Long celebrated as one of “the Three Crowns” of Florence, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75) experimented widely with the forms of literature. His prolific and innovative writings—which range beyond the novella, from lyric to epic, from biography to mythography and geography, from pastoral and romance to invective—became powerful models for authors in Italy and across the Continent.
This collection of essays presents Boccaccio’s life and creative output in its encyclopedic diversity. Exploring a variety of genres, Latin as well as Italian, it provides short descriptions of all his works, situates them in his oeuvre, and features critical expositions of their most salient features and innovations. Designed for readers at all levels, it will appeal to scholars of literature, medieval and Renaissance studies, humanism and the classical tradition; as well as European historians, art historians, and students of material culture and the history of the book. Anchored by an introduction and chronology, this volume contains contributions by prominent Boccaccio scholars in the United States, as well as essays by contributors from France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The year 2013, Boccaccio’s seven-hundredth birthday, will be an important one for the study of his work and will see an increase in academic interest in reassessing his legacy.
Internationally known during her lifetime, Laura Battiferra (1523-89) was a gifted and prolific poet in Renaissance Florence. The author of nearly 400 sonnets remarkable for their subtlety, intricate narrative structure, and learned allusions, Battiferra, who was married to the prominent sculptor and architect Bartolomeo Ammannati, traversed an elite literary and artistic network, circulating her verse in a complex and intellectually fecund exchange with some of the most illustrious figures in Italian history. In this bilingual anthology, Victoria Kirkham gathers Battiferra's most essential writing, including newly discovered poems, which provide modern readers with a valuable social chronicle of sixteenth-century Italy and the courtly culture of the Counter-Reformation.
Focusing on the most recent triad of Italian poetic genius—Umberto Saba, Giuseppe Ungaretti, and Eugenio Montale—Joseph Cary not only presents striking biographical portraits as he facilitates our understanding of their poetry; he also guides us through the first few decades of twentieth-century Italy, a most difficult period in its literary and cultural development.