The Department of Italian and the Institute of Anglo-Italian Studies at the University of Malta, in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Valletta, are proud to announce Dante’s Memory: From Fixity to Fluidity, a public talk which is going to be delivered on 17 June 2022 by Dr Eleonora Buonocore (University of Calgary).
The public talk will be held in English at the Faculty of Arts Library, Msida Campus, at 18:00, and will be open to the general public.
Memory played a key role in the Middle Ages: it was ubiquitous in medieval education, from rhetoric to philosophy and even theology. Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ is a masterpiece of medieval culture, yet, before Dr Buonocore’s research, there was no comprehensive study of Dante’s concept of memory. Dr Buonocore argues that memory is one of the underlying structuring principles of the ‘Comedy’ itself. Dante begins with a rhetorical memory trap, rooted in the fixity of the art of memory, that is a punishment in Inferno. In Purgatorio memory becomes a force for good, linked to prayer, which reduces penance. In Eden, at the rivers Lethe and Eunoè, signifying oblivion and good memory, there is a paradigm shift: from memory to forgetfulness. This oblivious memory, fluid and altruistic, informed by theology, is the only memory left in ‘Paradiso’.
Dr Buonocore is currently completing a book showing the Divine Comedy's importance within the studies of memory in the European Middle Ages.