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Lodovico Dolce

Lodovico Dolce: Renaissance Man of Letters

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    Lodovico Dolce
    Book Description:

    Terpening shows that not only did Dolce make interesting contributions to Italian literature, but he also played a decisive role in the formation and diffusion of late Cinquecento culture.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7676-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 ʹMiserabile Insieme, e Gloriosoʹ: Introduction to the Life, Works, and Milieu of Lodovico Dolce
    (pp. 3-24)

    Were Lodovico Dolce to have penned a line similar to that used by Carlo Goldoni in the ʹPréfaceʹ to hisMemoires(ʹMa vie nʹest pas interéssanteʹ), his contemporaries would have laughed at such a blatant example of feigned humility.¹ Though a similar statement from Dolce would have been only too apt for this century, in his own day it would have seemed an egregious use of what E.R. Curtius was to call the topos of ʹaffected modestyʹ² After all, Dolce was a man who had produced more than a hundred volumes bearing his name, whether as author, editor, translator, or...

  5. 2 Between Ariosto and Tasso: The Sacripante and the Prime imprese del conte Orlando
    (pp. 25-58)

    At one point in Lodovico Dolceʹs tragedyMarianna(1565), the tyrant Herod interrupts a faltering counsellor with the accusation ʹTu pigli da lontan la tua rispostaʹ (You take from afar your response). His reproach applies as well to this chapter, since I, too, will begin from afar. My purpose is twofold: to describe Dolceʹs work as a critic, editor, and translator of classical epics and chivalric romances, and, more important, to discuss his own poetic contributions to these two related genres. Of Dolceʹs four chivalric romances, I concentrate on the two most original works, the youthfulSacripante(1535-6), a continuation...

  6. 3 ʹI Costumi dʹHoggidiʹ: Dolce and the Commedia of the Cinquecento
    (pp. 59-91)

    Among the egregious writers of comedy cited by Tommaso Garzoni in hisPiazza universale di tutte le professioni del mondo(1585), one finds, in the company of such writers as Ariosto, Ercole Bentivoglio, Alessandro Piccolomini, and Bernardino Pino, the name of our author (p. 547).¹ Though known today primarily for his earliest comedy,II ragazzo, Dolce, in his own time, found his works acclaimed and performed with some success. And, as was true also for his tragedies, his fame as a writer of comedies was not limited to Italy. In France, to cite merely one example, Pierre de Larivey, the...

  7. 4 Between Lord and Lady: The Tyrantʹs Captain in Dolceʹs Marianna
    (pp. 92-104)

    Dolceʹs fame as a writer in the cinquecento is closely tied to his works of tragedy; in that genre he was active both in producing translations of Euripides and Seneca, works which in some cases might better be calledrifacimenti, and in writing original plays based on classical and other sources.¹ As his contemporary Carlo Zancarolo wrote to him: ʹTutte le sorte dei poemi vʹhanno qualche obbligo et precipue quello delle tragedie nelle quali riuscite felicemente, avete grazia e spiritoʹ (cited by Cicogna, p. 103). Active from 1543, when his adaptation of SenecaʹsThyesteswas first published,² to 1567, one...

  8. 5 From Imitation to Emulation: Dolceʹs Classicism and the Fate of Infelix Dido in Cinquecento Tragedy
    (pp. 105-127)

    Greek tragedy of the classical period derived many of its elements from earlier epic, in particular from theIliadand the corpus of myths provided therein, although theOdysseyalso provided paradigms for tragic (and comic) plots.¹ What better example, then, following the recommendation of Aristotle that tragic poets should draw their material from epic, than for Dolce and his predecessors in the sixteenth century to have recourse to Virgil′s great poem, theAeneid,² and to integrate into their works female characters and the themes of love and madness, dear also to tragedians such as Euripides?³ When they do so,...

  9. 6 ′Non Mai Stanco di Giovare′: The Prose Dialogues and Treatises
    (pp. 128-164)

    In his dedication to Dolce′s posthumousGiornale delle historic del mondo(1572), Guglielmo Rinaldi refers to our author as ′gentilissimo, et non mai stance di giovare′ (most noble, and never tired of helping; p. 3r). The epithet truly applies to the compiler of the prose works studied in this chapter. Each of these works, whether original or a translation, attests to Dolce′s praiseworthy goal of popularizing the élite culture of the time, rendering its more obscure aspects accessible to a much wider audience. While the sceptical might claim that Dolce wrote works of this sort simply for money (for, as...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 165-170)

    One of the witticisms related by Lodovico Domenichi in his collection of Facetie had to do with how the ancient authors, thought dead, may be more alive than the living. Here is how Charles Speroni translates the anecdote:

    Messer Lodovico Dolce, a man of great intellect, was reading some classical authors - something that he did regularly. A friend of his went up to him and said, 'What are you doing here, hiding among the dead? It's time that you came out with us who are alive.'

    'On the contrary,' he replied; 'they are still alive because they are famous...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 171-256)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 257-286)
  13. Index
    (pp. 287-310)