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Volume 30, 2012: Table of Contents
  1. De l'un au multiple
  2. I. Le jeu européen des langues
  3. ARTGENEVE - 1 - 4 February - Works | Robilant + Voena
  4. SearchWorks Catalog

The success of the Bindoni and Pasini formula lasted until Giolito introduced new models for the typographic presentation of the Furioso with the quarto and the octavo he pubUshed in and , respectively. Previous models were rendered obsolete by the success of these editions, and Bindoni and Pasini did not print Ariosto's text after The Bindoni and Pasini edition illustrates the significant role played by pub- lishers and editors in the diffusion and reception of literary texts in sixteenth- century Italy. Bindoni and Pasini chose a specific market for thtii Furioso, and then, with the assistance of Dolce, they ascertained the cultural preparation and reading habits of the buyers they had targeted.

These factors guided them in choosing the typographic characteristics and presentation of the edition, and in determining the structure and content of the paratexts. The book is both the result and the expression of their intentions, and by examining it as a material artefact, as a bibliographical fact, those intentions can in large part be recov- ered. Bindoni and Pasini operated in the highly competitive world of the Venetian publishing industry; hence they were motivated primarily by the eco- nomic imperatives basic to producing a commodity that consumers would pur- chase.

But if a book is a commodity, it is also a text, and its buyers are also readers. The partners needed to consider and to respond to the textual nature of their product and to tailor it to meet the needs of their readers, but the book itself, once produced, affected the ways in which these readers responded to the text. As a consequence, the octavo partakes of the dynamic fundamental to the nature of all books: a book is shaped by its intended readership and yet it con- ditions actual reading. The response of Dolce and the publishers to the perceived demands and tastes of their intended reader- ship proved to be successful, and the innovative presentation of the Furioso they designed was much imitated in the s.

We can be certain, therefore, that these books and their paratexts were in fact used to read the Furioso, and that they effectively conditioned its reception. By studying them as biblio- Si gran volume graphical artefacts, we can arrive at a more historically accurate understanding of the interpretations of Ariosto 's text during this period, and we can gain a more detailed sense of general reading practices in the Cinquecento. Transcrip- tions are in quasi-facsimile: characters are shown as they occur on the printed page, and words and punctuation marks printed together without spaces are not separated.

A bar used over vowels to indicate an abbreviation has been ren- dered here as an umlaut i. Abbreviation symbols are shown in their actual form, i. The various forms of the long s, some with a descender and others without one, are all given with de- scenders. Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso.

Venezia, Francesco Sindoni e Maffeo Pasini. Lodouico Dolcio contra ai I detrattori dell' Autore. Aggiuntoui I vna breue efpofitione dei luoghi difficili. I Haffi la concefjione del Senato Veneto per anni diece. Aippreffo Mapheo Pafini. I N egli anni del Signore. Gafparo [. I i' O penJaua benigni L ettori [ I Nel C anto nono a carte. I ncomincia la prima giunta: e fegue fin nel decimo a carte. I che fempre trouaraJJi pofto in mar I gine il nome di quello. I A I Angelica a carte 2. I [device of the Bindoni and Pasini firm, showing Tobias and the archangel Raphael, 50 x 38 mm; see Zappella 1.

Type-page: X 89 95 mm D2r , 2 coll. Catchwords: on leaf 8. The italic font used to print the two dedicatory letters on Alv and 2H4v lacks its own set of capitals; roman capitals are used instead. The type initials at the head of the cantos have an average height of 5 mm. Twenty-line measure- ments: dedicatory letters on Alv and 2H4v ; G60 "Apologia" ; this same gothic font is used to print the Furioso, the other paratexts at the end of the book, the catchwords, and the signatures of all gatherings except 2K, where roman capitals are used.

Leaf Height. PI ; mm Bibl. P2 ; mm Bibl. Fingerprint, o. Reproductions of the serpents device and the portrait of Ariosto are found in Esshng 2. On the portrait block, see Mortimer 1. Both provide reproductions of the por- trait, and Mortimer also includes one of the device, but these are taken from editions of Ariosto's comedies printed by Bindoni and Pasini in The same blocks were used again for Bindoni and Pasini's octavo edition of the Furioso see n.

The serpents device on the title-page is based on the original woodcut used in the edition printed in Ferrara by Francesco Rossi, where it is found on 1. Traditionally believed to be Ariosto's answer to his detractors, the block of the impresa was in fact the property of the printer, although the author may have had a hand in creating it Fahy On the biblical sources of the motto "dilexisti malitiam super benignitatem," see Casadei , which stresses that both this and the "pro bono malum" motto which in this edition appears on 1. The portrait of Ariosto on 1. For a discussion of the cuts in the edition, and the question of their attribution and ownership, see Fahy, L'Orlando 16 and he lists extant copies of this edition on , and reproduces the portrait and the serpents device as Taw.

