Petrarch's 'Fragmenta': The Narrative and Theological Unity of 'Rerum vulgarium fragmenta'

By Thomas E. Peterson

© 2016

Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, a collection of lyric  poems on sacred and profane love and other subjects, has traditionally been viewed as reflecting the conflicted nature of its author. However, award winning author Thomas E. Peterson argues that Petrarch’s  Fragmenta is an ordered and coherent work unified by narrative and theological structures.

By concentrating on the poem’s reliance on Christian tenets and distinguishing between author, narrator and character, Peterson exposes the underlying narrative and theological unity of the work. Building on recent Petrarch scholarship and broader studies of medieval poetics, poetic narrativity, and biblical intertextuality, Peterson conducts a rigorous examination of the Fragmenta’s poetic language. This combination of stylistic and philological analysis recasts Petrarch’s poetry in a new light revealing its radically innovative and liberating character.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP004362

  • PUBLISHED MAY 2016

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

    ISBN 9781487500023
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    Regular Price: $75.00

Quick Overview

Building on recent Petrarch scholarship and broader studies of medieval poetics, poetic narrativity, and biblical intertextuality, Peterson conducts a rigorous examination of the Fragmenta’s poetic language.

Petrarch's 'Fragmenta': The Narrative and Theological Unity of 'Rerum vulgarium fragmenta'

By Thomas E. Peterson

© 2016

Petrarch's Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, a collection of lyric  poems on sacred and profane love and other subjects, has traditionally been viewed as reflecting the conflicted nature of its author. However, award winning author Thomas E. Peterson argues that Petrarch’s  Fragmenta is an ordered and coherent work unified by narrative and theological structures.

By concentrating on the poem’s reliance on Christian tenets and distinguishing between author, narrator and character, Peterson exposes the underlying narrative and theological unity of the work. Building on recent Petrarch scholarship and broader studies of medieval poetics, poetic narrativity, and biblical intertextuality, Peterson conducts a rigorous examination of the Fragmenta’s poetic language. This combination of stylistic and philological analysis recasts Petrarch’s poetry in a new light revealing its radically innovative and liberating character.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    “Peterson shows us how Petrarch's collection of lyric poems is a narrative: it is the story of how the single enamored individual becomes the exemplary "bearer of a collective cultural message." Under the sweet surface of its scarce lyrical lexicon and the architecture of its numerical, calendric, and metrical forms there is an energy of political invective, historical agency and authentic religious devotion.”


    Alison Cornish, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan

    “Thomas E. Peterson provides detailed and meticulous readings of many of the poems from the Canzoniere and does so from the perspective of themes that are central to Petrarch and to the Medieval mind in general.”


    Paul Colilli, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Laurentian University
  • Author Information

    Thomas E. Peterson serves on the Scientific Committee of the Centro Studi Franco Fortini at the University of Siena and is Professor of Italian at the University of Georgia.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    1. Petrarch Today: A Focus on Narrativity
    2. Humanism and Poetic Theology
    3. A History of Return

    Chapter 1: Historical Context and PoeticForm

    1. The Poetry of the Tradition
    2. Style, Genre,Structure
    3. The Proem of the Fragmenta (Rvf 1–10)

    Chapter 2: Temporality andDesire

    1. Entering the Selva of the FirstCentenary
    2. The Dimension of Fable in the ‘Raccolta of 1342’
    3. Further Consequences ofFable

    Chapter 3: The Language of Tears (Rvf 92–122)

    1. A Parable of Return
    2. Nature, Landscape, Solitude
    3. The Secretum and Canzone

    Chapter 4: In fresca riva: Landscape and History(Rvf 125–183)

    1. Canzoni 125–129
    2. Saint Peter and the AvignonChurch
    3. Antithesis and Parallelism

    Chapter5: The Penitent Lover (Rvf 184–263)

    1. The Fading Myth of Daphne
    2. Out of the Labyrinth, Away From the World
    3. APoetics of Quietude

    Chapter 6: Songs of Grief and Lamentation (Rvf 264–317)

    1. “Quelle pietosebraccia” (264, 14)
    2. “Come va ’l mondo!” (290, 1)
    3. Augustinian Time and the Process ofGrieving

    Chapter 7: Songs of Consecration (Rvf 319–366)

    1. The In Between Time of Parable
    2. Friendship and Dialogue,Memory and Solitude
    3. Seeds of Grace

    Conclusion

    1. Historical Reception and the Figure of Petrarch
    2. “Altr’uom” (Narrative, Style, Theology)
    3. An Autopoietic Unity

    Notes

    Bibliography