Dante's Pilgrimage in Dorothy Richardson

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This article analyses Dante’s presence in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage, focusing on Interim and making references to Deadlock and Revolving Lights.
It argues that although Dante’s words are never quoted directly he is both a very strong presence in the novel and a revealing case study to understand the complex theories of intertextuality at work in Pilgrimage. Dante is never an authoritative source to be used ‘as a code or a weapon …to crush someone’ (Interim, 354), but contributes instead to shaping the novel’s reluctance to transform literary precedents in measurable cultural value. The piece explores the significance of the ‘Dante lecture’; looks at how Pilgrimage throws a bridge across modernist experimentalism and the nineteenth century by engaging in a complex dialogue with Philip Wicksteed’s theories of political economy; and, finally, focuses on the ironic ways in which Interim links Dante to gender via the figure of an almost invisible female translator, Wilhelmina Kuenen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages19
JournalComparative Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2017


  • Dorothy Richardson (studies)
  • Gender and feminism
  • Dante (studies)
  • Intertextuality (theories of)
  • Political Economy (history of)


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