The import of the declaration "Hassi la concessione del Senato Veneto per anni diece" on the title-page is, therefore, not clear. On the ques- tion of privileges, see Fahy , and the bibliographical references given therein; see also Trovato 68 and This edition, dated simply , was probably printed during or before the month of March - see note 24 in the main article.

Nazionale Centrale Nencini F. Al, 2K3 and 2K4; Comunale Ariostea S. Apostolica Vaticana Ferraioli V. Universitaria; Vicenza, Bibl. The following abbreviations have been employed: l. The partnership was active from to , and it produced, according to Menis, over editions. Francesco Bindoni was Pasini's step-son: after the death of his father, Alessandro, circa , Pasini mamed the widow. For a general overview of the pubUshing success enjoyed by the Orlando Furioso m the six- teenth century, see Javitch , and. FumagaUi Over the course of the century, editions of Ariosto 's work were printed; this figure refers to the total number of full-text editions in Italian, and it was calculated by Servello using the data m the second edition of volume 1 of EDIT16, a recent and reliable union catalogue of several hundred Italian libranes.

Servello also provides useful tables and graphs illustratmg the chronological and geographic distribution of Furioso editions to A more detailed statistical survey of these editions is provided by Pace, but her analysis is founded on a considerably less valid empincal base than ServeUo's, namely the Annali of AgneUi and Ravegnani. Designed to pro- vide a single descriptive Ustmg of all editions of Ariosto's works up to the s, the Annali remains the only comprehensive bibhography of the subject; it is, however, out-of-date, incom- plete, methodologically deficient, and therefore fundamentally unreliable.

For Genetle's notion of the term, see Paratexts. On Dolce and his work for this edition, see notes 18 and 19 below. My work on this edition is part of a larger bibliographical project on the pubHshing history of the Furioso in the first half of the Cinquecento. My research, in which direct examination of extant copies is used to vahdate and supplement the data provided by catalogues such as EDIT16, NUC, and BLC, has thus far estabhshed that 23 editions of the Furioso were printed during the penod I have indicated below in notes 12 and 35 the location and shelf number of the copies of the Bindoni and Pasini editions I have examined.

For the location of copies of the other editions, I refer the reader to the aforementioned catalogues; when any of these editions are discussed in the article I have, however, provided the relative EDIT16 entry number. I thank Prof. Randall McLeod of the University of Toronto for the generous assistance he offered by examining copies of a number of these editions held by the British Library. Giovanni Mazzocchi, Giambattista da La Pigna, Melchiorre Sessa. Alvise Torti, The Garanta octavo was part of that pubhsher's attempt to apply the Aldine model for printing the classics - octavo format and itahc font - to chivalric literature see Harris.

Italic, however, was not successful at this point in the fomial evolution of the Furioso, and it was not seen again in any format until the Gabriele Giolito quarto edition of EDIT 16, n. Evidently, the reading public was not yet ready to see Ariosto 's poem presented in the same manner as the classics had been by Aldus. Similarly, Rizzo's use of roman was a premature innovation - no other octavo appeared in this font until Giohto's of EDIT16 n.

The Furioso was never printed in foho during the period under consideration here. For the various styles and the terminology used to classify them, see Carter 91, esp.

De l'un au multiple

It should be noted that the gothic faces em- ployed in the editions of the Furioso treated here, including the octavo, are all examples of gothic rotundas, a rounder foim prevalent in Italy in the sixteenth century. For examples of chivalric titles in both categories, see Cutolo, Essling, and Sander. Apostohca Vaticana, Ferraioli V. Comunale Forteguerriana; Trento, Bibl.

Comunale Ariostea, S. Nazionale Marciana. As explained above in n. It could be argued that the octavo, which was the first Furioso printed in that format, constitutes an innovation, but this edition, an octavo in gothic types, follows a typical typographic model of the period for chivalric texts. Blado's Furioso uses close copies of the portrait block and serpents device I- h7r and 1. On Blado's edition, see Fahy, L'Orlando Another copy of the Ferrara portrait block was used by Torti cm the Si gran volume title-page of his Furioso see reproductions in Essling 2.

It is possible that this edition, dated 21 March , precedes Bindoni and Pasini 's octavo, dated simply , but not likely; see n. Bindoni and Pasini used a close copy of the Zoppmo block on the title-page of their quarto and on 1. By , therefore, the practice of pnnting the Furioso with the author's image was common, and they were simply following an estab- lished convention.

Their placement of the serpents device on the title-page was, however, un- precedented. Bmdoni and Pasini, for example, had printed a laudatory sonnet by Gian Battista Dragonano in their and editions 1. Al in both cases , and a letter to the reader in their quarto Q. This letter was an abbreviated version of the one pubhshed in the Zoppmo edition of the previ- ous year also on 1.

