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Title:The poetics of praeludere: Dante and Wordsworth
Author(s):Kim, Myungbok
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Smarr, Janet L.
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Romance
Literature, English
Abstract:This dissertation studies two works, Dante's Vita nuova and Wordsworth's Prelude, as a work of "praeludere" to their projected works, the Commedia and the Recluse. Both poets were interested in the productivity of poetry-writing: what gets it started and what keeps it going. While Dante tried to find a new style of the Commedia while writing his Vita nuova, Wordsworth began to write The Prelude in order to prepare the writing of The Recluse. While Wordsworth stayed in the work for the "praeludere" of The Recluse too long to complete his projected work, Dante wrote the Commedia as a result of the "praeludere" work, the Vita nuova.
What is the cause of Wordsworth's failure? And the cause of Dante's success? The two poets experienced the discontinuity of the present self in relation to the past self. While Dante's present self in the Vita nuova kept an open hermeneutic relationship with his past self by recognizing not yet resolved "sententia" of his own memories, Wordsworth's present self tried to elevate his currently dejected Muse to the productive Muse of his past self, persuading himself of his ability to continue The Recluse by writing about the imaginative power of his past self.
In Italian, the female noun "salute" means "salvation," and "well-being," whereas the male noun "saluto" and "salutare" mean "greeting." The verbal hermaphrodite of the word "salute" in the Vita nuova also can be applied to the poetic subject of The Prelude. Dante and Wordsworth tried to greet their salvation through their "salute" respectively to Beatrice and Nature. Dante reopened the significance of his "salute" to Beatrice in the light of the forward movement toward the Commedia, whereas Wordsworth reopened the significance of his "salute" to Nature with fragmented epiphanies which he calls "spots of time" (The Prelude, 1805, XI, 257), toward The Prelude in itself. Thus, the forward movement of narrative in the Vita nuova opened Dante's next project, the backward movement of narrative in The Prelude closed in on itself.
As a result of the study, we can find how two poets produce their poetry as a work of "praeludere," and what the problems of continuing their poetic productivity are.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Kim, Myungbok
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010918
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010918

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