The Gallery of Memory: Literary and Iconographic Models in the Age of the Printing Press

By Lina Bolzoni and Jeremy Parzen

© 2001

Lina Bolzoni's impressive study of the memory culture of sixteenth-century Italy appears here for the first time in English translation. Since its original incarnation as La stanza della memoria: Modelli letterari e iconografici nell'età della stampa, published by Einaudi of Torino in 1995, Bolzoni's study has been praised by critics and ranked with the classic texts in its field - those by Paolo Rossi, Frances Yates and Mary Carruthers.

The book takes as its starting point a striking paradox: that the antique tradition of the art of memory - created by an oral culture - reached its moment of greatest diffusion during an age that saw the birth of the printed book. Bolzoni's examination of this phenomenon, in which archaic and modern elements came together in a precarious equilibrium, reveals the profound ties that existed at the time between memory and creativity, and between words and images.

Drawing on the multiplicity of practices that relied on techniques of memory, Bolzoni presents diagrams, cipher alphabets, rebuses and emblemlike pictures characteristic of the late-Medieval and early-modern periods, indicating their use for literary games and preaching. In doing so, she skilfully reconstructs a particular mentality, a way of apprehending words and images that was of central importance for a long period of time but that has since been forgotten.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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  • AVAILABLE OCT 2019

    From: $37.46

    Regular Price: $49.95

    ISBN 9781487524951
  • PUBLISHED AUG 2001
    From: $121.00

Quick Overview

This book takes as its starting point a striking paradox: that the antique tradition of the art of memory — created by an oral culture — reached its moment of greatest diffusion during an age that saw the birth of the printed book.

The Gallery of Memory: Literary and Iconographic Models in the Age of the Printing Press

By Lina Bolzoni and Jeremy Parzen

© 2001

Lina Bolzoni's impressive study of the memory culture of sixteenth-century Italy appears here for the first time in English translation. Since its original incarnation as La stanza della memoria: Modelli letterari e iconografici nell'età della stampa, published by Einaudi of Torino in 1995, Bolzoni's study has been praised by critics and ranked with the classic texts in its field - those by Paolo Rossi, Frances Yates and Mary Carruthers.

The book takes as its starting point a striking paradox: that the antique tradition of the art of memory - created by an oral culture - reached its moment of greatest diffusion during an age that saw the birth of the printed book. Bolzoni's examination of this phenomenon, in which archaic and modern elements came together in a precarious equilibrium, reveals the profound ties that existed at the time between memory and creativity, and between words and images.

Drawing on the multiplicity of practices that relied on techniques of memory, Bolzoni presents diagrams, cipher alphabets, rebuses and emblemlike pictures characteristic of the late-Medieval and early-modern periods, indicating their use for literary games and preaching. In doing so, she skilfully reconstructs a particular mentality, a way of apprehending words and images that was of central importance for a long period of time but that has since been forgotten.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    'An important book that does much to fill in and correct the work of her two major predecessors in the field of Renaissance memory craft, Paolo Rossi and Frances Yates.'


    Mary Carruthers, Professor of English and Director, Center for Research in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, New York University
  • Author Information

    Lina Bolzoni is Professor of Italian Literature, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa



    Jeremy Parzen earned his Ph.D. in Italian Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an independent scholar living in New York City.

  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations
    Colour Plates
    Preface

    CHAPTER ONE
    Making Knowledge Visible: The Accademia Veneziana
    1 Federico Badoer and the Founding of the Accademia Veneziana
    2 The Editorial Program: The New Vernacular Literature and 'Ancient Knowledge'
    3 The Structure of the Visual Encyclopedia
    4 The Places of Knowledge: The Library and the Palazzo
    5 The Academy's Political Aspirations
    6 The Collapse of the Academy

    CHAPTER TWO
    Trees of Knowledge and Rhetorical Machines
    1 The Easy Road to Knowledge or the Joy of Method
    2 The Tables of Sacred and Profane Rhetoric
    3 The Map of Possible Texts
    4 Orazio Toscanella: The Intellectual as Teacher and Publishe
    5 Against Pedants and in Support of the Vernacular and Useful, Helpful Books
    6 The Labyrinth of Words and the Order of the Library
    7 Rhetoric Machines
    8 The Art of Memory: Access to Rhetoric Machines
    9 Machines Used to Construct Sermons

    CHAPTER THREE
    Memory Games
    1 The Game of Imitation
    2 The Metamorphosis of Writing: Calligraphy, Ciphers, and the Rebus
    3 Ciphered Codes and Images of Memory: The Model of the Machine and the Fascination with Secrets
    4 Games That Generate Texts
    5 Texts That Produce Games

    CHAPTER FOUR
    Body and Soul: The Nature of Images
    1 The Map of the Soul and Medicine for Memory
    2 The Power of Imagination and the Toil of Forgetting
    3 The Phantasmata of Eros and Images of Memory
    4 The Window Opening onto the Heart
    5 The Theatre of Passions between Memory, Rhetoric, and Physiognomy
    6 The Body and the Text

    CHAPTER FIVE
    How to Translate Words into Images: Memory and Invention
    1 The Memory of Images and Iconological Repertories
    2 The Places of Memory and Topical Places
    3 The Text as a Building
    4 Doni's Theatre: An Illusionistic Game
    5 Poems and Galleries: The Metaphors Used by Galileo the Literary Critic
    6 How to Translate a Narrative into a Cycle of Images
    7 The Illustrated Book
    8 Biography and Portraiture
    9 Memory and Invention: Francesco Sansovino and Pirro Ligorio

    CHAPTER SIX
    The Art of Memory and Collecting
    1 Samuel Quicchelberg's Theatre and the Metaphors of Memory
    2 Collecting and the Art of Memory: Shared Mythology
    3 The Collection as a Theatre of Memory
    4 Treatises on Memory and the Model of the Collection
    5 Dolls and Wax Images
    6 The Wunderkammer and the Internal Castle

    Notes
    Index