On the printing history of the Commedia and its commentar- ies m the Renaissance see Parker Editors also prepared the texts for pubhcation. For their aims and meth- ods, their function in the Venetian pubhshing world, and their mfluence on reading habits, see Richardson, and specifically for the period 1 to ; see also Trovato. For a more detailed discussion of the development of the pubhshing industry in Italy in the sixteenth cen- tury, see Santoro.

Storia del libro italiano ; Santoro's approach integrates economic and cultural considerations, including the growth of hteracy. On Dolce, his work for Venetian pubhshers, and the cultural milieu in which he operated, see Terpening. Di Fihppo Bareggi. On the "Apologia" alone, see Biimi 11; Ramat. La critica ariostesca ; Ramat.

Terpenmg discusses the "Apologia" printed in the edition by Bindoni and Pasini see n. Hempfer comments on the "Apologia" at various points, see esp. Dolce's revision of the text lies outside the scope of this article; Trovato examines his general editorial practice over the course of chapters 1 ; in discussing the Furioso, he affirms that "L'edizione Javitch observes that the "one early defense of the poem that was not provoked by neo- Aristotelian criticism was the very first.

Lodovico Dolce 's 'Apologia'" This is not sur- prising smce "it was not until the s that Aristotle's treatise really began to be valued and assuTulated by Italian hterati" Javitch 16; on this pomt see also TuroUa Dolce does draw on Horatian poetics, and he makes several references to Horace and the Ars Poetica to lend authority to his allument: in exalting Ariosto's poetic virtues, for example, he affirms that "Egli giova e diletta parimente" Q.

It must be remembered that in Sindoni and Pasini also pubhshed Dolce's Italian translation of the Ars Poetica; on this octavo edition, see Weinberg 1. Del mese di Agosto. On the reception of Horace's text and Aristotle's Poetics in the Renaissance, and on their fusion, see the first volume of Weinberg. Empio veramente e del mondo e di se stesso nemico [ I3v: "U Mese di Marzo M.

A2r -A3 -, same heading and text as 1 ; colophon, 1. E8r: "Mazo M. Comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Landoni Air: "Del mese di luglio. Apostolica Vaticana, Stamp. Lf Dolce's comment in the "Apologia" regarding Ariosto's comedies is interpreted as a refer- ence to their imminent publication by Sindoni and Pasini, then the date given in both Negromante editions, March , would indicate that their Furioso, which bears only the year , was pubhshed either before March, or in March but before the two editions of the comedy.

On these editions of the comedies and satires, see Trovato 68 and For the editions of these titles printed in and see EDIT16 ns. Quondam based his "Repertorio" on the relative entries Si gran volume in EDIT 16, which he integrated with data from other catalogues and from cntical editions.

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He emphasizes that there still exists no reliable bibliography of Aretino editions, and that his list is designed as a provisional research tool for scholars studying the complex publishing history of Aretino 's works Many of the editions in this list lack apubhsher's orpnnter's name, which leaves open the possibility that Bindoni and Pasini might have produced a number of them: there is no evidence to support such a possibility, but if any were to surface, the reasons for Dolce 's references to Aretino's works would be clearer.

Di Filippo Bareggi and Teipening 18 and His comments on this paratext are cogent: "Dolce 's 'Dechiaratione" is only two and a half pages long.

Its main purpose apart from elucidating three references to classical proper names was to give synonyms for uncommon words or phrases. But Dolce was as concerned with justifying Ariosto 's usage as he was with explaining it, for with only one exception he gave quotations of the same terms in Dante, Petrarch, or Boccaccio. One can see that his purpose here was not only to assist readers but to carry on from the Apologia his defence of Anosto as fundamentally a 'good observer' "buono osservatore' of the rules of vemacular grammar who had nevertheless used with discretion the licence, which all poets should have, to deviate from past usage" The "Dechiaratione" is made up of twenty-five entries, each referring to the relevant passage in the Furioso by leaf i.

The others are glosses of difficult words, for example: "c. Il Petrarcha nei Triomphi. Si, ch'ai suo volo l'ira adoppi i vanni"; "e. Dante nell'Infer Canto. Rimanea della pelle tutta brulla" v. For example: "Nel Canto nono a carte. Incomincia la prima giunta; e segue fin nel decimo a carte. Ricomincia la seconda nel Canto undecime a carte.

Vecchio" 1. Comunale Ariostea, E. Comunale dell' Archigmnasio, Houghton Library. Harvard Univ. EDITI 6 n. Houghton Library, Harvard Univ. Comunale Ariostea, C. Other extant copies: London, British Library, G. Palacio; Milan, Bibl. Trivulziana; Piacenza, Bibl.

Comunale Passerini Landi; Pisa, Bibl. Municipale Antonio Panizzi. Apostolica Vaticana, Ross. An attempt to identify the printer and to date the edition was made by ServeUo, and is reported in her article "Ancora un Orlando Furioso": she dates the edition between and Both the attribution and the dating remain at this point only probable, but upon further research I hope to publish conclusive findings.

