Petrarch's life and work in the context of Italian and European culture and society.
Section 401 - SEM
PETRARCH: The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Lyric Self The course will explore the development of a new authorial subject over the course of the trecento, in the works and the life of Petrarch (1304-74). Our first focus will be a reading of the Canzionere (the Rime Sparse) with special attention to "confessional" and "conversionary" first-person narrative modes, to the divided first-person subject, and to the poetics of the lyric collection. In the Trionfi we will explore the poetics of erudition in a first-person mode that attempts a new kind of vernacular poetic practice with a different relation to the Dantean model. The Secretum will reveal the full religious dimension of the divided Petrarchan self, in a dialogic context in which his deeply problematic relationship to Dante as privileged precursor plays an important role. Issues of Petrarch's epic (and in part political) voice will feature in our reading of selections from the Africa, which will also explore his use of genealogical tropes of authority. The Petrarchan self in history and politics will be studied in his Coronation Oration (at the occasion of his being crowned poet laureate at Rome in 1341), and in his hortatory letters to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. Taught in English and cross-listed as Comp. Lit. 535
R 0200PM-0500PM