Love and Philology Within the newly discovered books of Alberti's Intercenales, four—two in book seven and two in book eleven—are specifically devoted to love: uxorial love in book seven, and sentimental love in book eleven. A good example of their witty, mercurial, and sometimes even whimsical character is offered by the short fable of the fauns who once fell in love with the moon, a short apologue, to be more precise, which in the literary context of the collection constitutes the preface to book seven.
Reduced to its core, the fine translation by David Marsh reads as follows: Some fauns, satyrs, and lesser gods once conceived a passionate love for the moon and began to court her. Realizing that they were spurned and despised, her suitors. Yet while they were thus carefully placed, it happened that each of the guards. All at once, they began to shout loudly, urging each other to stop the fugitive, even by the sword, if necessary. In every part of the forest, they wearied themselves and grew hoarse from shouting. The naiads laughed.
Alberti, Dinner Pieces, ed. The Latin original, in its unabridged form, reads as follow: "Fauni et satyri plerique, leves dii, lunam perdite adamare et sectari occeperant. Ea re, ut paulum consisteret suique adeundi videndique copiam liberalius prestaret, obtestari non intermittebant. Luna vero, vaga et lasciva, miris modis amantes ludificasse ad vo- luptatem ducebat; modo quasi ex rimula ut se interea spectarent exhibebat.
Amantes iccirco cum spretos ac despectos se intelligerent, quod per gratiam et benevolentiam singuli nequissent, communi coacto in unum consilio, vi et dolo consequi instituerunt. Perspecta igitur procul sylva, unde luna emergere inque auras sese consuesse attollere videbatur, illuc omnes convolarunt, locumque ardenti opera maxima vi omnium retium infinitate laqueorum copia circumseptum et obvallatum reddiderunt; compositisque rebus suas ad pristinas sedes ea spe rediere, ut arbitranrentur non defuturum longius quin postridie illam irretitam invenirent.
Itaque diumo pro opere et labore fessi noctem ipsam obdormiere. Cum autem mane crepuscolo illuc omnes leti redissent et se falsos ac frustratos intellexissent, tamen quod machinas illas cassium insidiasque omnes integras et intactas reperirent, in futuram noctem supersedendum censuerunt. At nocte insequenti, ut lunam ipsam alacri vultu et veluti ludibunda e sylva, atque, ut ex intervallo spectantibus videbatur, mediis ex plagis sublatam ethere spatiari animad- STEFANO CRACOLICI Available to us only since , this short apologue was in fact already known to Ludovico Ariosto, who employed it in his third ver- nacular satire as an allegory for the contingencies of fortune.
Hence, I think that our contemporary writers are not to be scorned, as long as they produce something that affords some small pleasure. Eo enim pacto futurum opinabantur, ut possit nusquam luna effugere, quin a multitudine in- terciperetur. Dumque se ita solertes haberent, evenit quisque, ut per sylvam dissipati ac dispersi erant, ut luna certo aliunde ex loco quam fuerant suspicati delabi videretur: protinus alter alterum ut vel ferro, si aliter nequeat, fugientem remorentur summis clamoribus admonendo passim defatigabantur, raucique omnes clamitando effecti sunt.
Risere Naiades," see L. Alberti, Intercenales, eds. Bacchelli and L. D'Ascia Bologna: Pendragon, For the Latin text, see Alberti, Intercenales, at.
Magna itidem res est dicere apte et luculenter, maiorque atque excelsior quam ut possis, nisi divino MLN The relationship between the literal and the allegorical levels of the fable underscores an interesting connection between love and litera- ture, between the psychological dimension of love and the philological dimension of literature. Of course, Alberti is not opposed to love as such, just as he is not an enemy of philology.
He is against a certain form of love and a certain form of philology—that particular form of love qualified by an obsessive compulsive attraction to an object of desire, be it of human or bookish nature. His biographer, the stationer Vespasiano da Bisticci, remarked that it was a "gentilezza" elegant experience to watch Niccoli consume a meal.
In this environment, life and collecting became subject to the same kinds of study and evaluation as antiques. The belief in the artistic supremacy of the Renaissance grew up, in short, not—or not only—in writers' studies but in the hot pursuit of "object of consumption. Quod ipsum veterum quoque perpauci potuere; tamen omnes lectitantur et in delitiis habentur. Ea de re illos ego hac etate haudquaquam esse aspemendos reor, qui aliquid in medium, qualecumque illud sit, afferant, quod quota ex parte nos delectet. Poliziano, Epistolae, in Prosatori latini del Quat- trocento, ed.
Garin Milano-Napoli: Ricciardi, : , "Quid turn? Gouwens and P. Bouwsma, Anthony Grafton, and Randolph Stam. Grafton's passage refers to K. Grafton, "The Revival of Antiquity," Ponte, "Lepidus e Libripeta," Rinascimento 12 : ; L. Doctors, for instance, would not find any difficulties in defining Niccoli's love for antiquity in these terms. From their point of view, love amounts to nothing less and nothing more than a mental disorder that gravely compromises the rational faculty of judgment, a passion of the mind that compels the "patient" to obsessively long for one singular object, be it of desire or of consumption.
Theoreti- cally speaking, the actual nature of that object is not important—the beloved person is not more relevant than the beloved city, to which the nostalgic traveler yearns to return, or the beloved item that the collector strives to possess. This association has been recently questioned by R. De Nichilo, G. Distaso, A. Iurilli Roma: Roma nel Rinascimento, , vol.