On Giolito see, for example. These included paratexts that were more recent than those in their octavo, but the editions themselves presented the same typographical appearance; evidently, they were not successful, for the press, though ac- tive until , never printed the Furioso again; on these editions, see Richardson 97 and 18; Javitch Annali delle edizioni ariostee. Bologna: Zanidielli, Fernanda, and Marco Menato. Firenze: Olschki, Balsamo, Luigi, and Alberto Tinto. MUano:IlPolifilo, Beer, Marina. Romanzi di cavalleria: Il 'Furioso' e il romanzo italiano del primo Cinquecento.

Roma: Bulzoni, Si gran volume Binni, Waller. Storia della critica ariostesca. Lucca: Lucenlia, London: Bingley, Marco Santoro. Brunei, Jacques-Charles. Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livres. Pans: Firmin-Didot, Carter, Harry. A View of Early Typography up to about Oxford: Oxford UP, Casadei, Alberto. La fine degli incanti: vicende del poema epico-cavalleresco nel Rinascimento.

Milano: FrancoAngeli, Culolo, Alessandro. Milano: Hoepli. Di Filippo Bareggi. An Introduction to the History of Printing Types. Florence: Olschki, Fahy, Conor. Milano: Vita e Pensiero, Patini, Giuseppe. Bibliografia della critica ariostea. Firenze: Le Monnier. Lucien, and Henri-Jean Martin. David Gerard.

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London: Verso, L'Apparition du Livre. Pans: Albin Michel, Fumagalli, Giuseppina. Ferrara: Zuffi, Goldschmidt, E. Illustra- tion. Amsterdam: van Heuden, Graesse, Jean G. Dresde: Kuntze, Grendler, Paul. Annali delle edizioni e delle versioni dell' Orlando Furioso e d'altri lavori al poema relativi. Bologna: Tipografia in via Poggiale, Modena: Panini, Hempfer, Klaus W. Stutt- gart: Steiner. Hirsch, Rudolf. Printing, Selling, and Reading.

Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, Johnson, A. Type Designs: Their History and Development. London: Grafton, Gaetano, and Paolo Antonio Tosi. Bibliografia dei romanzi e poemi cavallereschi italiani. Seconda edizione corretta ed accresciuta. Milano: Tosi, Bibliografia dei romanzi di cavalleria in versi e in prosa italiani. Milano: Daelli, 1 Moiis, Ade. Milano: Editrice Biblio- grafica, Muraro, Michelangelo, and David Rosand, eds.

Tiziano e la silografia veneziana del Cinquecento. Vicenza: Neri Pozza, Pre Imprints. London: ManseU, Pace, Enrica. Parker, Deborah. Commentary and Ideology: Dante in the Renaissance. Durham and London: Duke UP, Pesenti, Tiziana. Petrucci, Atmando. Quondam, Amedeo. Un repertorio, per una bibliografia. Roma: Salerno, Alberto Asor Rosa. Amicando Petrucci. Bari: Laterza, Ramat, Raffaello. La critica ariostesca dal secolo XVI ad oggi.

Firenze: La Nuova Itaha, Walter Binni. Firenze: La Nuova Italia, Richardson, Brian. Cambndge: Cambndge UP, Sander, Max. Essai de sa bibliographie et de son histoire. Nendebi, Liechtenstein: Kraus, Santoro, Marco. Milano: Bibliografica, ServeUo, Rosaria Maria. Terpening, Ronnie H. Lodovico Dolce, Renaissance Man of Letters. Con ogni diligenza corretto: La stampa e le revisioni editoriali dei testi letterari italiani, Bologna: U Mulmo, Turolla, Enzo.

Vittore Branca. Torino: UTET, Updike, D. New York: Dover, Weinberg, Bernard. Chicago: U of Chicago P. Zappella, Giuseppina. Le marche dei tipografi e degli editori italiani del Cinquecento. Repertorio di figure, simboli e soggetti e dei relativi motti. Milano: Bibhografica, When the first version of the poem over which Tasso had some editorial control appeared in , however, the Discorsi had been replaced by a brief treatise: the "Allegoria del Poema," which he had written as he was completing the poem, probably in late and early Pri- mary among them is Tasso 's own confession that when he began his poem he had no thought of allegory, since it seemed to him a "soverchia e vana fatica," and that he only began to consider an allegorical reading midway in his writing due to "la strettezza de' tempi" Lettere, Taking Tasso at his word, then, critics have often viewed the "Allegoria" as a late and unfortunate impo- sition on an Aristotelian epic, which was motivated by his fear of Counter- Reformation censorship.

