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My Muse Will Have a Story to Paint

My Muse Will Have a Story to Paint: Selected Prose of Ludovico Ariosto

Translated with an Introduction by DENNIS LOONEY
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 320
  • Book Info
    My Muse Will Have a Story to Paint
    Book Description:

    Looney's elegant, careful translation provides us with the first extensive selection of Ariosto's prose works in English, and enriches our understanding of one of Italy's most important Renaissance writers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8618-2
    Subjects: History, Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. A Note on Texts and the Translation
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    (pp. 1-20)

    The fame of Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533), the most important Italian poet of the Renaissance and, arguably, the most important European writer before Shakespeare, deservedly rests on his narrative poem,Orlando Furioso, which he published in the definitive third edition in 1532. In it Charlemagne’s war against the Saracens serves as a backdrop to explore typical Renaissance themes such as love, madness, and fidelity, with an elaborate subplot that dramatizes how these themes affect the dynastic fortunes of Ariosto’s patrons in the House of Este, the ducal rulers of Ariosto’s hometown, Ferrara, in northern Italy. The poem had come out...

    (pp. 21-272)

    The first section of the correspondence, letters 1–29, includes a unique letter in Latin, the earliest surviving letter, which shows Ariosto’s intense engagement with humanism as a young student. Several other letters in this opening section of letters written before Ariosto assumed his duties in the Garfagnana document the poet’s shift to literary production in the ascendant vernacular in the early decades of the cinquecento. Important among these are letters in which Ariosto refers to the publication, production, and distribution of theOrlando Furiosoas well as the production of several of his comedies. The other letters written between...

    (pp. 273-288)

    In the opening section, an unidentified speaker comments in a philosophically tinged and Latinate Italian on the fate of the human being who is born helpless into the world among other animals that are much better adapted for survival. The speaker invokes the authority of Pliny to support his claim about the vulnerability of human beings in general. Endowed with the gift of reason, however, the human being can use his wits to overcome the various challenges to his survival in the world at large. In section 2, the speaker makes a case for the value of applying reason to...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 289-308)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-314)
  10. Table of Recipients
    (pp. 315-316)
  11. General Index
    (pp. 317-328)