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Title: Reading and Writing, Writing through Reading : A study on Imitatio in Petrarch and Boccaccio
Author: Santangelo, Enrico
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 091X
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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This doctoral thesis may be read in two different ways: on the one hand it aims at breaking the ground on Petrarch's and Boccaccio's reading of certain authors such as Dante, Homer and other Classics, through a systematic search for borrowings and interdiscursive themes often proving to be real intertexts (never investigated as such before), consciously or unconsciously exploited in several works ofPetrarch (Latin poetic and prose letters, BllColicll11l carmen, De vita solitaria, Trillinphi, RVF), and Boccaccio (Decameron, some early works. of the Neapolitan period, Genea/ogie deOrll11l gentili1l11l). On the other hand, I hope this work will prove to be of some use for a better understanding of the main literary techniques of imitatio in the Italian Trecento as a whole. Besides a micro-diachronic structure, consisting of Petrarch, Boccaccio and those authors who have been more frequently used by them, I also tried to shape my research on a macro-diachronic structure, intended to show under which circumstances (cultural, social, literary, psychological) Petrarch's and Boccaccio's prose and poetry witnessed a change in the imitative technique applied to the models, namely Dante for Petrarch and the Classics for Boccaccio. Whilst Petrarch developed a competitive approach to his model, starting from absorption and sharing of style and values and ending with emulation superseding that style and those values in the pursuit of poetic fame; Boccaccio, eminently concentrating on literary imitation, in the end overcame his earlier juxtapositional technique in favour of a complete and mature ars contaminandi. This changing attitude of the two authors has been documented through the analysis of a limited number of works of Petrarch and Boccaccio, showing to what extent their readings influenced their writings through the contrivance of two personal techniques of imitatio; emu/atio and ars contaminandi. Through a comparative reading of the texts, I conduct an intertextual (and interdiscursive) analysis of themes, vocabulary and style of the quoted passages, systematically pointing out and explaining all significant references to classical and medieval authors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available