And even with more recent attempts to take the "Allegoria" seriously, critics often contrast Tasso 's Aristotelianism, as re- vealed in the early Discorsi, with his later allegorical understanding of the poem; thus. Tasso 's move toward allegory represents a radical shift towards a discourse alien to the original conception of the epic. Autunno V. Stanley Benfell dominant influence on these early discourses, a statement that proves at best half true.

Stephen Halliwell has observed that sixteenth-century Italy did not turn "the Poetics easily or automatically into an unquestioned source of doctri- nal orthodoxy," despite the fact that it was often quoted as an authority "The Poetics and its Interpreters," As Guido Baldassarri has argued, it was difficult for Tasso or any other sixteenth-century literary theorist to look to Aristotle as an unquestioned authority on epic simply because The Poetics ac- tually contains very little discussion of epic poetry.

What it does contain is located primarily in two chapters 23 and 24 near the end of the treatise. And as many scholars have noted, Aristotle's definition and treatment of epic de- rives largely from his consideration of tragedy, the genre he preferred. Many of the prominent critics in the cinquecento were also practicing poets who wrote theoretical works to justify their own poems, and in many ways Tasso's own critical writings illustrate this impulse toward self-authorization.

I wish to argue here that his critical writings reveal a rhetorical conception of literature; Tasso designs his theory and his poem to create a moral response in his readers, and thus his treatment of characterization and unity of plot aims to move the read- ers appropriately to create a rhetorically effective poem," In the first discourse, for example. Tasso discusses the choice of an epic subject matter, a choice of primary importance, since the subject will deter- mine the way in which readers respond to the poem.

The appeal to history in opposition to Aristotle's distinction between history and poetry in chapter 9 of The Poetics similarly derives not from a concern for historical truth, but from consideration for the reader's response to the subject. To produce a believable narrative, therefore, the poet must look to history. We should see no contradiction in Tasso's insistence on both a historically true subject and the poet's freedom to embellish that subject; the issue here is not truth but author- ity and believability.

Once a subject has been accepted as true by the reader, the poet can feel free to embroider it, because the perception of truth will survive the poet's "corrections" of history. The unhistorical subject must be rejected not because it is false, but because it will not produce the desired response in the readers, who will dismiss it as so much fiction. The poet's aim, according to Tasso, is to deceive C'ingannare" his readers into beUeving that they witness the truth.

This concern with reader response remains Tasso 's preeminent con- cern throughout the discourses; like a good rhetorician, he gauges the effects each word will have on his intended audience. Tasso does not address the question of why the verisimilitude in this rhe- torical sense of the subject is so crucial beyond stating that "presupongo questo, come principio notissimo. In one of his divergences from Aristotle, Tasso holds that tragic and epic actions are dissimilar. The reason for their dissimilarity is telling: they have different effects on their readers. Tragedy produces, as Aristotle also noted, pity and fear "l'orrore e la compassione" , emotions derived from witnessing the actions of characters of moderate virtue "d'una condizion di mezzo".

The characters of heroic poetry, however, represent the greatest ex- tremes of virtue and vice: V. The great heroes of Homer and Virgil are epic because each exemplifies the archetype of a certain virtue or vice. Tasso further insists on the exemplary nature of epic characters in his later discourses, the greatly expanded Discorsi del poema eroico.

Epic poets must ultimately serve as guides to the paths of virtue, and they will accomplish this, it seems, by prais- ing the virtue and blaming the vice of exemplary heroes. Tasso goes on to criticize Homer for his portrayal of Achilles, who fails the test of exemplary decorum because, while he is a great warrior, he is also avaricious and cruel in his failure to restore Hector's body to the Trojans for the proper burial rites. Tasso makes explicit his ear- lier concern with exemplary epic heroes; his criticisms of heroes such as Achil- les are leveled for moral reasons, while he praises Aeneas as an exemplar of virtue and decorum and hence worthy to be the protagonist in an epic poem.

And while Tasso 's earlier discourses are not as explicit in their advocacy of a rhetorical function for his heroes, his insistence on their exemplary nature and his linking of that exemplary nature to the effect of the poem on the reader implicitly call for such a reading. We should also recall here that Tasso 's insist- ence on a poetry of praise and blame was a critical commonplace in his day and was often specifically applied to epic poetry.

Tasso contin- ues to reveal his underlying preoccupation with the effect of the poem on its readers. While in the first discourse he argued for the necessity of a subject taken from history, in this second discourse he emphasizes the poet's freedom of invention which allows him both to demonstrate his mastery of the poetic art and to make his historical subject more fit for epic.

Tasso begins his discourse by repeating Aristotle's observation in chapter 9 of The Poetics that poetry Tasso' s Domestication of Allegory differs from history in that it considers things "non come sono state, ma in quella guisa che dovrebbono essere slate. The poet should nevertheless take care not to alter the essential truth of his histori- cal subject, as this will deprive poetry of the authority that comes from history.

