The Dissemination of 'Orlando furioso': Ariosto and His Poem in Southern Italy (1532-1599)

Ambra Anelotti

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis focusses on the reception of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso in Southern Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century. By examining the appropriation and adaptation of the Furioso in three works wherein the poem has been transposed and tested against new genres and cultural domains, this study aims to shed light on the continued and significant role played by Ariosto’s work even within cultural and geographical areas where it underwent a process of marginalisation.
Part One, the Introduction, deals with recent scholarship on the reception of Orlando Furioso and elaborates on key theoretical terms such as dissemination and adaptation in relation to Ariosto’s afterlife in the sixteenth century. Part Two is dedicated to Marco Filippi’s Lettere sopra il Furioso dell’Ariosto, an Ovidian rewriting of Ariosto’s characters, and explores the latter’s transformation in the process of transposition from the romance genre to that of Ovidian epistolary elegy. Parts Three and Five focus on religious appropriations of the Furioso. After exploring practices of literary censorship, expurgation and religious rewriting, especially in relation to Ariosto’s poem, Part Three examines Cristoforo Scanello’s Primo canto dell’Ariosto translatato in spirituale, a rewriting of Ariosto’s first canto, and locates it in its Neapolitan context. Part Four reconstructs the varied and multifarious Sicilian reception and dissemination of Orlando Furioso in various genres, from lyrical poetry to music. Part Five explores the dialectical presence of Ariosto’s romance in the religious rewriting of a Sicilian priest (Vincenzo Marino’s Furioso spirituale).
This is the first critical work on Ariosto’s reception which focusses specifically on Southern Italy, including both Naples and Sicily, thus shedding further light on sixteenth-century Italian literary culture. Through dissemination and adaptation Ariosto’s romance continued to be culturally productive and thus a significant presence even within cultural and geographical areas where it underwent a process of marginalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Jossa, Stefano, Supervisor
  • Mayo, Arantza, Advisor
  • Everson, Jane, Advisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019

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