of the storytellers: Misadventures ...
5 votes
2 answers
586 views

Cappello, Cepparello, Ciapperello, Ciappelletto - what's it all about?

Day 1 Story 1 of the Decameron is about a very bad man who makes a false confession just before his death and ends up being lauded as a saint. This man goes by many closely related names, but I don't ...
5 votes
1 answer
200 views

Why are "Ser" and "San" left untranslated to "Sir" and "Saint"?

Day 1 Story 1 of the Decameron is about the knavish Ser Ciappelletto, who after his death becomes reputed as the holy San Ciappelletto. In the Rigg translation which I'm reading, these names are left ...
4 votes
2 answers
234 views

What does Machiavelli mean on page 29 of The Prince?

What does Machiavelli mean when he says the following in The Prince? he must be a very true friend, or a thoroughly determined enemy of the prince, to keep faith with you. It's on page 29 of this ...
5 votes
0 answers
32 views

Does Lauretta's rant reflect a real change in the style of jesters in 14th-century Italy?

In Day 1 Story 8 of the Decameron, narrated by Lauretta, she digresses to engage in a long rant about how jesters nowadays aren't what they used to be: [T]here came to Genoa a jester of good parts, a ...
6 votes
3 answers
341 views

What is meant by "traffic" in this list of men's activities?

In the introduction (proem) to the Decameron, the author spends some paragraphs writing about lovesick women and how he hopes his stories may give them some solace as their situation means they're ...