Dicitur sollecitudo quia tales facti iam melancholici ex amore inordinato sunt in continua cogitatione memo- ria et imaginatione, ita ut non dormiant neque bibant. Tales quidem secundum plurimum sunt cupientes dominas quas inordinato amore diligunt. Dicitur secundum plurimum, quia etiam aliqui non dominas cupiunt, sed reverti ad patriam, quam summe et summe amant. Unde primam dispositionem nominaverunt haereos, secundam vero, quae est amor repatriandi, ilischi appelaverunt. Ego vero feci ilischi terminum com- munem. Roscher, "La nostalgie, maladie melancholique dans la litterature de medecine ancienne, et les poetes latins dans l'Europe de la Renaissance," Journal of the Institute of Romance Studies 2 : For the medical and literary topos of amor hereos, see at least J.
Peri, Malato d'amore: La medicina del poeti e la poesia dei medici Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, ; and, more recently, R. MLN humanists explored antiquities "as eagerly as the bodies of their lov- ers," but this passionate exploration is precisely what Alberti here aims to criticize. Acting like a Roman is utterly different from conversing with him, and "cult" is quite dissimilar from that exquisite "cultiva- tion" we may achieve through a critical commerce with the classics.
If Cicero "were living in our age," Alberti significantly maintains, "he would undoubtedly forget how to speak," and he would probably also lose that particular tactus intimus, or "internal contact," which allows a person to perceive the Self as belonging to himself and therefore to appreciate "other's writings" through a personal critical perspec- tive.
It has been rightly said that "the Renaissance discourse on love manifests a tension between a therapeutic impulse to control the dis- ruptive effects of passion, on the one hand, and a desire to assimilate the dynamics of erotic attraction to the experience of the literary and artistic object, on the other. But if the purpose of this new spirit of learning is to achieve the ability to determine for ourselves the value, the meaning, and ultimately the goal of our own life in an immanent and not in a transcendent way, how can we accept, Alberti seems to wonder, that this cultural renovation is to be accomplished through a shift from one object of desire to another?
Especially if we acknowledge that all objects of desire are, medically speaking, products of an overheated imagination, the result of a deteriorated mind that has lost the ability to distinguish reality and fantasy? How is it pos- sible to endorse a "vita nuova" which might transcend the carnality of human passion by imagining a journey from this world to the other world in a mystical encounter with the divine? Or moving from passion for a single woman, expressed and sublimated in the vernacular, to a passion for the antiquity expressed and perfected in Latin? Bodei, Destini per- sonali: L'eta delta cohnizzazione delle coscienze Milano: Feltrinelli, — In his Amator, a short piece of prose that allegedly, but somewhat improbably, constitutes the Latin translation of his brother's Efebia, written in the Italian vernacular around , Alberti claims to have studied in depth and absorbed the Roman elegiac tradition.
Ovid literally anatomized the theme of love in a diffraction of differ- ent genres, gestures, and discourses from his Amores and Heroides to his Ars Amandi and Remedia amoris with the critical result of chal- lenging, if not subverting, Propertius' elegiac connection between life and poetry. Alberti, "Amator," Opera inedita et paiwa separatim impressa, ed. Mancini Florentiae: Sansoni, 3. Alberti, Rime e versioni poetiche, ed. Gorni Milano and Napoli: Ricciardi, 16, "nelle opere in prosa deH'Alberti citazioni sicure da Properzio si ritrovano, se ho visto bene, solo a partire dai primi due libri Profugiorum ab aerumna, coevi o posteriori al Certame coronario .
Tonelli, "Petrarca, Properzio e la struttura del canzoniere," Rinascimento 38 : ; M. Santoro, "Properzio e la poesia volgare nel Quattrocento," Properzio nella letteratura italiana: Atti del convegno nazionale Assisi, 15—17 novembre , ed. Pasquazi Roma: Bulzoni, ; D. Coppini, "Properzio nella poesia d'amore degli umanisti," Colloquium Propertianum secundum Assisi, 9—11 novembre , eds. F Santucci and S. Labate, "MsxaPacni; ziq oXko ykvoq-: La poetique de l'elegie et la carriere poetique d'Ovide," Elegie et epopee dans la poesie ovidienne, Heroides et Amours: en hommage a Simone Viarre, eds.
Fabre-Serris and A. Deremetz Villeneuve d'Ascq: Universite MLN appearance in the cures against love that doctors suggested in their chapters on lovesickness. This cognitive acknowledgment leads Alberti to endorse, and en- deavor to perfect, that literary enterprise Boccaccio had purportedly abandoned after his encounter with Petrarch. The acknowledgment of the cognitive and functional values of literature solicits in Alberti the exploration of a new system of literary genres, which entails, in a more or less dissimulated polemic with Petrarch, a critical reevaluation of the highly variegated literary enterprise Boccaccio had undertaken in Naples and pursued in Flor- ence, using Italian vernacular prose as no one before him had done.
Le poete elegiaque n'est plus 'poete d'un seul genre', mais devient 'poete de plusieurs genres' : pas seulement au niveau potentiel c'est-a-dire dans sa facon de percevoir son role , mais egalement au niveau historique c'est-a-dire avec une succession d'ceuvres que l'elegie elle-meme peut annoncer et sur lesquelles elle peut donner des indications concretes. Veglia, "Sul nodo culturale del Corbac- cio," Studi eproblemi di critica testuale 52 , now further developed in Veglia , Orvieto, "Boccaccio mediatore di generi letterari o deH'allegoria d'amore," Interpres 2 : Gorni, "Atto di nascita d'un genere letterario: L'autografo dell'elegia 'Mirzia,'" Studi difilologia italiana 30 : for his Tyrsisand Corymbus eclogues , C.
