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Title: The origin and role of sospiro in the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti
Author: Jenkins, Rommany
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 8794
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis focuses on the keyword sospiro (‘sigh’) in the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti. It reads this word in relation to the lyric poetry of Occitania and Italy, and medical literature related to lovesickness. It approaches Cavalcanti’s work in this way in order to avoid the distortion of a Dantean lens, as part of a trend since the anniverary of his death in 2000 towards considering Cavalcanti’s work on its own terms. Inspired by Raymond Williams’ Keywords, this thesis looks beyond the familiar presence of sospiro in lyric poetry, revealing a word acting as a locus of innovative expression. It finds that while the sigh is generally regarded as a literary commonplace, it can in fact tell us much about the society and culture in which it is used. Sospiro is then traced in medical literature, charting its evolution as a symptom of the disease of lovesickness. Against this backdrop, a reading of sospiro in Cavalcanti’s poetry is given which argues for the need to listen to both the lyric and medical contexts when interpreting the role of this word. As such, this thesis offers a consideration of these two contexts in parallel, through sospiro, for the first time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Il Circolo Cultural Association ; Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PC Romance languages ; PQ Romance literatures