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American Boccaccio Association

Past Articles of Interest
Interventi «storici»

As a service to our colleagues, Heliotropia presents under this rubric reprints of articles from years gone by that are still significant to the study of Boccaccio and his works. It is our hope that the contributions of earlier generations will continue to inspire—and be considered in—the work we do today. In order to preserve the format and the pagination of the original essays, each is presented in pdf format and meticulously edited. (Though "sic" is not included, the original errors have been left uncorrected just the same.) Scholars may confidently cite directly from these reprints just as they would from the original publication.

1.1 Pio Rajna, "La novella boccaccesca del Saladino e di messer Torello," Romania 6 (1877): 359-68. [pdf]

Rajna (1847-1930), student of A. D'Ancona and D. Comparetti (as well as professor of G. Vandelli and E. G. Parodi among others), taught in the high schools of Modena and Milan before assuming the cattedra of Romance Literature at the Accademia Scientifico-Letteraria di Milano and then that of Romance Languages at the University of Florence. Renowned for his source studies, Rajna published over 200 scholarly articles on many different subjects but concentrated his efforts on medieval and Renaissance texts. Among his most famous works are Le fonti dell'Orlando furioso (Firenze: Sansoni, 1876) and Le origini dell'epopea francese (Firenze: Sansoni, 1884). Rajna was one of the earliest Romance philologists and one of the most respected proponents of the "scuola storica."

Marcus Landau, "La novella di messer Torello," Giornale storico della letteratura italiana 2 (1883): 59-78. [pdf]

Landau (1837-1918), Austrian literary historian, was also a correspondent for and contributor to the Allgemeine Zeitung of Munich, the Presse, the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Literaturgeschichte. In 1871 he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Giessen. He is the author of over 700 essays, memoirs and feuilleton articles in German and Italian for a range of newspapers and literary periodicals. Among his works related to Boccaccio are: Die Quellen des "Dekameron" (Wien: Prandel, 1869); Beiträge zur Geschichte der italienischen Novelle (Wien: L. Rosner, 1875); Giovanni Boccaccio, sein Leben und seine Werke (Stuttgart: Cottaschen, 1877). Together with G. Paris, P. Toldo, R. Koehler and L. Di Francia, Marcus Landau was one of the pioneer scholars of novellistica.
2.1 Paolo Savj-Lopez, "Sulle fonti della 'Teseide,'" Giornale storico della letteratura italiana 36 (1900): 59-78. [pdf]

Savj-Lopez (1876-1919) began his career at Strasbourg in 1899 thanks to Gustavo Gröber. He taught there until 1902 when he accepted a position at Budapest where he spent two more years abroad. From 1903 to 1915 he was professor of lettere neolatine at Catania, after which he taught at Pavia until his passing. Extremely distraught at the death and destruction of WWI, he established the Istituto italiano di Parigi and lectured widely on literary studies' relevance to peace. His areas of specialization included Spanish, Italian, Provençal and Germanic literature as well as linguistics and philosophy. His most significant studies are: Storie tebane in Italia (Bergamo: IIG, 1905); Trovatori e poeti (Milano: Sandron, 1906); Cervantes (Napoli: Ricciardi, 1913). He is remembered as well for the first Italian translation of Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (Bari: Laterza, 1914-16) and his edition of the Filostrato (Strasburgo: Heitz, 1912).
4.1-2 Paget Toynbee, "Boccaccio's Commentary on the Divina Commedia" Modern Language Review 2.2 (1907): 97-120. [pdf]

Paget Jackson Toynbee (1855-1932) studied Classics at Haileybury College and at Balliol College, Oxford, completing his DLitt. in 1901. A year after the publication of Edward Moore's 1894 Oxford Dante (for which Toynbee compiled the index), he became a member of Moore's Oxford Dante Society. These first substantial Dantesque studies of Toynbee led to the publication of his Concise Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante (Oxford: Clarendon, 1898). A giant of early-twentieth-century Dante Studies (and a specialist in other areas as well), Toynbee published Dante Alighieri (London: Methuen, 1900), Dante Studies and Researches (London: Methuen, 1902), Dante in English Literature from Chaucer to Cary (London: Methuen, 1909) and Dante Studies (Oxford: Clarendon, 1921). He was a member of numerous academic societies in Europe and North America, including the Accademia della Crusca, the British Academy and the American Dante Society. His bequeathal of about 4000 volumes to the Bodleian Library in 1932, a notable acquisition of particular value, is an important part of this fall's Italy's Three Crowns exhibit at the Bodleian.