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Intellectual Communities and Partnerships in Italy and Europe

Studies in Honour of Mark Davie

Danielle Hipkins

This book has been inspired by the emphasis that Mark Davie’s studies have put on the cooperative nature of artistic and intellectual pursuits in the humanities. Whilst the importance of connections between intellectuals is often acknowledged in the form of intertextual studies, research into real dialogue between individuals is little researched, partly due to the practical challenges of such research. The ten chapters of this book – written by specialists in different cultures – redress in part this imbalance and offer a new angle on the canon by tracing the impact of concrete partnerships and communities in Italian and European history. The issues that the volume’s contributors keep in mind include: the reasons that artists and intellectuals choose to collaborate; the forms that this collaboration takes; the factors that determine its success; and whether some areas of culture lend themselves to intellectual collaboration better than others.

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Preface by Danielle Hipkins and Luciano Parisi xiii

Extract

Preface Intellectual dialogue is at the centre of Mark Davie’s book Half-Serious Rhymes. Firstly, Mark shows how Luigi Pulci’s poem Morgante is the result of his interaction with an anonymous text (Orlando), re-discovered by Pio Rajna in 1869, which at times Pulci followed word for word. His was ‘a creative dialogue with an earlier text’ (p. 18), a fruitful relationship high- lighting Pulci’s ‘characteristic ability to derive the verbal stimuli he needs from a pre-existing text’ which works even with the most unpromising text (p. 96). Secondly, Pulci created an original formula, with a mixture of styles and traditions, ‘a new genre of narrative poetry, characterised by the pres- ence in the text of a self-aware narrator able to exploit his relationship with his material and with his audience, resulting in a high level of topicality, verbal humour and parody’ (p. 27). As Mark says, ‘both Boiardo’s Orlando innamorato and Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, to name only the outstanding examples of a hugely successful genre, owe a large and conspicuous debt to the Morgante’ (p. 7). Pulci expected to be surpassed by those coming after him. His poem was also meant to be a contribution to a collective enterprise: Altri verrà con altro stile e canto, con miglior cetra, e più sovrano artista; io mi starò tra faggi e tra bifulci che non disprezzino le muse de’ Pulci.1 We have used the word ‘dialogue’ to indicate so far a marked form of intertextuality or the mixture of continuity and innovation that...

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