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The poet's task is not to change history simply for his own pleasure; he must, rather, change it so as to raise the limited particulars of history to a universal level. Historical reality is characterized by "accidenti"; the poet alters his sub- ject so as to eliminate the accidental and make all events in the poem causally related. Tasso is not only interested in poetic structure for its own sake, but, given the rhetorical context established by the first discourse, his conception of causality and probability is also infused with moral significance.

By remaking certain events of his historical subject. Tasso argues that he is able to free it from the particular limitations of history and create amoral causality in his plot that renders it universal. Tasso was not alone in arguing that the historical subject required correction before it was fit for poetry. Giraldi Cinzio, for example, expresses a similar view in his Discorso intorno al comporre dei romanzi. For both Tasso and Giraldi Cinzio, then, verisimilitude and necessity require the crea- tion of plot that is not only well constructed and logical in its development, but one that also reveals a moral causality brought about by the poet's correction of the accidents of history.

Later in the second discourse. Tasso argues for the necessity of unity in the epic plot, attempts to demonstrate that romance does not constitute a genre in itself, and asserts that Ariosto 's Orlando Furioso cannot, therefore, be classi- fied as a romance since the genre does not exist and must be considered a failed epic. Through all of his discussion of epic unity. Tasso continuously leads the discussion back to a consideration of the reader's experience. The reader's experience of the poem is again the standard by which the epic poet judges his subject; he or she must grasp the causal relation of the poem's events, or the effect of the poem will be lost.

The plot of the poem must be "complete," must have a beginning, middle, and end, because only then will the poem be understandable, only then will the moral causality of the poem's events become clear. Tasso talks of searching for "perfection" in the plot "Tutta o intiera deve essere la favola perch' in lei la perfezione si ricerca" [1. Andrew Fichter, for example, writes the following: "What is real is also necessarily an integral part of the unity that characterizes divine creation; what the poet would make truthful he must also make whole" But Neo- Platonism is only part of what is at issue here for Tasso.

Unity becomes neces- sary because of rhetorical concerns; the lack of a determinate ending, for exam- ple, would be problematic as it would Umit the reader's ability to understand the poem. Unity of meaning is not only true to Tasso 's conception of the struc- ture of the universe, but it is also necessary if he is to ensure that his epic will have the proper effects on its readers. Tasso' s Domestication of Allegory Tasso's early Discorsi dell'arte poetica, therefore, have a problematic rela- tionship to The Poetics.

While he appeals to Aristotle's treatise frequently and at various points extrapolates from Aristotle's discussion of epic, at other mo- ments Tasso contradicts the treatise or bends it to serve his own purposes. Even in the second discourse, where structural issues seem paramount. Tasso con- tinuously justifies his theory by appealing to the experience of the reader.

Tasso's early " Aristotelianism" is compromised, as he works toward a moralis- tic theory of poetry. The relationship of the early Discorsi to Aristotelianism is analogous to the relationship of the later "Allegoria del Poema" to the allegori- cal tradition; both contradict and at times compromise their authoritative sources, and both do so in the interests of a rhetorically effective poetry. Ulti- mately, the views of the poetry presented in the two treatises prove similar. One of the most intriguing aspects of the "Allegoria del Poema" is Tasso's strong emphasis at the beginning of the treatise on the importance of imitation in poetry.

These appeals differed from the "Allegoria," however, in that they often characterized the literal sense of fiction as apparently frivo- lous or even immoral; the immoral husk needed to be stripped away to reveal the kernel of moral truth within. Tasso departs from the allegorical tradition of discarding the literal sense, however, by em- phasizing the importance of the imitative aspect of poetry. Stanley Benf ell His description of the literal, mimetic aspect of the poem differs strikingly from what we might expect in a treatise claiming allegorical meaning: "l'imita- zione riguarda l'azioni dell'uomo, che sono a i sensi esteriori sottoposte; ed intomo ad esse principalmente affaticandosi, cerca di rappresentarle con parole efficaci ed espressive, ed atte a por chiaramente dinanzi a gli occhi corporali le cose rappresentate" Tasso's imitations are not beautiful lies, written to be discarded.

Instead, he asserts the importance of poetry's mimetic powers, its ability to represent physical reality vividly before ''corporeal eyes". He makes no suggestion that the poem's narrative needs to be rejected in order to understand the allegory. He continues to affirm, in other words, the centrality of the literal sense even in this allegorical reading; for, according to Tasso, allegory becomes thoroughly intertwined in the hteral, verisimilar narrative. In his "Exposition of the Content of Virgil according to Moral Philosophy," for example, Fulgentius explains book one of The Aeneid with its narrative of shipwreck "as an allegory of the dangers of birth, which include both the pangs of the mother in giving birth and the hazards of the child in its need to be bom" In book four, Aeneas, the exemplary maturing man, comes to embody "the spirit of adolescence, on holiday from patemal control, [who] goes off hunting, is inflamed by passion and, driven by storm and cloud, that is, by confusion of mind, commits adultery" In the commentary of Virgil by the Renaissance Neo-Platonist Landino, the joumeys of the Virgilian hero are made to correspond to his moral development in a way that similarly disregards the poem's literal narrative.

