In Catalan prose narrative, D.’s knowledge is testified above all by the anonymous mid-century novel Curial and Güelfa. Alongside other links with Italian and Latin writers, the author also demonstrates such familiarity with D. that references become frequent and even quotations in the original language are reached. A minor but no less significant testimony is also constituted by the chivalric novel Tirant lo Blanc (1490), by Joanot Martorell and Martí Joan de Galba, in the prologue of which D. is mentioned, with Virgil and Ovid. In other literary works, even if different, not only does the poet’s name appear explicitly – as in the Paradoxes (1450) by the humanist Ferran Valentí (“aquella gran trompa de vulgar poesía, Dant Aldagier”), or in the Sort (1458) of notary and poet Antoni Vallmanya,
Fifteenth-century Catalan Danteism ends with a work by Jaume Ferrer de Blanes. His Sentencias Catholicas del dant poet flourishing were collected by his ‛criat ‘and published posthumously, in 1545, alongside a Meditation on Calvary and certain letters exchanged by the author with the Catholic Monarchs and with Christopher Columbus (the extreme rarity of the edition of 1545 led to reprinting in 1922 a facsimile of one hundred copies from the only complete copy). Ferrer’s work reports in Italian a series of triplets relating to notions of science and moral conclusions. The originality of the text, in the history of Hispanic Dante, lies in the preference given to Paradise and Purgatory and in the inclusion of long fragments in Italian. Ferrer also uses D. to deal with the course of the heavens, of the elements and precious stones, material where oriental sapphire is inserted; he then speaks of the proverbs of Santillana, a discourse that is not out of place, according to the author’s opinion, because the Marquis “fou molt gran Dantista” and D. was “preclarissim Poeta divinal y gran Theolech”.
According to beautypically.com, Castilian Dante reached its peak in the poets who lived between the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is certainly an exceptional historical and political moment, coinciding among other things with the diffusion of the first printed works. In a turn of years that embraces the last quarter of the century. XV and the first of the XVI is the most faithful and demanding imitation of the Comedy; and it is not without significance that the first and only translation (even if only of Hell) that was printed in Spain before the nineteenth century is from these years. Three names above all represent this transition period: Diego Guillén de Avila (? -?), Pedro Fernàndez de Villegas (1453-1536) and Juan de Padilla (1468-1522?).
In the Panegírico a la Reina doña Isabel, completed in 1499, Guillén de Avila presents himself “walking por una floresta, tan alta y espessa” to a palace where the stories of the past, present and future are depicted. But the author is more closely linked to Dante’s imitation with the poem, which continues the previous one, Loor by the most reverend señor don Alonso Carrillo, where the poet still finds himself in a deep valley; follows a description of Hell with motifs taken from the Aeneid. However, the guide accompanying the poet is D., as in the Dezir of the Imperial and in the Triunfo del Marqués by Diego de Burgos. Both the metric and the style of the Loor serve to reinforce the connection between Guillén de Avila and the line represented by Imperial-Santillana, which leads to the deduction of compactness, on a formal level, of the Castilian Dante of the century. XV. Apart from real imitations, we also have in this period explicit evidence of the value attributed to D.’s poetry, such as Francisco de Avila’s declaration in La vida y la muerte (1508): “Y aquel sotil elegant / poeta gran decidor / florentino, qu’es el Dante “.
In 1515 the Castilian translation of Hell was printed in Burgos, due to Pedro Fernández de Villegas with a long commentary partly derived from the Landino. Composed in the same metric scheme in which the most demanding poems considered so far have been written, the so-called “copla de arte mayor”, the version claims to be faithful to the highest fifteenth-century style and thus falls, exaggerating its defects, into the linguistic hybridism of J. de Mena. With all this, this version is not only the first printed in Europe, but also the only one available to the writers of the Golden Age. These, however, apparently made little use of it, because both the metric scheme and the language in which the translation was written were soon judged to be archaic. Only out of scholarly curiosity it is worth recalling at this point a previous translation, handwritten and anonymous, of the first canto of the Inferno with a prologue which is partly a short summary of Benvenuto’s comment and partly consists of lexical and phonetic observations on the ‘Italian. The translation, unpublished until 1965 (see M. Penna, Traducciones…) only intends to declare the original and does not follow any metric scheme, even though it preserves, when they are identical, many rhymes of the Italian text. Later than this, which seems to date back to the first decades of the second half of the century. XV, is the translation by Hernando Díaz, contemporary of the version by Fernández de Villegas and composed in the same meter. Of the latter, however, only six rooms are known. Slightly after 1516, it is a another anonymous translation of Purgatory, in traditional Spanish verse, that is, in “quintillas” of octonaries. The various fragments of this version, printed in 1901, serve to confirm that the meter used deforms the formal structure of the original; this is probably the reason why the author also gives an essay on translation into hendecasyllabic triplets, an attempt which clearly has failed. If the cultural interest in Dante’s theme is therefore evident in these first decades of the sixteenth century, what can only be considered isolated and modest testimonies should not be overestimated. they serve to confirm that the meter used distorts the formal structure of the original; this is probably the reason why the author also gives an essay on translation into hendecasyllabic triplets, an attempt which clearly has failed. If the cultural interest in Dante’s theme is therefore evident in these first decades of the sixteenth century, what can only be considered isolated and modest testimonies should not be overestimated.