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The Economics of Poetry

The Efficient Production of Neo-Latin Verse, 1400–1720


Edited By Paul Gwynne and Bernhard Schirg

The Economics of Poetry takes an innovative approach to the genre of Neo-Latin poetry, encompassing the entire process of poetic production, from composition and physical realization to the formal presentation to the honorand. This process was not predicated upon post-Romantic ideas of inspiration and originality, but rather upon the need to produce literary works in a timely fashion, often (though not exclusively) dependent upon the realities and exigencies of the contemporary political situation.

Applying this approach across more than three centuries of literary production, this volume analyses the techniques employed and developed by authors all around the world to reduce the effort of poetic composition, streamline its production and facilitate its presentation when time was a crucial factor in success. To reveal the efficient techniques which authors employed in order to meet their deadlines, each essay focuses on a variety of works by the same writer and examines the full context of their production. The re-use and recycling of previous texts and rhetorical templates – and even the re-dedication of previously presented manuscripts – emerges as a central and essential modus operandi in response to the strict dictates of fast production.

CONTENTS: Bernhard Schirg/Paul Gwynne: The «Economics of Poetry»: Fast Production as a Crucial Skill in Neo-Latin Encomiastic Poetry – Susanna De Beer: Reuse, Repeat, Recycle! An Intra-textual Approach to the Economics of Poetry Christian Peters: Bella novabo: Basinio da Parma’s Instant Epics – Antonietta Iacono: L’officina di un poeta del Quattrocento: La tecnica del riuso nella produzione poetica di Porcelio de’ Pandoni – Giuseppe Germano: Revisione strutturale come tecnica economica: Le due redazioni della raccolta poetica di Manilio Cabacio Rallo dal codice Berlin, Hamilton 561 all’editio princeps napoletana del 1520 (Iuueniles ingenii lusus) – Bernhard Schirg: Spamming the Duke’s Council, or: How to Cold-Call Milanese Patricians as a Poet under Sforza Rule – Donatella Manzoli: I centoni rinascimentali di Lelio Capilupi: Un caso di Poetry in Economics? – Maria Teresa Galli: Reuse and Economy in Cento Poetry – George Hugo Tucker: Horatian Pyrotechnics in the Latin Verse-Cento: Rapid Response to the Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, 5 November 1605 – Paul Gwynne: The Economics of Epic: Francesco Benci, Quinque martyres, Epic or Cento? – Keith Sidwell: Short Cuts, or: How to Finish an Epic When You Hear Your Patron Is Dying: The Ormonius of the Irishman Dermot O’Meara (1615) – Elizabeth Sandis: Playing Virgil at Short Notice: Oxford University Entertains a Special Guest with William Gager’s Dido in 1583 – Akihiko Watanabe: Outdoing the Original? The Economics of Early Modern Japanese Latin Poetry – Elena Dahlberg: String Your Lyre Promptly: Magnus Rönnow’s Latin Poetry from the Great Northern War as Literary News Reports.