Cracolici, "I percorsi divergenti del dialogo d'amore: la 'Deifira' di L. I prefer, instead, to see these experiments as part of an organic intellectual engagement with the mechanisms of human love on its own terms, and not as the first stage towards a spiritual or even mystical experience. Earthly love is the subject of Alberti's writings, not divine love. Certainly, his reflection on love is to some extent bound up with the stoic advocacy of detachment and freedom from disturbance—an ethical engagement that also courses through his writings on art and architecture as a necessary condition for good civic behavior.
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However, this ethical engagement is challenged at the same time by an equivalent and thus paradoxical commitment to the emotional life. This ambiva- lent approach occasions anxiety for both the defender of detachment and the defender of the emotions, a formal and conceptual anxiety that the reader should profitably keep in mind in approaching Alberti's love writings. This anxiety is certainly not an "anxiety of influence," as the tale of the fauns and the moon would utterly exclude. Nor is it a form of philological anxiety, for we know now quite well, after the studies of Cardini, Grafton, and Tanturli, how self-consciously innova- tive Albert!
We could call it an "experimental anxiety," specifically oriented towards a definition of a particular problem framed in a particular situation, be it concrete or hypothetical in nature. What Albert! Serena Fomasiero has recently discovered that the first Italian vernacular eclogue was actually written well before Alberti by a rather obscure poet active during the fourteenth Century, see F. Arzocchi, Egloghe, ed.
Play! Festival, Italian edition
Fomasiero Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, For Alberti's poetry in general, see G. De Robertis, "Ut pictura poesis uno spiraglio sul modo figurativo albertiano ," Interpres 1 : ; S. Niccoli, "Le 'Rime' albertiane nella prospettiva poetica quattrocentesca," Interpres 3 : ; E. Grafton, "Historia and Istoria," cit, 45, "Alberti was a self-consciously innovative writer. He regularly appropriated passages from ancient texts, deliberately assigning to them a meaning that their author had not had in mind, as he cited them. Cardini, Mosaici cit, and G.
Tanturli, "La cultura fiorentina volgare del Quattrocento davanti ai nuovi testi greci," Medioevo e Rinascimento 2 : MLN similar to the one Mario Equicola would write sometime later, in his Libro de natura de amore, a love encyclopedia filled with quotations and paraphrases from ancient, medieval, and modern sources, but a "physiology of love": a physiology of love where the various aspects of passion are analyzed through different perspectives, evaluated in different contexts, and embodied by an impressive set of different characters—Agilitta, Mirzia, Sofrona, Deifira, Durimna, Ecatonfilea, Friginnio, Filarco, Pallimacro, and others.
He wrote many small works for his own satisfaction: Ephebia, De Religions, Deiphira, and others in the same free style of rhetoric; and in verse, the Elegies and Eclogues, as well as Songs, works pertaining to love, by means of which he might help stu- dents to acquire good principles of conduct and to attain tranquility of mind. What should "students" do in order "to attain tranquility of mind? How are they finally supposed to arrive at this kind of knowledge through the reading of elegies and eclogues?
Before answering these questions, it is first necessary to take a closer look at the particular epistemological framework to which Alberti's writings on love ultimately refer. The first attempt to seriously take into account Alberti's love writings is contained in the eleventh chapter of De Sanctis' History of Italian Literature.
This chapter, quite short in comparison to those focused on Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, revolves around the figure of Poliziano and bears the title "Stanze," taken from his most famous piece of writing. The account of Alberti's love writings appears here i8See L. D'Ascia "Tecnica dialogica e tematica politica," cit. Watkins, "L. De religione, Deiphiram et pleraque huiusmodi soluta oratione; turn et versu elegias eglogasque atque cantiones et eiuscemodi amatoria, quibus plane studiosis ad bonos mores inbuendos et ad quietem animi prodesset.
Within this context, Alberti's love writings are described as something out of their time, evoking in De Sanctis' mind the anachronistic sce- nario of a nineteenth-century French novel: The story of the love and jealousy of Ecatomfila reads like a lovely fragment of a lost physiological romance. It is far ahead of Boccaccio's Fiammetta in truth and subtlety of observation, though the imitation of Boccaccio is very noticeable in it, as also in the Deifira and the Epistola di un fervente amante.
Here we get the tears and the quarrels of lovers, and our good Battista, going out of his nature, like Boccaccio, falls into rhetoric. To know Battista as a great writer we must seize him at the moments when he is painting or describing. But De Sanctis' account seems lit- erally haunted by this instinctual and allegedly unorthodox analogy between Boccaccio's and Alberti's amorous works, on the one hand, and the French physiological novel, on the other. And yet, it is pre- cisely with this allegedly unorthodox analogy that the Italian literary historian hits the nail on the head.
His anachronistic impression acts here as a heuristic clue, a stepping stone, which effectively postulates physiology as a potential epistemological framework via which to ap- proach Alberti's love writings in a new way. Here the passage in its original version: "La storia dell'amore e della gelosia di Ecatonfilea sembra un bel frammento di un romanzo fisiologico perduto, e per finezza e verita di osservazione e molto innanzi alia Fiammetta del Boccaccio, la cui imitazione e visibile nella Ecatomfdea, e piu nella Deifira e nella Epistola di un fervente amante.
