Abstract

The respective roles of virtù and fortuna, never resolved in his political writings, are critical to understanding Machiavelli's literary evolution. As his letters suggest, in the years between the fall of the Soderini republic and his reentry into public life with Mandragola, Machiavelli came to understand the power of language to impose order on the anarchy of events. The fragmentary L'Asino records his discovery that writing can achieve an agency denied to princes. Mandragola's dialectic between the author and his protagonist demonstrates that the inventive plasticity of the writer is grounded in the inherent stability of the creative self.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-0236
Print ISSN
0034-4338
Pages
pp. 59-89
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-27
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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