1st Edition

Dante and Polish Writers From Romanticism to the Present

Edited By Andrea Ceccherelli Copyright 2024

    Dante and Polish Writers: From Romanticism to the Present explores the phenomenon of Polish Danteism from a hermeneutic perspective. The chapters shed light on a series of “encounters” of eminent Polish writers with Dante and the Divine Comedy, resulting in original interpretations, creative reworkings, and a wealth of intertextual references testifying to a dialogue that has always been – and still is – alive, not excluding antagonism and bitter controversy. The contributors are all scholars of Polish literature with comparative expertise, teaching in Italian and Polish universities, which ensures a consistently focused point of view on the receptive context and the ways in which it is affected by the confrontation with Dante. The hermeneutic horizon ranges from the Inferno-like reading of the inhuman lands with which history abounds, to the metaphysical yearning underlying Dante’s “poetics of transhumanizing,” to recent perspectives related to the posthuman and storytelling.

    Notes on Contributors



    Inhuman, transhuman, posthuman: An introduction to Polish Danteism over the centuries

    Andrea Ceccherelli


    1. Dante and Mickiewicz. The story of a common journey

    Tomasz Jędrzejewski


    2. Słowacki’s Poem of Piast Dantyszek, or the macabre despair of a father-land

    Krystyna Jaworska


    3. Reason and will: Dante and Krasiński, a comparison

    Marina Ciccarini


    4. Dante in Norwid’s Prayer Book

    Francesco Cabras


    5. Echoes of Inferno V in Kraszewski’s narrative and lyrical work

    Andrea F. De Carlo


    6. “Better to fall with Alighieri than to triumph with Nogaret”: Klaczko’s personal Dante

    Luca Bernardini


    7. The Dante of Stanisław Vincenz

    Lorenzo Costantino


    8. Teodor Parnicki encounters Dante. Only Beatrice and not only

    Marcin Wyrembelski


    9. From parody to polemical pamphlet: Gombrowiczian deformations of Dante

    Andrea Ceccherelli


    10. On Czesław Miłosz’s debt to Dante

    Luigi Marinelli


    11. What Dante owes to Stanisław Barańczak

    Marcello Piacentini


    12. Dante in twenty-first-century Poland: The case of Jarosław Mikołajewski

    Leonardo Masi




    Andrea Ceccherelli is Full Professor of Slavistics – Polish Language and Literature at the University of Bologna and Chair of the Center for Contemporary Poetry at the same university. His main fields of research are Polish literature of the sixteenth–seventeenth and twentieth centuries, Polish-Italian comparative studies (e.g. the presence of Dante in Miłosz’s works), translation and self-translation (e.g. Gombrowicz). He has authored a monograph on Piotr Skarga’s collection of the lives of Saints (2003) and contributed chapters on Renaissance and Modernism to the Einaudi History of Polish Literature (2004, translated into Polish in 2009), and co-authored a book on Wisława Szymborska, Szymborska. Un alfabeto del mondo (An Alphabet of the World) (2016). He is also a translator of Polish contemporary literature into Italian (Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Józef Czapski, Anna Świrszczyńska, Kornel Filipowicz, Jan Twardowski, Wisława Szymborska, and Adam Zagajewski). In addition, he has translated Szymborska’s biography by Anna Bikont and Joanna Szczęsna (2015), as well as the memories of Szymborska’s secretary Michał Rusinek (2019).