TitleSpace, Landscape, and the Natural World in Romance
Date/TimeWednesday 6 July 2022: 09.00-10.30
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairBrooke Heidenreich Findley, Division of Arts & Humanities, Pennsylvania State University
Paper 1037-a On the Borders of the Florentine State: Apennine Landscapes in Dante's Commedia
(Language: English)
Antonio Raschi, Istituto per la BioEconomia, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Firenze
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Italian; Science
Paper 1037-b 'Toute enclose': Garden Walls and the Limits of Art
(Language: English)
Charlotte Spencer, School of Modern Languages & Cultures, Durham University
Index Terms: Art History - General; Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 1037-c Border as Barrier: Reading the Conflict between Text and Paratext in Ivresse (La Vie des pères)
(Language: English)
Karen Casebier, Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Index Terms: Art History - General; Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Manuscripts and Palaeography
AbstractPaper -a:
After being exiled, Dante spent a relevant part of his life in marginal mountain areas north of Florence as a guest of local lords. Echoes of the mountain landscapes can be found throughout the Commedia. In some cases, given the presence of toponyms, locations can easily be identified: in other cases, only conjectures can be done. In particular, I shall discuss how the descriptions of fires in Hell and Purgatory might have been influenced by the view of fires originating from geological methane emissions, common by that time between Florence and Bologna, and now almost totally forgotten.

This paper will explore poetic and material representations of enclosed gardens, examining the borders (of varying permeability) through which Guillaume de Lorris' Roman de la Rose (c.1230) is structured - this text is explicitly imagined as a kind of surface through which a reader may - or may not - be admitted, and described as enclosing but also concealing meaning. Focusing on the wall that encloses the poem's garden, a structure richly decorated, like a manuscript folio, with text and image, the paper will look also at ivory boxes which rhyme in form with the symbolic literary enclosures whose boundaries they openly mimic.

Paper -c:
This paper will explore the epistological consequences of disparities between text and paratext in manuscripts of La Vie des pères. In Ivresse, a hermit is tempted by the devil in animal form, but the animals that are depicted in the miniature and named in the rubric do not correspond to the animals that are identified and described in the text. Although this juxtaposition of visual and narrative content suggests a miscommunication between scribe, rubricator, and illuminator, the reader's ability to interpret the spiritual meaning of the tale depends on their prior knowledge of both the natural world and medieval bestiaries, in which animals serve as physical incarnations of human behaviour and as didactic metaphors for Christian ethics. Regardless of whether the conflict between text and paratext occurs by mistake or by design, the substitution of domestic animals for savage beasts in the miniatures subverts the moral and theological meaning of animals as metaphors for sin in the text.