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Wordly Wise

The Semiotics of Discourse in Dante’s "Commedia</I>


Raffaele de Benedictis

In Wordly Wise: The Semiotics of Discourse in Dante’s Commedia, Raffaele De Benedictis proposes a new critical method in the study of the Divine Comedy and Dante’s minor works. It systematically and comprehensively addresses the discursive aspect of Dante’s works and focuses mainly on the reader, who, along with the author and the text, contributes to the making of discursive paths and discourse-generating functions through the act of reading. This work allows the reader to become acquainted with how meaning is generated and whether it is granted legitimacy in the text. Also, in a system of signification, sign function and sign production are not limited to the properties of the mind but are the result of working interactively with the properties of discourse, which provide directionality for the reader’s enunciation(s) in action.


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Acknowledgments ix


Acknowledgments It gives me great pleasure to thank several institutions, colleagues, chief semi- oticians, Dante scholars, and friends who have provided me with valuable support and guidance during the preparation of this book. I would like to acknowledge and to thank Wayne State University for providing a gener- ous subvention for this work, and particularly The Vice President’s Office for Research, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. My heartfelt thanks go to the Chair of my Department, Professor Margaret Winters, for her encouragement and support in finding and securing the necessary subvention for the publication of this book. I am also grateful to Wayne State University for granting me one sabbatical leave which allowed me to write without inter- ruption and to complete my manuscript. I owe a great debt and my deep gratitude and appreciation to Professor Andrea di Tommaso who gave me priceless insights before this book became an actual book project. I am also thankful to him for reading the first four chap- ters of my manuscript and for giving me important advice on Dante scholar- ship. Last but not least, I am thankful to him for having created the title of this book; he is indeed a refined creative title creator. I extend my heartfelt thanks and my deep gratitude to Professor Michael Giordano who patiently read the De Benedict_Toc.indd 9 22/11/11 10:26 AM x wordly wise entire manuscript, for having exchanged...

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