Digital Readers of Allusive Texts: Ovidian Intertextuality in the 'Commedia' and the Digital Concordance on 'Intertextual Dante'

Julie Van Peteghem


This essay introduces the notion of a digital concordance as a reading and research tool to explore intertextual passages online, and illustrates how a digital concordance of highly allusive texts can change how we read and research such texts. I take as example the digital concordance on Intertextual Dante, a project on Digital Dante ( developed in collaboration with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University, which in the first phase highlights the Ovidian intertextuality in Dante’s Divina Commedia. The essay traces the history of the scholarship on Dante’s Ovid, identifying its strengths and limitations, especially of the concordances in print. Since the intertextual passages in the Commedia require a reading not restricted to the obviously corresponding verses, but attentive to the broader textual contexts, I show how the digital concordance on Intertextual Dante greatly facilitates such a contextualized reading. The visualization of the corresponding passages (side by side, highlighted, within context) and the search options (by category of text reuse or by canto/book/poem) help the study of (Ovidian) intertextuality in the Commedia, as illustrated with examples from the site.


Dante; Ovid; Intertextuality; Visualization

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