Vernon Lee (Violet Paget)

ダンテ

ダンテ・アリギエーリ (Dante Alighieri)

Dante

 1265~1321年。イタリア・ルネサンス期の詩人。『神曲』(La Divina Commedia)、『新生』(La Vita Nuova)などの作品を遺し、後世の影響は測り知れない。
 ヴァ―ノン・リーはダンテを愛読し、深い影響を受けた。Euphorionの’Symmetria Prisca'では "Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio were at once the founders of modern literature and the exponents of the literature of antiquity; the strong young present was to profit by the experience of the past"と書いている。とりわけ、『新生』(La Vita Nuova)への言及が多い。例えば、短編'The Phantom Lover'などは、『新生』の影響下に書かれたと思われる。恋愛における情熱、性交渉に否定的であったリーは、『新生』に描かれる精神的な愛、結合に強く惹かれたようだ。

『神曲』

 旅行記Genius Lociでは、シエナを訪れたリーは『神曲』と『新生』について次のように述べている。"Dante in his boyhood; for it seems to me that however much the Divine Comedy issues out of Antiquity and opens up modern days and the never-ending future, the Vita Nuova belongs essentially to those Middle Ages which, so to speak, died young and without issue―the Middle Ages of this rose-coloured, battlemented and towered Siena." (p.52.)
 Euphorionに収められた'Medieval Love'の中では、ダンテのベアトリーチェに対する愛について次のように書いている。"This Beatrice, as we gaze on her, will prove to be no reality of flesh and blood like ourselves; she is a form modelled in the semblance of that real, living woman who died six centuries ago, but the substance of which is the white fire of Dante's love."

Vita Nouva

 対話形式のエッセイ集Baldwinで、リーのマウスピースBaldwinは、対話相手のCarloに次のように語る。"The very stuff of which the 'Vita Nuova' and the 'Divine Comedy' are made happens to consist of what you call domestic relations and political opinions; of course, therefore, the particular nature of those of Dante comes into play and is expressed. But this does not alter the fact that in a great many cases the man does not, and cannot, enter into the artist; and that it is therefore no more necessary that we should see the traces of an artist's human emotions in his works than that we should find a proportion of iron in every sort of soil." (Baldwin, P. 269.)
 長編小説Louis Norbertでは、『新生』の"Ecce Deus, fortior me qui veniens dominabitur mihi"という一節を引用している。
 また、Renaissance Fancies and Studiesでは、ダンテは神学に人間の感情や情熱を織り込んだと述べている。

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