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On Truth, Pietà, and Reader Response in Dante's Purgatory 10 and Chaucer's House of Fame 1

On Truth, Pietà, and Reader Response in Dante's Purgatory 10 and Chaucer's House of... <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article considers the thematic and textual affinities between Dante Alighieri&apos;s and Geoffrey Chaucer&apos;s ekphrastic explorations in <i>Purgatory</i> 10 and <i>House of Fame</i> 1. In these episodes, both narrators become observers as they examine engravings of significant events. Evaluating characters, stories, and images, and contemplating the convoluted relationship between artistic representation and truth, Dante and Geffrey diverge in their attitudes toward emotional response to art. While Dante consistently refuses to allow the visual narratives to emotionally impact him, Geffrey is deeply moved by Dido&apos;s portrayal. Though the narrators&apos; reactions to the decorated walls are contrasted, both are informed by the same search for truth within artistic depiction, be it image or text. Thus, for Dante, avoiding emotional engagement is a prerequisite for discerning the doctrine underlying the scenes he views, whereas for Geffrey, compassion for the illustrated figures is precisely what prompts him to reject such representations and search for truth elsewhere.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

On Truth, Pietà, and Reader Response in Dante&apos;s Purgatory 10 and Chaucer&apos;s House of Fame 1

Studies in Philology , Volume 118 (4) – Oct 5, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Studies in Philology, Incorporated
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article considers the thematic and textual affinities between Dante Alighieri&apos;s and Geoffrey Chaucer&apos;s ekphrastic explorations in <i>Purgatory</i> 10 and <i>House of Fame</i> 1. In these episodes, both narrators become observers as they examine engravings of significant events. Evaluating characters, stories, and images, and contemplating the convoluted relationship between artistic representation and truth, Dante and Geffrey diverge in their attitudes toward emotional response to art. While Dante consistently refuses to allow the visual narratives to emotionally impact him, Geffrey is deeply moved by Dido&apos;s portrayal. Though the narrators&apos; reactions to the decorated walls are contrasted, both are informed by the same search for truth within artistic depiction, be it image or text. Thus, for Dante, avoiding emotional engagement is a prerequisite for discerning the doctrine underlying the scenes he views, whereas for Geffrey, compassion for the illustrated figures is precisely what prompts him to reject such representations and search for truth elsewhere.</p>

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 5, 2021

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