This translation of Torquato Tasso's Il re Torrismondo, the first to be made directly from the Italian into English, is intended to help those students and scholars who do not command the language of the original text. This translation provides readers with a wider range of the Italian tragedy as a genre; it also allows readers to acquire a deeper awareness of the entire spectrum of the Italian Renaissance in its final brilliance. Tasso's King Torrismondo provides an example of Neo-Aristotelian dramatic theory of the second half of the fifteenth century. It incorporates into the dramatic genre elements of the epic lyric poem. Tasso's language can also be studied as an example of "imitation" of Virgil, Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso's own epic. Finally, Tasso's Torrismondo affords us an opportunity of comparative analysis of French, English, and Spanish literature in the development of tragedy as a European genre.
At the center of Petrarch's vision, announcing a new way of seeing the world, was the individual, a sense of the self that would one day become the center of modernity as well. This self, however, seemed to be fragmented in Petrarch's work, divided among the worlds of philosophy, faith, and love of the classics, politics, art, and religion, of Italy, France, Greece, and Rome. In recent decades scholars have explored each of these worlds in depth. In this work, Giuseppe Mazzotta shows for the first time how all these fragmentary explorations relate to each other, how these separate worlds are part of a common vision. Written in a clear and passionate style, The Worlds of Petrarch takes us into the politics of culture, the poetic imagination, into history and ethics, art and music, rhetoric and theology. With this encyclopedic strategy, Mazzotta is able to demonstrate that the self for Petrarch is not a unified whole but a unity of parts, and, at the same time, that culture emerges not from a consensus but from a conflict of ideas produced by opposition and dark passion. These conflicts, intrinsic to Petrarch's style of thought, lead Mazzotta to a powerful rethinking of the concepts of "fragments" and "unity" and, finally, to a new understanding of the relationship between them.
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