Per trovare il grande scrittore devi cogliere Battista quando pinge o descrive. De Sanctis, Storia della letteratura italiana, ed. Gallo Torino: Einaudi-Gallimard, , but A more cogent definition of physiology, also for the urban implications that perfectly fit to Alberti's civic engagement, is found in O. Floury, the chapter bears the revealing title of "Physiologie du lecteur" , "L'art de la Physiologie. Of course, if any one were to call them sacred, the veriest fool would detect the falsehood.
On the other hand there are times, as in this book, when the theology of the Ancients will be seen to exhibit what is right and honorable, though in most such cases it should be considered rather physiology or ethology than theology, according as the myths embody the truth concerning physical nature or human. En littera- ture, la Physiologie est an article de Paris; la province n'y peut pretendre. Manfred was slain at Benevento in 12G6, and with him ' Purg. Dante, destined to inaugurate the great age, was born at Florence in Guide Guinicelli died in , when Dante had completed his twelfth year.
Quella che m' ha in balia Si distretto mi tene, Ch' eo viver non poraggio. These lines sound a farewell to the old age and a salutation to the new. Enzo's heart is in the lowlands of Apulia and the great Capitanate, where his father built castles and fought mighty wars. He belongs, like his verses, like his race, like the chivalrous sentiments he had imbibed in youth, to the past ; and now he is dreaming life away, a captive with the burghers of Bologna.
Yet it is Tuscany for which he reserves the epithet of Sovereign — Tuscany where all courtesy holds sway. The situation is pathetic. The poem is a prophecy. Felicity beyond the Arno, where the family De' Eossi took the lead, together with their neighbour- hood, a company or band of one thousand men and upwards, all attired in white, with a Lord named the Lord of Love. This band had no other purpose than to pass the time in games and solace, and in dances of ladies, Imights and other people of the city, roaming the town with trumpets and divers instruments of music, in joy and gladness, and abiding together in banquets at midday and eventide.
The young men mid the women went with gaze fixed upon those eyes angelical, that turn the midnight into noon. Paris, , i.
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You would not have said : " Yon are mortal beings. John, patron of Florence. Later on, we read of two companies, the one dressed in yellow, the other in white, each led by their King, who filled the city with the sound of music, and wore garlands on their heads, and spent their time in dances and banquets. Not only was Florence freed from grave anxieties and heavy expenses, caused by the intramural quarrels between Counts and Burghers.
But the city felt the advent of her own prosperity, the realisation of her true type, in their victorious close. Then the new noble class, the popolani grassi, assumed the gentle manners of chivalry, accommodating its customs to their own rich jovial ideal. Feudalism was extinguished ; but society retained such portions of feudal customs as shed beauty upon common life. Tranquillity succeeded to strife, and the medieval city presented a spectacle similar to that which an old Greek lyrist has described among the gifts of Peace : To mortal men Peace giveth these good things : Wealth, and the flowers of honey-throated song ; The flame that springs ' D' Ancona, op.
Slain to the gods in heaven ; and, all day long, Games for glad youths, and flutes, and wreaths, and circling wine. Then in the steely shield swart spiders weave Their web and dusky woof : Eust to the pointed spear and sword doth cleave ; The brazen trump sounds no alarms ; Nor is sleep harried from our eyes aloof, But with sweet rest my bosom warms : The streets are thronged with beauteous men and young.
And hymns in praise of Love like flames to heaven are flung. Goto di Stagio Dati, writing at the end of the fourteenth century, has preserved for us an animated picture of Florence in May. John, which follows at midsummer, and there is none but provides himself betimes with clothes and ornaments and jewels. Marriages and other joyous occasions are deferred until that time, to do the festival honour ; and two months before the date, they begin to furnish forth the decorations of the races — dresses of varlets, banners, clarions, draperies, and candles, and whatsoever other offerings should be made.
The whole city is in a bustle for the preparation of the Festa ; and the hearts of young men and women, who take part therein, are set on nought but dancing, playing, singing, banqueting, jousting, and other fair amusements, as though nought else were to be done in those weeks before the coming of S. John's Eve. John's Day which follows, need not be tran- scribed. Yet it may be well to call attention to a quattrocento picture in the Florentine Academy, which illustrates the customs of that festival.
It is a long panel representing the marriage of an Adimari with a daughter of the Ricasoli. Under the Loggia del Bigallo sit the trumpeters of the Signory, blowing clarions adorned with pennons. The lily of Florence is on these trappings. Serving men carry vases and basins toward the Adimari palace, in preparation for the wedding feast. A large portion of the square is covered in with a white and red awning. If the chroniclers and painters enable us to form some con- ception of Florentine festivity, we are introduced to the persons and pastimes of these jovial companies by the poet Folgore da San Gemignano.
If we are right in reckoning Folgore among the poets of the thirteenth century, the facility and raciness of his style, its disengagement from Proven9alising pedantry, and the irony of his luxurious hedonism, prove to what extent the Tuscans had already left the middle age behind them. I am aware that grave doubts, based upon historical allusions in Folgore's miscel- laneous sonnets, have been raised as to whether we can assign so early a date to Folgore, and whether his Brigata was really the brigata gode- reccia, spendereccia, of Siena alluded to by Dante.
