This article examines one of the decision-making moments in Petrarch’s editing of his Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Rvf), when he erases the ballata “Donna mi vene spesso ne la mente” from the partial holograph Vaticano Latino 3195 and inserts the madrigal “Or vedi amor che giovenetta donna” over the erasure, creating a dynamic, palimpsestic relationship between the erased ballad and the Rvf. This shift in the making of the text represents the heart of the artistry of Petrarch’s visual poetics. The study of erasures and palimpsests in the partial holograph and other significant early witnesses helps us understand and trace the history of the work and affects our consideration of modern and contemporary editions of the text. The Petrarchive digital edition of the Rvf (<http://petrarchive.org>) implements new solutions, in the encoding and presentation of the edition, for exposing and highlighting the dynamic, palimpsestic features of Petrarch’s visual poetics.


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pp. 182-207
Launched on MUSE
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