In his groundbreaking book, "Dante," Alessandro Barbero examines the life, times and world of the medieval creator of the masterpiece "The Divine Comedy," through his adolescence as the son of a usurer who dreams of belonging to the world of nobles and men of letters; through the dark corridors of politics, where his ideals are shattered in the face of the petty rivalries and rampant corruption; and through his wandering in exile, where he discovers the incredible diversity of fourteenth-century Italy—from its commercial metropolises to the insular world of its smaller courts. But the book also looks at the sorrows and silences that make it difficult to reconstruct entire periods of Dante’s life, and presents a variety of different hypotheses, allowing readers to form their own ideas, in the way a detective story might invite them to unravel the thread of events and come to a conclusion on their own.
The webinar is moderated by Prof. Michael Subialka (UC Davis), in ENGLISH
Born in Turin in 1959, Alessandro Barbero is professor of Medieval History at the Università del Piemonte Orientale.
His historical novel "Bella vita e guerre altrui di Mr. Pyle, gentiluomo" (Milan, Mondadori, 1995) ("Beautiful Life and Foreign Wars of Mr. Pyle, Gentleman") was awarded the prestigious Strega Prize (1996), and translated into seven languages. His recent works include "Dante" (Laterza, 2020) and the biography of the Roman emperor Constantine, "Constantino il vincitore" (Salerno Editrice, 2016).
In 2005, the government of the French Republic awarded him the title of "Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres." For many years he has contributed to the newspaper La Stampa and the television program "Superquark." Since 2013, Mr. Barbero has appeared in the Rai Storia programs "a.C.d.C." and "Passato e presente."
Michael Subialka is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at UC Davis.