“Dolce Stil Novo”: Epipsychidion

Valentina Varinelli*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Ever since its publication, "Epipsychidion" has given rise to biographical speculations, which continue to exert considerable influence on critics and editors, but unsatisfactorily account for the rich, cosmopolitan intertextuality and hybridity of the poem. This essay proposes a fresh interpretation that links "Epipsychidion" to Shelley’s translingual and transcultural experiences in Italy. Postulating (self-)translation as the fundamental compositional principle of the poem, I argue that "Epipsychidion" inscribes itself into the early Italian tradition of the "dolce stil novo", the “sweet new style” of love poetry that culminated in the lyrics of the "Vita nuova". Not only is Dante’s libello the immediate model for the metapoetic journey of "Epipsychidion", but the works of the stilnovisti also acted as a catalyst for Shelley’s reflections on poets and their audience, the nature of inspiration, and the limits of language, which emerged in "Epipsychidion" before finding complete expression in “A Defence of Poetry.”
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)627-638
Numero di pagine12
RivistaEuropean Romantic Review
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Bicentenary
  • Brunetto Latini
  • Cavalcanti
  • Dante
  • Milton
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Self-translation
  • Stilnovo
  • Translation
  • Vita nuova


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