blood, Dante, community, economy, caritas, Incarnation
Italian Language and Literature
This article investigates two of the varied and diverse implications of blood in Dante’s works (Fiore, Rime, Vita nova, Convivio, Commedia, Monarchia, Epistole, and Egloghe) where the term and its derivations appear: the ‘communal’ and the ‘economic’. By ‘communal’, I mean that Dante emphasizes the generative, formative, nourishing and charitable implications of blood: as the parts of a body are joined together through the blood they share, members of various communities — the city, the Church, the Roman Empire, the family, humankind — are joined together through blood. By ‘economic’, I understand that Dante compares blood to money and highlights its ability to balance members of a group or elements of a body, enabling him to use the substance to delimit a series of poetic and ethical economies: of vice and virtue, waste and value, sensation and cognition, sin and punishment, original sin and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Anne C. Leone (2016) Communal and Economic Implications of Blood in Dante, Italian Studies, 71:3, 265-286, DOI: 10.1080/00751634.2016.1189247
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