By systematically analyzing Dante's attitudes toward the poets who appear throughout his texts, Teodolinda Barolini examines his beliefs about the limits and purposes of textuality and, most crucially, its relationship to truth. Her work clarifies the views on textuality inscribed by Dante into the Comedy's readings of his peers and traces the poetic itinerary he designs for himself: the self-definitions that transform him from the "first friend" of Guido Cavalcanti to the new Vergil. Chapter I describes Dante's retrospective appraisal of himself as a poet in the Comedy's three autocitations. Chapter II analyzes the intricate maze of his relations with vernacular precursors; and Chapter III, his handling of classical antecedents. Thus [Barolini] explores the intertextual currents of the Comedy in detail, but always with the goal of illuminating less Dante's poets than Dante himself.
Dante’s Poets: Textuality and Truth in the Comedy
. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. Pp.xiv+312. Winner of the Marraro Prize and the John Nicholas Brown Prize.