Dante's Craft was first published in 1969. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In a series of nine essays, Professor Cambon discusses Dante's language and style and the influence of his poetry on later writers. The first section, a group of six essays, is devoted to the critical studies of Dante's own work. A second section consists of chapters devoted to Dante's influence on the eighteenth-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, on certain American writers, chiefly Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot, and on the contemporary Italian poet Eugenio Montale.
The pertinence of Dante today is emphasized by Professor Cambon in his introduction to the volume. He writes: "Dante's viability for modern literature springs from the depth and latitude of his own probing into the tangled darkness and light of human existence; and, as some of the essays here collected attempt to show, I have come to believe that Dante can give invaluable clues to the reader of contemporary poetry, whether in its expression of derangement in a new Dark Wood or in its rare glimpses of felicity and wholeness."