Troy signifies, for Landino, "the innocent sensual- ity of childhood"; after leaming to abandon his sensual values, Aeneas then confronts the perils of civic life in Carthage; his arrival in Italy signifies the attaining of the contemplative life Murrin As Murrin remarks, "Such an exegesis The difference between this kind of extended allegorical reading and the allegorical account that Tasso provides in the "Allegoria," proves to be pro- found, therefore, despite the ostensible similarities.

For unlike Fulgentius and Landino, Tasso consistently ties his allegorical reading to the poem's literal narrative. A closer analysis of two examples will help to illustrate how closely he attempts to unite these two senses. Tasso' s Domestication of Allegory In canto 7 of the Gerusalemme, Goffredo decides to hazard his life in a duel with Argante. While Raimondo 's reference to Goffredo as the "capo" recalls Tasso 's allegorical identification of him as the intellect, Goffredo as the head of the army also makes sense within the literal narrative of the poem. The Christian army finds itself unable to function when it fails to unite itself under his leadership; therefore, Raimondo 's warning concerns itself with the fate of the army, not with the ideal man.

Thus Tasso continuously works to tie the literal and allegorical together in the "Allegoria," as he often equates the literal events of the poem and the allegorical meaning that he seeks to derive from them. Tasso works to make the two senses seem virtually inseparable. If the reader comes to the treatise after having read the poem, however, he or she immediately senses the super- fluity of the analysis; Tasso's allegorical gloss is hardly needed to point out that Ismeno attempts to deceive the intellects of the Christian army while Armida tempts their carnal appetites.

Nevertheless, a consideration of the difference between Ismeno and the character of Errour from Spenser's Faerie Queene demonstrates tJiat Tasso does not create characters so transparently allegorical that they verge on personification. When Redcrosse attacks, she retreats from the light, for, we are told "light she hated" while preferring in "desert darknesse to remaine. Stanley Benfell These details derive from the allegorical nature of the character; they exist to define the character in abstract terms, not to individualize the monster in any way. Many of the details are simply not "verisimilar" in Tasso's sense.

When we compare this description to the introduction of Ismeno at the opening of the second canto of Tasso 's poem, we sense a profound difference. Here we learn that Ismeno has magical powers, including the abiUty to make a corpse breathe and feel. We also learn that "or Macone adora, e fu cristiano" 2. While Ismeno is certainly not one of the more individualized characters in the poem, all of the details do help to individualize him. In addition, they are all verisimilar details; a Christian reader can accept that a pagan magician had the power to raise bodies from the dead.

It is difficult, however, to imagine any reader accepting Errour as any- thing but an allegorical construct. Tasso 's characters, that is, are simply not sufficiently abstract to embody the kind of personification typical of the tradition of poetic allegory. This is not to say, however, that the kind of moral allegorization that Tasso provides in his treatise would have been unknown to his readers.

In some sixteenth century Italian editions of the Orlando Furioso, for example, editors prefaced each canto with allegorie that interpreted the actions of the character within the canto in a moral sense, similar to the kinds of interpretations that Tasso pro- vides of his own characters. Thus, Armida may exemplify the temp- tations of the flesh while not becoming so abstract as to disappear entirely into her allegorical identification.

When viewed in this way, as a narrative of exem- plary figures. Tasso 's allegory accords well with his earlier insistence, in the Discorsi dell'arte poetica, that epic actions and characters be defined in exem- plary, universal terms. As noted earlier. Tasso suggested in his early discourses that a character could be considered an epic character in so much as he or she exemplified some virtue or vice, a theory of character that resembles the way in which, in the "Allegoria," Tasso assigns a faculty of the mind or a limb of the body to each character.

There exists, in other words, an underlying consistency in Tasso 's conception of his epic and its moral meaning from his early dis- courses through the "Allegoria. The Discorsi and the "Allegoria" represent not a shift of fundamental conception but of emphasis. For rather than abandoning Aristotehan mimesis in favor of personification allegory. Tasso propenses a moral allegory that concentrates on the exemplary status of his characters, which is used in the service of a poem based on an "Aristotelianism" that insists on an epic's rhetorical effectiveness, is partially achieved through the creation of exemplary characters.

In both trea- Tasso' s Domestication of Allegory lises, that is. Tasso describes the same kind of poem: an epic where mimesis serves morals. During the composition of Gerusalemme Liberata, Tasso wrote to Scipione Gonzaga that he objected to allegory because it gave readers a license to inter- pret according to their own capricious inclinations, a practice that leads to an unacceptable multiplicity of readings. Allegory frequently provided a way of reading that proliferated and multiplied meanings, even when wielded by authoritarian and orthodox interpreters, a fact evident from St.

