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In at least three places of the Commedia Dante is a reader of novels in ancient French written in the 12th‐13th century. He mentions them explicitly, in three passages: in the fifth canto of the Inferno with the most famous kiss of Italian literature, that between Paolo and Francesca and the Lancelot book; in canto XXXII of the Inferno with the torn chest of the traitor Mordret and finally in song XVI of Paradise with the cough of the dame of Malehaut mimed in a smile by Beatrice. How were French novels read in the Italian thirteenth century? How does an author like Dante work with his sources? Why is this kiss so important for Italian literature? These are some questions that we will try to provide a philological and plausible answer.
Giuseppina Brunetti is a Full Professor at the Alma Mater Studiorum‐University of Bologna where since 2000 she teaches Philology and Romance Linguistics. Her research interests are focused in particular on the criticism of text, to Italian and Roman lyric, to the ancient novel, to the history of philological methods. Currently her research focuses on literary autographs and medieval fiction. She is Director of the “CESBI‐Center of Studies on Benvenuto da Imola” and of the Philologically. She is Ordinary Member of the Center for Contemporary Poetry of the University of Bologna and is part of the jury of the international poetry prize ‘Violani Landi’. She is a member of Scientific council and tutor of the higher College. Engaged in national and international research projects, she coordinates a research project on Prophecies de Merlin and the ancient novel; is the author of ca. 160 publications; has received several awards from prestigious Centers and Institutes, in particular the Dotation International J.M. Herman / International Herman’s Grant and, for her discoveries of ancient Italian texts, she received the Award of the Akademie duetsch‐italianischer Studien.