See Bartoli, Storia della Lefteratura Italiana, vol. This editor argues forcibly for a later date — not earlier at all events than from to But, whether we choose the earlier date or the later , Folgore may legitimately be used for my present purpose of illustration. He is a thirteenth-century Boccaccio, without Boccaccio's enthusiasm for humane studies. Ideal love, asceticism, religion, the virtues of the Christian and the knight, are not for him. His soul is set on the enjoyment of the hour. But this materialism is presented in a form of art so temperate, with colours so refined and outlines so delicately drawn, that there is nothing repulsive in it.
His selfishness and sensuality are related to Aretino's as the miniatures of a missal to Giulio Romano's Modes of Venus. Cene was a poet of Arezzo. His series and Folgore's will both be found in the Poeti del Primo Secolo, vol. They describe the arming of a young knight, and bis reception by Valour, Humility, Discretion, and Gladness. Yet the knight, so armed and accepted, is no Galahad, far less the grim horseman of Diirer's allegory. Like the members of the brigata goder- eccia, he is rather a Gawain or Astolfo, all love, fine clothes, and court- ship.
Each of these five sonnets is a precious little miniature of Italian carpet-ohivalry. February brings the pleasures of the chase. March is good for fishing, with merry friends at night, and never a friar to be seen : Lasciate predicar i Frati pazzi, Ch' hanno troppe bugie e poco vero. In April the ' gentle country all abloom with fair fresh grass ' invites the young men forth. Ladies shall go with them, to ride, display French dresses, dance Proven9al figures, or touch new instruments from Germany, or roam through spacious parks.
May brings in tournaments and showers of blossoms — garlands and oranges flung from balcony and window — girls and youths saluting with kisses on cheeks and lips : E pulzellette, giovene, e garzoni Basciarsi nella bocca e nelle guance ; D' amore e di goder vi si ragioni. In June the company of youths and maidens quit the city for the villa, passing their time in shady gardens, where the fountains flow and freshen the fine grass, and all the folk shall be love's servants.
July finds them in town again, avoiding the sun's heat and wearing silken raiment in cool chambers where they feast.
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In August they are off to the hills, riding at morn and eve from castle to castle, through upland valleys where streams flow. September is the month of hawking ; October of fowling and midnight balls. With November and December winter comes again, and brings the fireside pleasures of the town. The sonnets on the Days breathe the same quaint medieval hedonism. Tuesday is the day of battles and pitched fields ; but these are described in mock-heroics, which show what the poet really felt about the pleasure of them. Wednesday is the day of banquets, when ladies and girls are waited on by young men wearing amorous wreaths : E donzelletti gioveni garzoni Servir, portando amoroso ghirlande.
Thursday is the day of jousts and tourneys ; Friday of ' If I were writing the history of early Tuscan poetry, I should wish here to compare the rarely beautiful poem of Lapo Gianni, Amor eo chero, with Folgore, and the masterly sonnets of Cecco Angiolieri of Siena, especially the one beginning S' io fossi fuoco, with Gene dalla Chitarra, in order to prove the fulness of sensuous and satirical inspira- tion in the age preceding Dante.
Lapo wishes he had the beauty of Absalom, the strength of Samson ; that the Arno would run balm for him, her walls be turned to silver and her paving-stones to crystal ; that he might abide in eternal summer gardens among thousands of the loveliest women, listening to the songs of birds and instruments of music. The voluptuousness of Folgore is here heightened to ecstasy. Cecco desires to be fire, wind, sea, God, that he might ruin the world ; the emperor, that he might decapitate its population ; death, that ha might seek out his father and mother ; life, that he might fly from both ; being Cecco, he would fain take all fair women, and leave the foul to his neighbours.
The spite of Cene is deepened to insanity. Such then was the joyous living, painted Avith colours of the fancy by a Tuscan poet, and realised in Florence at the close of that eventful century which placed the city under Guelf rule, in the plenitude of peace, equality, and wealth by sea and land. Distinctions of class had been obliterated. The whole population enjoyed equal rights and equal laws.
No man was idle ; and though the simplicity of the past, praised by Dante and Villani, was yielding to luxury, still the pleasure-seekers were controlled by that fine taste which made the Florentines a race of artists. The buildings whereby the City of the Flower is still made beautiful above all cities of Italian soil, were rising. The people abode in industry and order beneath the sway of their elected leaders. Supreme in Tuscany, fearing no internal feuds, strong in their militia of thirty thousand burghers to repel a rival State, the Florentines had reached the climax of political prosperity.
Not as yet had arisen that little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, above Pistoja, which was destined to plunge them into the strife of Blacks and Whites. The Sicilians followed closely in the track of the Provencal poets. After, or contemporaneously with them, the same Italo-Proven9al literature was cultivated in the cities of central Italy. The subject-matter of this imitative poetry was love — but love that bore a peculiar relation to ordinary human feeling.
Woman was regarded as an ideal being, to be approached with worship bordering on adoration. The lover derived personal force, virtue, elevation, energy, from his enthusiastic passion. Love was the consummation of spiritual felicity, which sur- passed all other modes of happiness in its beatitude. Thus Bernard de Ventadour and Jacopo da Lentino were ready to forego Paradise unless they might behold their lady's face before the throne of God.
For a certain period in modern history, this mysticism of the amorous emotion was no affectation. It formulated a genuine impulse of manly hearts, inflamed by beauty, and touched with the sense of moral superiority in woman, perfected through weakness and demanding physical protection.
By bringing the cruder passions into accord with gentle manners and unselfish aspirations, it served to temper the rudeness of primitive society ; and no little of its attraction was due to ' the con- viction that only refined natures could experience it. This new aspect of love was due to chivalry, to Christianity, to the Teutonic reverence for women, in which religious awe seems to have blended with the service of the weaker by the stronger. Sincere and beautiful as the ideal of chivalrous love may have been, it speedily degenerated.
