This book presents an interpretation of Maurice Scève’s lyric sequence Délie, object de plus haulte vertu (Lyon, 1544) in literary relation to the Vita nuova, Commedia, and other works of Dante Alighieri. Dante’s subtle influence on Scève is elucidated in depth for the first time, augmenting the allusions in Délie to the Canzoniere of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca). Scève’s sequence of dense, epigrammatic dizains is considered to be an early example, prior to the Pléiade poets, of French Renaissance imitation of Petrarch’s vernacular poetry, in a time when imitatio was an established literary practice, signifying the poet’s participation in a tradition. While the Canzoniere is an important source for Scève’s Délie, both works are part of a poetic lineage that includes Occitan troubadours, Guinizzelli, Cavalcanti, and Dante. The book situates Dante as a relevant predecessor and source for Scève, and examines anew the Petrarchan label for Délie. Compelling poetic affinities emerge between Dante and Scève that do not correlate with Petrarch.
Alison Baird Lovell, University of Wisconsin, USA.