This is William J. Kennedy’s third book on Renaissance Petrarchism. Authorizing Petrarch (1994) dealt with the astonishingly detailed tradition of critical commentary that accompanied Petrarch’s Canzoniere in its printed circulation. Such attention was overdue, but I thought the result a frustrating disappointment, valuable for its scholarship but with a meager yield of insight into the poetry of Petrarch and his international imitators. But Kennedy was just getting started. The Site of Petrarchism (2003) covered similar ground, with the commentaries constantly in play, but also paid detailed attention to another aspect of the tradition that scholars have registered but never studied systematically: its connections to the cultural and political nation building going on around it in which the poets were sometimes deeply enmeshed. The current book, while sustaining both concerns, adds yet another complex body of evidence: the revising that Petrarchan poets did to their poems. Such evidence is surprisingly ample...
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Book Review| December 01 2017
Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare
Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare. By Kennedy, William J..
Cornell University Press,
xiv + 333 pp.
Gordon Braden is Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is author of Petrarchan Love and the Continental Renaissance (1999) and coeditor of volume 2 of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (2010).
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Modern Language Quarterly (2017) 78 (4): 539–542.
Gordon Braden; Petrarchism at Work: Contextual Economies in the Age of Shakespeare. Modern Language Quarterly 1 December 2017; 78 (4): 539–542. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-4198264
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