Chivalry, though a vital element of feudalism, existed, even among the nations of its origin, more as an aspiration than a reality. In Italy it never penetrated the life or subdued the imagination of the people. For the Italo-Proven9al poets that code of love was almost wholly formal. They found it ready made. They used it because the culture of a Court, in sympathy with feudal Europe, left them no other choice. Louis, the nations of the South could only boast of a crusading Frederick II. Frederick the troubadour was a no less anomalous being than Frederick the crusader.
He con- formed to contemporary fashion, but his spirit ran counter to the age. His expedition to the East appears a mere parade excursion, hypocritical, poli- tical, ironical. In like manner his love-poetry and that of his courtiers ring hollow in our ears. It harmonised with the Italian genius, when Guido Guinicelli treated chivalrous love from the standpoint of Bolognese learning.
He altered none of the forms ; he used the conventional phraseology. But he infused a new spirit into the subject-matter. His poetry ceased to be formal ; the phrases were no longer verbiage. The epicureanism of Frederick's life clashed with the mystic exaltation of knight- hood. There was no discord between Guido's scientific habit of mind and his expression of a philosophical idea conveyed in terms of amorous enthusiasm. Upon his lips the words : Al cor i,'entil ripara sempre Amore, Come 1' augello in selva alia verdura ; Ne fe' Amore anti clie geutil core, N6 gentil cor anti che Amor, Natura : acquire reality — not the reality of passion, but of sincere thought.
They do not convey the spontaneity of feeling, but a philosopher's contemplation of love and beauty in their influence on human character. Guido's mood might be compared with that of the Greek sage, when he exclaimed that neither the morning nor the evening star is so wonderful as Justice, or when he thus apostrophised Virtue. Virtue, to men thou bringest care and toil ; Yet art thou life's best, fairest spoil I virgin goddess, for thy beauty's sake To die is delicate in this our Greece, Or to endure of pain the stern, strong ache.
For the chivalrous races, Love had been an enthusiastic ideal. Thomas and Accursius, hailed their poet in Guido Guinicelli. For them it was natural that poetry should veil philosophy with verse ; that love should be confounded with the movement of the soul toward truth ; that beauty should be treated as the manifesta- tion of a spiritual good. Dante in his Canzone, ' Donne ch' avete intelletto d' amore,' appeals, not to emotion, but to intelligence.
He tells us that binder standing was the ancient name of lovCt and describes the effect of passion in a young man's heart as a revelation raising him above the level of common experience. Thus the transmutation of the simpler elements of the chival- rous code into philosophical doctrine, where the form of the worshipped lady transcends the sphere of sense, and her spirit is identified with the lover's deepest thought and loftiest aspiration, was sincere in medieval Florence.
The Tuscan intellect was too virile and sternly strung to be satisfied with amorous rhymes. The contemporary theory of aesthetics demanded allegory, and imposed upon the poet erudition ; nor was it easy for the singer of that epoch to command his own immediate emotions, or to use them for the purposes of a direct and plastic art.
Enjoying neither the freedom of the Greek nor the disengagement of the modern spirit, he found it more proper to clothe a scientific content with the veil of passion, than to paint the personality of the woman he loved with natural precision. Between the mysticism of a sublime but visionary adoration on the one side, and the sensuahtiea of vulgar appetite or the decencies of married life on the other, there lay for him no intermediate artistic region.
And here it may be parenthetically noticed that the Italians, in the middle ages, created no feminine ideal analo- gous to Gudrun or Chriemhild, Iseult or Guinevere. When they left the high region of symbolism, they descended almost without modulation to the prose of common life. Thus the Selvaggia of Cino, the Beatrice of Dante, the Laura of Petrarch, made way for the Fiammetta of Boccaccio and the women of the ' Decameron,' when that ecstasy of earlier enthusiasm was exhausted. For a while, however, the Florentines were well prepared to give an intellectual signifi- cance, and with it a new life, to the outworn conventions of the Italo-ProYen9al lyrists.
Nor must it be thought that the emotions thus philosophised were unreal. Dante loved Beatrice, though she became for him an allegory. The splendid vision of her beauty and goodness attended him through life, assuming the guidance of his soul in all its stages.
Difficult as it may be to comprehend this blending of the real and transcendental, we must grasp it if we desire to penetrate the spirit of the fourteenth century in Italy. The human heart remains unchanged. No metaphysical sophistication, no allegory, no scholastic mysticism, can destroy the spontaneity of instinct in a man who loves, or cloud a poet's vision. Love does not cease to be love because it is sublimed to the quintessence of a self-denying passion. It still retains its life in feeling, and its root in sense. Beauty does not cease to be beautiful because it has been moralised and identified with the attraction that lifts men upward to the sphere of the eternal truths.
Nor is poetry extinguished because the singer deems it his vocation to utter genuine thought, and scorns the rhyming pastimes of the simple amorist. To effect a flawless fusion between these two strains in the new style, was infinitely difficult ; nor were the poets of that epoch equally successful. Guide Cavalcanti, the leader of the group Avhich culminates in Dante, won his fame by verse that savours more of the dialectician than the singer.
