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Reviews 211 a literary space and place somewhere between the two. Useful as another contribution to the ongoing revisionist debate, Perry convincingly re-negotiates his theoretical position within Renaissance Studies, while making useful, if not as yet fully developed, inroads into inter-disciplinary studies. Ann Dolina MacKinnon Academy of the Arts Queensland University of Technology Petrarch. Canzoniere. Text with verse translation, notes and commentary by Mark Musa, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 1999; pp. xxxvi, 754; 2 tables; R R P US$59.95 (cloth), US$27.95 (paper). Of all the collections of love poetry ever published in the Western world no has everrivalledPetrarch's either in its territorial spread nor in its endurance over centuries. For almost 300 years, between roughly the middle of the fourteenth century and into the early decades of the seventeenth century, imitations of Petrarch's love poetry became so numerous, so slavish, and so ubiquitous across most of Western and Central Europe (and even some parts of Eastern Europe, like Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and the city-state of Dubrovnik [Ragusa]), that a special term, Petrarchism, is used by specialists to denote this phenomenon. While there have been earlier translations and editions ofPetrarch's Canzoniere there have been no recent parallel-text editions in English. Musa, whose distinguished translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is in m y opinion the best m o d e m English translation, provides us with a very elegant and almost musical translation. There is no way I can point out many fine verses that come to life in Musa's supple yetrigoroususe of English, but let m e offer one example from canzone 22: And I, from the first signs of lovely dawn that shakes the shadows from around the earth awakening the beats in every wood, can never cease to sigh while there is sun; then when I see the flaring ofthe stars I start to weep and long for the new day. (p. 23) 212 Reviews Even Sonnet 61, perhaps the most imitated and done-to-death of all Petrarch's poems, comes out sounding relatively new: Oh blessed be the day, the month, the year, the season and the time, the hour, the instant, the gracious countryside, the place where I was struck by those two lovely eyes that bound me; and blessed be thefirstsweet agony I felt when I found myself bound to Love, the bow and all the arrows that have pierced me, the wounds that reach the bottom of m y heart. And blessed be all of the poetry I scattered, calling out m y lady's name, and all the sighs, and tears, and the desire; blessed be all the paper upon which I earn her fame, and every thought of mine, only of her, and shared with no one else. (p. 97) The reason why this almost hackneyed sonnet suddenly looks surprisingly modem is in Musa's astute elimination of numerous 'e' or 'et', i.e. 'ands' that the Italia original abounds in ['e' has been set in bold below]: Benedetto sia T giomo e T mese et l'anno e la stagione e T tempo et l'ora e T punto e T bel paese e T loco ov'io fui giunto da' duo begli ochi che legato m'anno; et benedetto i l primo dolce affanno ch'i'ebbi ad esser con Amor congiunto, et l'arco e le saette ond'i'fui punto, et le piaghe che 'nfin al cor mi vanno. Benedette le voci tante ch'io chiamando il nome de mia donna 6 sparte, e i sospiri et le lagrime e T desio; et benedette sian tutte le carte ov'io fama l'acquisto, e T pensier mio, che'e sol di lei si ch'altra v'a parte, (p. 96) Reviews 213 Particularly useful is the introduction by Mark Musa with Barbara Manfredi in which the two point out the seminal importance ofPetrarch's so-called 'vulgar', i.e. vernacular poetry. Musa and Manfredi are quiterightin stressing the cardinal fact about Petrarch's Canzoniere, namely, that it is a carefully wrought collection, though its poems vary in form, style, and subject matter. What...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 211-214
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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