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  • Lecture

Principles of Manuscript Poetics

Francesco Marco Aresu, University of Pennsylvania

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Friday, April 26, 2024, 12:00 - 1:30 pm EDT
Open to the Public

Hosted by: SIMS and Kislak Center

Detail of a text page of UPenn MS Codex 257, a manuscript copy of the Teseide of Boccaccio.

This talk offers a reflection on the interactions between textuality and materiality, message and medium, visual-verbal discourse and its physical support through readings of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Teseida and Francesco Petrarca’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. Each of these texts is read as an interaction between conceptual, linguistic, rhetorical, and material elements. In a manuscript poetics, the container and the content, the book and the text, share a material and symbolic solidarity. The book represents the primary idea of the text, and the text, conceptually, assumes the material shape of a book. A manuscript poetics informed the Teseida and the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta: operating within the manuscript culture of late medieval Italy, Boccaccio and Petrarca evaluated and deployed the tools and strategies of scribal culture to shape, signal, and layer meanings coextensive to those they conveyed verbally in their written texts.

Event Series

Featured Image: Detail of a page from a late 15th-century manuscript copy of Boccaccio's Teseide (UPenn MS Codex 257, fol. 4r [=1r] )