The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Di Cesare, Mario A. "Cristoforo Landino on the Name and the Nature of Poetry: The Critic as Hero." 21 (1986): 155-81.
Disputationes Camaldulenses is Cristoforo Landino's primary work. The work is divided into four books. Each book discusses a different topic: 1) the active and contemplative lives, 2) the ultimate good, 3) the Aeneid books I-IV, and 4) the Aeneid books IV-VI. Contrary to scholarly opinion, Disputationes Camaldulenses is not primarily a philosophical work, but a careful consideration of poetry that puts forth the view of the poet as hero. Landino chooses Alberti for his primary figure because Alberti modeled a balance between activity and contemplation and because "he . . . unites all the artists in himself" (163). Alberti thus becomes the poet-hero. In his work, Landino achieves harmony between Christian, Platonic, and Humanistic thought. For Landino, critic and poet are closely connected; both are active and contemplative figures. The poet is, however, of a higher order than the critic. In Disputationes Camaldulenses, poetry not only contains and supersedes all arts, it becomes "the way of knowing" (176).