Dante is the founder of a new way to see and to write about love; he shares this role of founder of this new literary current, called “the sweet new style” (dolce stilnovo) with Guido Cavalcanti and Cino da Pistoia.
Dante lives in a period which sees the end of an world: the balance between the Papacy and the Empire is at his end.
When Charles the Valois enters in Florence, in 1301, at the head of the Black Guelphs, Dante (belonging to the White Faction of the same Guelph party, traditional enemy of the imperialist Ghibeline’s party) is condemned and exiled; he never will see its town again.
The White Faction were neither for the Emperor nor for the Pope; they were just for the total autonomy of the Communes from both the institutions headed by the Germans and by the Roman Church.
If we don’t keep in mind this fundamental detail, we risk to make the same mistake has committed A.N. Wilson in his last book we have already reviewed in this blog (but you can find more complete reviews on line: especially by the main news papers: the Indipendent, the Observer, the Telegraph, The Guardian etc) defining the great Italian poet, incoherent and even political instable till madness.
As acutely has pointed out a well founded Italian writer, Angelo Ruggeri (who, by the way, is writing an exhaustive answer to the Wilson’s Dante in love) it must be observed that Dante, in his last 20 years of his life, was an exiled man, sued by the Roman Inquisitors as heretic, with great risks, not only for his liberty, but also for his life.
That’s the main reason, according to Angelo Ruggeri’s theory, why Dante made alliances with Ghibelines, in order to be protected, better than with the same Guelph’s partisans (which black’s fraction, by the way, was responsible of his political and personal disgrace).
… to be continued…