(Italian pronunciation: [komˈviːvjo]
; The Banquet
) is a work written by Dante Alighieri
roughly between 1304 and 1307. This unfinished work of Dante consists of four trattati
, or "books": a prefatory one, plus three books that each include a canzone (long lyrical poem) and a prose allegorical interpretation or commentary of the poem that goes off in multiple thematic directions.
is a major stage of development for Dante, very different from the visionary world of the Vita nuova
(although like the earlier work it too is a medium for the author’s evolving sense of artistic vocation and philosophical-spiritual quest). This difference is reflected in how the two works use the prosimetrum
format: in the Vita Nova
there is a complex interrelation and intertwining between the prose and the poetry, while in the Convivio
large blocks of prose have an autonomous existence apart from the poems; the content of the poetry is not amplified or edited in the prose so much as commented upon prosaically, to serve as points of departure for the various subjects that the Convivio
discusses. Dante himself tells us that the prose of the Convivio
is "temperate and virile," in contrast to the "fervid and passionate" prose of the Vita Nova
; and that while the approach to this in the work of his youth was "like dreaming" the Convivio
approaches it subjects soberly and wide awake, often modeling its style on Scholastic
authors. Read more...