What is the difference between "novo" and "nuovo"? I thought "sweet new
style" was "Dolce stil nuovo".
Are you familiar with Eliot's preface to his "Dante"? In it he writes that
Ezra Pound's "Dante" was influential and mentions "table talk" with Pound.
Pound's "Dante" is chapter 7 of Pound's "The Spirit of Romance". Chapter 6
of "Spirit of Romance" is entitled "Lingua Toscana" and should prove an
interesting read for you. Eliot says that the "Dante" of Professor Charles
Grandgent of Harvard was useful to him. Eliot also refers to Longfellow's
translation of Dante. Longfellow published his translation with very
extensive notes and illustrations. Longfellow's note to line 63 of Canto X
of "Inferno" is long and may well reflect TSE's early knowledge of
Cavalcanti. Longfellow's translation of Dante, which was for a long time
"the" English translation, has been recently republished by Modern Library,
edited and preface by Matthew Pearl with an introduction by Lino Pertile.
BTW, Matthew Pearl recently wrote a mystery novel, "The Dante Club" which
discusses the prejudice mid nineteenth century Italian immigrants faced in
Boston. Teaching Italian and Dante were apparently instrumental in breaking
classicism's hold on academics at Harvard.
In Eliot's favorite edition of Dante, The Temple Classics, the note to line
63 of Canto X of "Inferno" discusses why Cavalcanti as a student of
philosophy may have had disdain for a poet such as Virgil. This might have
attracted the eye of Eliot who had recently rejected philosophy for poetry!
Eliot mentions Cavalcanti in his introduction to Grierson's "Metaphysical
Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century". Here he finds that the
metaphysical poets connection with sensibility is a reflection of their
predecessors such as Cavalcanti.
Eliot also mentions Cavalcanti in his essay on Baudelaire where he finds
Baudelaire's imagery to be lacking compared to Cavalcanti.