The Languages of literature in Renaissance Italy

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Clarendon Press, 1988 - Literary Criticism - 279 pages
In the course of the Renaissance Italian emerged as a national literary language, which was able to compete with Latin and eventually to supplant it as the normal medium of expression in poetry, prose, and drama. Such a major cultural development was necessarily protracted and complex. Inspite of the achievements of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, many issues remained unresolved which exercised Italian writers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. How should classical models and ideals of language and style be assimilated into the vernacular? How far should the linguisticfragmentation of the country affect literature? How was the great literature of the Italian past to furnish models for the present? Italian treatment of such problems at a theoretical and practical level was to have a profound and lasting influence on writers in other European languages. This volume consists of sixteen essays by British and Italian scholars on a wide variety of linguistic and stylistic topics in Italian Renaissance writing. It includes studies of general trends, of aspects of major writers (Dante, Petrarch, Alberti, Ariosto, Machiavelli, Tasso), and also oflesser-known figures, some of whom illustrate the diverse possibilities open to writers of the time, whilst others concerned themselves with issues of literary history and evaluation. Working from a number of different angles, the essays cast light on a subject whose importance has been increasingly recognized over the last few decades, but which is still to be thoroughly explored.

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Contents

The novella of Ippolito e Leonora and its Attri
19
Momus and the Language of Irony
31
Considerazioni su testo e lingua del Momus del
45
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Hainsworth is Professor of Italian at the University of Oxford.

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