Approaches to Teaching Petrarch’s Canzoniere and the Petrarchan Tradition

  • Editors: Christopher Kleinhenz, Andrea Dini
  • Pages: xii & 300 pp.
  • Published: 2014
  • ISBN: 9781603291361 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9781603291378 (Paperback)

“A solid and much-needed volume. There is a nice balance between established scholars and younger ones, as well as between essays that range over Petrarch’s entire career and those that focus on individual themes or poems.”

—Jane Tylus, New York University

One of the most important authors of the Middle Ages, Petrarch occupies a complex position: historically, he is a medieval author, but, philosophically, he heralds humanism and the Renaissance. Teachers of Petrarch’s Canzoniere and his formative influence on the canon of Western European poetry face particular challenges. Petrarch’s poetic style brings together the classical tradition, Christianity, an exalted sense of poetic vocation, and an obsessive love for Laura during her life and after her death in ways that can seem at once very strange and—because of his style’s immense influence—very familiar to students. This volume aims to meet the varied needs of instructors, whether they teach Petrarch in Italian or in translation, in surveys or in specialized courses, by providing a wealth of pedagogical approaches to Petrarch and his legacy.

Part 1, “Materials,” reviews the extensive bibliography on Petrarch and Petrarchism, covering editions and translations of the Canzoniere, secondary works, and music and other audiovisual and electronic resources. Part 2, “Approaches,” opens with essays on teaching the Canzoniere and continues with essays on teaching the Petrarchan tradition. Some contributors use the design and structure of the Canzoniere as entryways into the work; others approach it through discussion of Petrarch’s literary influences and subject matter or through the context of medieval Christianity and culture. The essays on Petrarchism map the poet’s influence on the Italian lyric tradition as well as on other national literatures, including Spanish, French, English, and Russian.

Fabian Alfie
Fiora A. Bassanese
Aldo S. Bernardo
Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.
Tom Dolack
William J. Kennedy
Deborah Lesko Baker
Christopher Livanos
Massimo Lollini
Ilaria Marchesi
Simone Marchesi
Christopher Martin
Elizabeth H. D. Mazzocco
Leah Middlebrook
Elisabetta Properzi Nelsen
Tanya Pollard
Silvia Ross
Laurie Shepard
Michael Sherberg
Madison U. Sowell
Marc Vanscheeuwijck
Germaine Warkentin
Jobst Welge
Edoardo Zuccato

Preface

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Editions and Translations

Required and Recommended Readings for Undergraduates

The Instructor’s Library

Reference Works

Biographies and Background Works

Works on the Development of the Canzoniere

Collections of Essays

Essays

Petrarchism

Electronic and Audiovisual Resources

Texts and Studies

Audio Resources

Iconography

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction: The Canzoniere and the Petrarchan Tradition in the Classroom

The Canzoniere’s Form: Design, Themes, Style

Approaches to the Design of Petrarch’s Canzoniere

Germaine Warkentin

Petrarch, Laura, and the Canzoniere

Aldo S. Bernardo

Petrarch’s Lyric Poetry: Prosody, Rhymes, Forms

Christopher Kleinhenz

Using a Concordance to Teach Petrarch’s Canzoniere

Madison U. Sowell

“Parole Estreme”: Canzoniere 126

Christopher Martin

The Canzoniere and the Life

The Life and Works as Journey

Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.

Love and Misogamy in the Age of Dante and Petrarch

Fabian Alfie

Solitude and Inwardness: Approaching the Canzoniere through De vita solitaria and the Secretum

Jobst Welge

Petrarch and the Ethics of Writing and Reading

Massimo Lollini

Teaching Petrarch’s Literary Influences

Petrarch’s Vernacular Poetry and the Latin Poetic Canon: The Poetics of Classical Philology

Ilaria Marchesi and Simone Marchesi

Echoes and Mirrors: Dante’s Shadow in Petrarch’s Canzoniere

Simone Marchesi

Boccaccio and Petrarch

Laurie Shepard

Teaching Petrarch through Music

“Another Petrarch”: Teaching Petrarch through Music

Marc Vanscheeuwijck

Promoting Student Understanding of Petrarch’s Canzoniere through Popular Music

Silvia Ross

Petrarch and the Italian Tradition

Petrarch’s Lyric Progeny

Michael Sherberg

Petrarch’s Women

Fiora A. Bassanese

Tradition and Imitation in Petrarchan Poetics: The Song of the Nightingale

Elisabetta Properzi Nelsen

Petrarch and the Search for Antica Virtù

Elizabeth H. D. Mazzocco

Teaching Petrarchism in the Context of Post-Risorgimento Poetry

Andrea Dini

Petrarch in a Comparative Context

On Teaching the Canzoniere to Students of Spanish

Leah Middlebrook

Exploring Petrarchan Subjectivity in the Early Modern French Lyric

Deborah Lesko Baker

English Petrarchism

William J. Kennedy

Teaching Petrarch and Shakespeare

Tanya Pollard

Petrarch in English after 1750

Edoardo Zuccato

Russian Petrarchism

Tom Dolack

The Canzoniere in a Comparative Literature Curriculum

Christopher Livanos

Notes on Contributors

Survey Respondents

Works Cited

Index