Augustine's De Doctrina Christiana and medieval texts such as St.

I. Le jeu européen des langues

Bernard's sermons on the Song of Songs. The same is true for allegorical poetic texts; for example, the clearly allegorical narrative of Spenser's Faerie Queene seems to multiply meanings much as Errour vomits books. Similarly, in a passage that Harrington will translate unacknowledged into the preface of his translation of the Orlando Furioso, Leone Ebreo, as part of a defense of poetry's seriousness and veracity in the second of his Dialoghi di amore, inter- prets the myth of Perseus on several levels; he distinguishes between the myth's "senso historiale" and how it "significa [ Tasso's objections to allegory's proliferation of meanings become clearer in the hght of this tradition, as is his decision to write an allegory that works to eliminate that multiplicity, that eliminates all but a particular kind of moral allegory, which he could tie closely to the actions of his characters and thus to the literal sense of the poem.

Tasso, that is, "domesticates" allegory, strictly delimiting allegorical meaning to a single moral reading in order to undercut the multiplicity of interpretations - the uncontrollable, capricious "wildness" - that allegory invariably encourages. In both treatises, then. Tasso works to eliminate multiplicity through an ex- ercise of authorial control. In his second discourse, he objected to the multiple, digressive plots of romance that produce "distrazione nell'animo e impedi- mento nell'operare" 1.

Tasso attempts to spell out the univocal meaning he envisaged in the Discorsi as proper to epic. The "Allegoria" does not contradict Tasso's theory of an effective epic that he delineates in his Discorsi; rather, it leads wandering readers back to the single end he had envisioned, under his own banners, moving them towards a political and religious felicity. Tasso expected to preface the poem with the prose "Allegoria"; on that day he wrote to Scipione Gonzaga, informing him that he intended "di far stampare l'allegoria in fronte del poema" Kates and Rhu "Tasso's First Discourse".

He also notes that the defenders of romance also appealed to Aristotle and attempted to extend his poetic theory so as to nclude romance. See "Introduzione". See Minnis ans Scott Rhu's comment in The Genesis: "Veracity is not verisimilitude; but once the value of truth Tasso ' s Domestication of Allegory yields to the needs of rhetoncal efficacy, this distinction can easily get lost" I would argue that Tasso wants his readers to miss the distinction; verisimilitude is essential precisely beacause a reader will accept verisimilar events as true.

While m the second discourse he elaborates on Anstotle's distinction between poetry and history, he ignores it in the first discourse m order to claim the histoncal subject for epic. Rhu's sense of this discourse: "contmuity and unity of plot are the real issues. I would argue, however, that the issues of plot structure are inseparable from rhetoncal considerations for Tasso. Unity of plot is crucial precisely because of Its impact on meaning and moral interpretation. Dante's emphasis on the fictional nature of the literal narrative and the necessity of stripping away this "beautiful be" in order to arrive at the "hidden truth" is echoed by Boccaccio's discussion of poetic truth in his Genealogia deorum gentilium, where he de- clares that poetry "veils truth m a fair and fitting gaiment of fiction.

If then, sense is revealed from under the veil of fiction, the composition of fiction is not idle nonsense" 39, In both the Dante of the Convivio and Boccaccio, the "truth" of poetry bes beneath the surface, and it is necessary to discard the bteral sense to get at it. Valvassori in Proclaiming a Classic One of the most interestmg aspects of the poem is precisely where such unity and univocality break down. For the argument, how- ever, that "the Gerusalemme belongs to the order marked by Homer, Virgil, and Milton, where aUegory plays no important role" and that the "only kind of aUegory that operates to any degree is obbque and problematic moral exemplification," see Kennedy.

In his recent book on epic and empire. Quint has argued that there are definite ideological, rebgious, and moral underpin- nings to the unity and teleology of epic narrative ; he explores the relationship of Tasso's poem to Counter-Reformation pobtical and rebgious ideology at Piero Cudini. Milano: Garzanti, Baldassari, Guido. Stanley Benfell Boccaccio. Charles C. Brans, Gerald. Derla, Luigi. De Sanctis, Francesco. Storia della letteratura italiana. Benedetto Croce. Ebreo, Leone.

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Horence: Le Mounier. Scritti suW arte poetica. Ettore Mazzali. Teskey, Gordon. Allegory and Violence. Ithaca and London: Cornell UP, Treip, Mindele Anne. Lexmgton: UP of Kentucky, Vickers, Brian. Zatti, Sergio. L'uniforme cristiano e il multiforme pagano: Saggio sulla Gerusalemme Liberata. Milano: Il Saggiatore, Augustine Time interrelates the di- verging discourses, generating a locus for judgment. By combining descriptive psychology and epistemology in his temporal analysis, Augustine refutes time's privileged ontological status and considers it only in terms of human experience.

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