Michelangelo in Parnaso. Scrittori a contatto con le Rime buonarrotiane: la ricezione critica, creativa e le traduzioni d’autore
Italiaanse taal en cultuur
Overig maatschappelijk onderzoek
Literary theory, analysis and criticism
Specialized histories (international relations, law)
Westerse Letteren (WLET)
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AbstractMichelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) can be considered the embodiment of the Renaissance artist since he was an architect, a painter and a sculptor. Writing poetry was the fourth activity in which he engaged himself. This choice was not unusual among contemporaries: indeed also Raphael, Titian and Bronzino wrote some verses. The difference with these colleagues is that Michelangelo’s commitment to poetry was a long lasting one: from the beginning of the 1500s until his death. He wrote circa three hundred poems of various themes, metrical structures and literary-philosophical derivation. Although this activity was well known during his lifetime among a group of connaisseurs – around 1546 there had already been a project of printing a selection of texts – the first publication was only realized in 1623. Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, nephew of the artist and a man of letters himself, considered only some of the poems good enough for ‘his’ volume and to these he applied strong editorial work. These manipulations were considered ‘necessary’ both to polish the text according to the new Baroque aesthetics and also to remove some sexual and religious references that could damage the image of Michelangelo as well as that of the Buonarroti family. For approximately the next two centuries these poems were not reprinted. It was not until the 19th century that the Rime received renewed attention both in Italy as well as abroad, especially in England and Germany, where in cultural circles, thanks to the Romantic revolution, a strong interest in the Italian Renaissance emerged. However, only in the Novecento Michelangelo’s poetry received a more constant and coherent attention. In the last years, many studies – from different perspectives and with diverse methodologies – have been dedicated to his lyrical production; moreover, some verses have been placed in school-anthologies and the Rime enjoy a steady presence in book-shops with new critical and pocketbook editions. These can be regarded as the tangible signs that Michelangelo’s poetry, by now, can fully be considered as accepted within the Italian literary tradition. My dissertation tries to explore a very specific path of reception: the one amongst other writers. The hypothesis is that while the academia have for a long time and for different reasons neglected this production, writers have had the sensibility needed to appreciate the content as well as the stylistic characteristics of these texts. I have tried to consider the concept of reception inter scriptores as widely as possible: chronologically (from Michelangelo’s times to the contemporaneity) and linguistically (Italian and foreign writers). Moreover, this attention has been given to the critical and to the creative reception, as well as to some of the major translations. The results of the creative reception have persuaded me that even though Michelangelo’s renown as a poet was not wide, it encouraged some writer-critics to reflect on it, and inspired other poets. Michelangelo from being a little known poet has been included, since the Sixties of the last century, in the Italian canon.