Dante and the Grammar of the Nursing Body
University of Notre Dame Press, 2003 - 305 pages
Dante and the Grammar of the Nursing Body takes a serious look at Dante's relation to Latin grammar and the new "mother tongue"-Italian vernacular-by exploring the cultural significance of the nursing mother in medieval discussions of language and selfhood. Inspired by Julia Kristeva's meditations on the maternal semiotic, Cestaro's book uncovers ancient and medieval discourses that assert the nursing body's essential role in the development of a mature linguistic self. The opening chapters locate traces of the nursing motif in Dante's minor works and particularly in his Latin treatise on the mother tongue, De vulgari eloquentia. Cestaro argues that a primal scene of suckling motivates the poet's musings on language and brings the work to its premature end. Subsequent chapters explore the evolution of the nursing body in the Comedy: from the parodic anti-nurse of Inferno (archetypically Circe with her poison milk), to the Christian deconstruction and reconstruction of selfhood in intimate association with female nursing on the mountain of Purgatorio. The book ends in Paradiso with a dramatic metaphorical celebration of the nursing body as a site of eternal truth and emblem of the resurrected body promised by medieval Christianity.
THE PRIMAL SCENE OF SUCKLING IN DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA
BURYING AND UNBURYING
6 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
Aeneas Aeneas's Aeneid allegorical arts libéraux Augustine Augustine's autem Barański Beatrice Bernardus Silvestris Bonconte Bonconte's breast Bynum Caieta canto century Chalcidius chapter Christian Circe cited classical commentary Convivio corporeal Dante Dante's text desire earth elements enim exile father female Florence flow Gaeta gender grammarian grammatica human infant infantia Inferno Inferno 26 Isidore Jacopo John John of Salisbury Jones and Jones Julia Kristeva Kristeva Lady Grammar language Latin linguistic Martianus Martianus Capella Martianus's maternal medieval Metalogicon metaphorical Middle Ages milk mother nature Neoplatonic nourishment nursing body nurturing nutritional Paradiso Paradiso 27 Patrologia latina pilgrim Plato poet poetic Policraticus primal Purg Purgatorio quae quam quia Quintilian quod recall resurrection Rhetoric Saint selfhood semiotic Seven Liberal Arts silva Singleton soul speech suckling sunt symbolic tamen Textual Culture Timaeus tion tongue trans Ulysses University vernacular verse Virgil vulgari eloquentia wet nurse words