Ranking science above poetry, he is said to have disdained even Virgil. His Ballate were probably regarded by himself and his friends as play- things, thrown off in idle moments to distract a mind engaged in thorny speculations. Yet we find here the first full blossom of genuine Italian verse. Their beauty is that of popular song, starting flowerlike from the soil, and fragrant in its first expansion beneath the sun of courtesy and culture. Nothing remained, in this kind, for Boccaccio and Poliziano, but to echo the Ballata of the country maidens, and to complete the welcome to the May.
Firenze, See p 29 for the Canzone, and p. A pastourellc, In un hoschetto, anticipates the manner of Sacchetti. His Selvaggia deserves a place with Beatrice and Laura. From Cino Petrarch derived his mastery of limpid diction. In Cino the artistic sense of tlie Italians awoke. He produced something distinct both from the scientific style of Guido Guinicelli, and also from the wilding song which Guido Cavalcanti's Ballate echoed.
He seems to have applied himself to the main object of polishing poetical dic- tion, and rendering expression at once musical and lucid. We instinctively compare his work with that of Mino da Fiesole in bas-relief. Dante was five years older than Cino. To him belongs the glory of having efi"ected the same fusion in a lyric poetry at once more comprehensive and more lofty.
Dante jdelds no point as a dialectician and subtle thinker to Guido Cavalcanti. He surpasses Cino da Pistoja as an artist. His passion and imagination are more fiery than Guido's. His tenderness is deeper and more touching than Cino's. Also Barbara's diamond edition of Cino da Pistoja and other poets, edited by Carducci.
The great jurist is here commemorated, not the master of Petrarch in the art of song. Dante De Vulg. Federigo, Poesie ed. Barbara, , p. Yet even Dante, though knowing that he was destined to eclipse both the Guidi, though claiming Love alone for his inspirer, was not wholly free from the scholasti- cism of his century. Between hig emotion and our sympathy there rises, now and again, the mist of metaphysic. While giving them intenser meaning, he still plajs upon the commonplaces of his predecessors.
Dante's concessions to the mannerism of the school weigh as nothing in the scales against the beauty and the truth of that most spiritual of romances, to which the ' Vita Nuova ' gives melodic utterance. Within the compass of one little book is bound up all that Florence in the thirteenth century contributed to the refinement of medieval manners, together with all that the new school of poets had imagined of highest ' II Canzoniere Fraticelli's edition , p.
The harmony of life and science attains completion in the real but idealised experience, which transcends and combines both motives in a personality uniquely constituted for this blending. It is enough for the young Dante to meet Beatrice, to pass her among her maidens in the city-ways, to receive her salute, to admire her moving through the many-coloured crowd, to meditate upon her apparition, as of one of God's angels, in the sohtude of his chamber. She is a dream, a vision. But it is the dream ot his existence, the vision that unfolds for him the universe — more actual, more steeped in emotion, more stimulative of sublime aspiration and virile purpose than many loves which find fruition in long years of intercourse.
We feel that the man's true self has been revealed to him ; that he has given his life-blood to the ideal which, without this nourishment, would have ranked among phantoms, but is now reality. Students who have not followed the stages through which the doctrine of chivalrous love reached Dante, and the process whereby it was transmuted into science for the guidance of the soul, will regard the records of the ' Vita Nuova ' as shadowy or sentimental. Or if they only dwell upon the philo- sophical aspect of Dante's work, if they do not make allowance for the natural stirring of a heart that throbbed with liveliest feeling, they will fail to comprehend this book, at once so complex and so simple.
The point lies exactly in the fusion of two elements — in the truth of the passion, the truth of the idealisation, and the spontaneity of the artistic form combining them. Dante was born in of poor but noble parents, who re- conciled themselves to the Guelf party.
He first saw Beatrice in his ninth year ; and, when a man, he well remembered how her beauty dawned upon him. At that moment, I say most truly that the spirit of life, which hath its dwelling in the secretest chamber of the heart, began to tremble so violently that the least pulses of my body shook therewith ; and in trembling it said these words : Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens domijiahitur mihi.
And to this end I labour all I can ; as she well knoAveth. Wherefore if it be His pleasure through whom is the life of all things, that my life continue with me a few years, it is my hope that I shall yet write concerning her what hath not before been written of any woman. After the which, may it seem good unto Him who is the Master of Grace, that my spirit should go hence to heboid the glory of its lady : to wit, of that blessed Beatrice who now gazeth continually on His countenance qui est jper omnia scscula henedicUis.
Laus Deo. The consecration of his younger manhood was the love of Beatrice. She made him a poet. Yet love had not absorbed his energies. He studied under Brunetto Latini, and qualilied himself for the career of a Florentine citizen by entering the Guild of Speziali. After Beatrice's death a great and numbing sorrow fell upon him.
From this eclipse he recovered by the help of reading, and also by the distractions of public life. He fought in the battle of Campaldino, and married his wife Gemma Donati. He went as ambassador to San Gemignano in ; and in the year , when Florence was divided by the parties of Cerchi and Donati, he fulfilled the functions of the Priorate. These ten years between Beatrice's death and Dante's election as Prior were a period of hesitation and transition. He was no longer the poet of Divine Love, inspired by spontaneous emotion, mastering and glorifying the form which tradition imposed on verse.
He had become a student of philosophy ; and this change makes itself felt in the more abstruse and abstract odes of the ' Con- vito. I took to reading the book, not known to many students, of Boethius, wherewith, unhappy and in exile, he had comforted himself. And I imagined her in fashion like a gentle lady, nor could I fancy her otherwise than piteous ; wherefore so truly did I gaze upon her with adoring eyes that scarcely could I turn myself away. And having thus imagined her I began to go where she displayed her very self, that is in the schools of the religious, and the disputations of philosophers ; so that in short time, about thirty months, I began so much to feel her sweetness that her love chased away and destroyed all other thought in me.
