This paper revisits the deep connections between genealogy, gender and the popular epic in Ariosto's Orlando furioso, questioning assumptions about fixed categories such as epic and chivalric poem, medieval and early modern. Starting from the peculiar entrelacement of canto 34, it traces the different forms and functions of textual, fictional and historical genealogy Ariosto at the same time employs and undermines. In the year that marks the 500th anniversary of the first publication of the Furioso, the reflection on genealogy leads to a series of considerations on the state of Ariosto criticism today.
Bio: ELEONORA STOPPINO specializes in the literature and culture of the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, with concentrations on epic and romance, Early Modern travel narratives, Medieval and Renaissance conduct texts, gender studies, and animal studies. She works comparatively across different geographic areas of the Mediterranean, including Italy, Provence, France, Spain, and Catalonia. I have published articles on Boccaccio, Dante, Ariosto, Tasso, the Italian epic tradition, and medieval conduct literature. Her book, Genealogies of Fiction: Women Warriors and the Dynastic Imagination in the Orlando furioso, appeared in 2011 with Fordham University Press, and it is a study of the intersections of epic, gender, and genealogy in Ludovico Ariosto. She is currently working on a book on animals, education and contagion in medieval and early modern literature.