“Nachleben”: Reading Dante today | Lecture with Professor Manuele Gragnolati
In this lecture, Professor Manuele Gragnolati will first exemplify the ever-vital presence of The Divine Comedy in world literature by discussing some of its most interesting appropriations in the last one hundred years. Inspired by Aby Warburg’s concept of Nachleben, it will propose that engagements with Dante’s text are not mere transformations but also ways to enable it to reveal new meanings and fulfil its latent potential. Gragnolati will discuss how Elsa Morante’s last novel Aracoeli (1982) helps us to better understand the significance of the body and desire in Dante’s original representation of the afterlife.
Manuele Gragnolati is Full Professor of Medieval Italian Literature at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Associate Director of the ICI Berlin, as well as Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. He studied Classical Philology, Medieval Studies and Italian Literature at the Universities of Pavia (BA and MA), Paris IV-Sorbonne (MA) and Columbia in New York (PhD). A significant part of Gragnolati’s research, including his first monograph Experiencing the Afterlife: Soul and Body in Dante and Medieval Culture (2005), focuses on Dante and medieval literature and culture, especially on the significance of corporeality in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century eschatology.