She was still the form, the essence, of all he learned ; and the vow which closes the ' Vita Nuova ' had not been forgotten. Through the transition period, marked by the ' Convito,' we are led to the third stage of Dante's life — those twenty-one years, during which he roamed in exile over Italy, and wrote the poem of medieval Christianity. The studies of which the ' Convito ' forms a fragment, and the political career which ended in the embassy to Boniface, were both necessary for the ' Divine Comedy.
By gazing on her eyes, he rose through heaven, and stood with her before the splendour of the Beatific Vision, To identify Beatrice with Theology in this last stage of Dante's spiritual life is a facile but inadequate expedient of criticism. From the earliest she had been for him the light and guidance of his soul ; and at the last he ascribed to her the best and the sublimest of his inspirations.
Since its origin Italian poetry had pursued one line of evolution, first following and then transmuting the traditions of Provence. In the ' Diviiie Comedy ' it took a new direction. Chivalry, insufficient for the nation and ill-adapted to its temper, yielded to a motive force derived from the religious sentiment.
The Bible history, the Lives of the Saints, and the doctrine of the Church concerning the future of mankind, together with the emotions of piety, had hitherto received but partial exposition at the hands of a few poets of the people. Guittone of Arezzo, already mentioned as the earliest learned poet who attempted to nationalise his style, acquired fame as the writer of one sublime sonnet to Madonna and two Canzoni to the Mother and her Sou.
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I shall have occasion to return in a future chapter to the history of this movement and to trace its influence over popular Italian literature. It is enough, at present, to have mentioned it among the forces tending ' Donna iel cielo ; hcnigna, o dolce ; hon Qesii. The spirit of the epoch inclined to Allegory and Vision. When we remember the prestige of Virgil in the middle ages, both as a philosopher and also as the precursor of Christianity, it will be understood how his descent into Hades fascinated the imagination, and prepared the mind to accept the Vision as a proper form for conveying theological doctrine.
Brandan, the Purgatory of S. Patrick, and the Visions of Tundalus and Alberic pretended to communicate information concerning the soul's state after death, the places of punishment, and the method of salvation. In course of time the Vision was used for political or ecclesiastical pur- poses by preachers who averred that they had seen the souls of eminent sinners in torment.
It became an engine of terrorism, assumed satiric tone, and finally fell into the hands of didactic or merely fanciful poets. This life came to be regarded as a preparation for eternity. Like a foreground, the actual world served to relieve the picture of the world beyond the grave. Therefore popular literature abounded in manuals of devotion and discipline, some of which set forth the history of the soul in allegorical form. The Biblical visions, whether allegorical like those of Ezekiel and Paul, or apocalyptic like S.
John's, exercised a similar control. Not in order to depreciate the originality of Dante, but to prove in how vital a relation he stood toward his age, I have here insisted on those formless preludes to his work of art. In the Epistle to Can Grande he thus explains the theme of the ' Commedia : ' ' The subject of the whole work, taken literally, is the state of souls after death, regarded as fact ; for the action deals with this, and is about this. But if the work be taken allegorically, its subject is man, in so far as by merit or demerit in the exercise of free will he is exposed to the rewards or punishments of justice.
It presents a picture of the everlasting destiny of souls, so firmly appre- hended and vividly imagined by the medieval fancy. But sinco this picture has to set forth mysteries seen and heard by none, the revelation itself, like S. John's Apocalypse, is conveyed in symbols fashioned to adumbrate the truths perceived by faith. The same symbols portray another reality, not apprehended merely by faith, but brought home to the heart by experience. Attending to the allegory, we find in the ' Commedia ' a history of the soul in this life — an ethical analysis of sin, purgation ' See De Sanctis, Storia della Letteratura Italiana, vol.
The Comedy is introduced by two boys, good and bad. The piece itself brings God as the Creator, the soul He has made, its guardian angel, the devil, the powers of Memory, Beason, Will, and all the virtues in Buccession, with corresponding vices, on the scene. It ends with the Boul's judgment after death and final marriage to Christ. Dramatically, it is almost devoid of merit.
The poem is a narrative of Dante's journey through the region into which all pass after death ; but at the same time it describes the hell and heaven and the transition through repentance from sin to grace, which are the actual conditions of the soul in this life. The 'Inferno' depicts unmitigated evil. The ' Paradiso ' exhibits goodness, absolute and free from stain. In the one there is no relief, in the other no alloy ; the one is darkness, the other light. This negative overtone might have played a role in the progressive enlargement of the range of predicates with which Construction 2 is possible.
Pietro Giannone, Vita ; first half of the eighteenth century. You send: prs. Two examples from Marathi are provided in 40 :. Pandharipande : — The same conditions hold true for Marathi Pandharipande : — Moreover, this implicature if something is generally done in a certain fashion, then it must be done that way is at work in a number of voice constructions across languages, and, as Bourdin : correctly observes, is not tied to any particular marking of passive voice e.
The fact that the abilitative reading of the Hindi passive is favored by if not limited to negative contexts provides further confirmation to Narrog's scenario. Kachru : and at the same time is explicitly admitted by others e. SC Very much like negated utterances, interrogative utterances trigger more presuppositions than declarative utterances: asking how a city will be seen by X triggers the inference that there might be some reason connected to X for which X is not able to see the city.
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