Italy Literature – Latin Humanism and Vulgar Humanism Part 4

Italy Literature - Latin Humanism and Vulgar Humanism 3

In Southern Italy, the new humanity as it had emerged, fervent with free activity, from the great motion of the Renaissance, palpitates in the works of Gioviano Pontano and Iacopo Sannazzaro, magnificent creators of poetry on the enchanting visions of the Neapolitan gulf, the one of which burns the great patrimony of his doctrine in the ardor of a multiform sensuality, the other relives and refines it in the gentleness of an exquisitely sentimental soul. In his ductile Latin, which knows the lexical peculiarities and the mischief of the Neapolitan dialect, in the verses of every meter and every intonation ( Lepidina ,  Hendecasyllabi seu Baiae ,  Amores ,  Eridani , etc.), in the prose ( Dialogi) that have no equal in the Italian Renaissance, the secretary of the Aragonese kings instills his spirit ready to expand in the spontaneity of motions so before the natural spectacles, as well as the realities and intimacies of the gallant life, the life of the street, the life of family, so that what to a superficial reader may seem imitation, is an autonomous creation of which the custom of the ancients only procured a congenital enrichment of expressive forms. In Arcadia del Sannazzaro, all covered with mosaic tiles of ancient and modern origin, trembles the joy of the fantastic contemplation of a world, which segregated from all actuality and artificially imagined within the perennial immutability of nature and a naive life that knows no progress , could give the illusion of surviving classicism. This is the poetry of the learned ancient humanism, which Sannazzaro lives mixed with a poem of wider and deeper humanity, sprouting from the aspiration to a sweetly idyllic life and from a vague sense of sadness for the awareness of the unreality of that world. dreamed and caressed in the imagination ( Piscatoriae , elegies, epigrams).

According to, a world dreamed of as a beautiful ideal, but more vast and more variously and universally human, is also the one that Matteo Maria Boiardo created and sunlit with poetry. A learned humanist, he popularized several Greek and Latin works, and versed in Latin, gracefully imitating the bucolic Virgil. He relived in the vigorous intimacy of his spirit the essence of his noble life as a knight and a man of government, and of his doctrine, and was a poet with a broad and robust wing. Among the many rhymes of dull and cold Petrarchian imitation or popularly shamanic or serious of artificial swellings, which infest the century. XV, his  Canzoniere it is truly a marvel. Aired by fresh and serene visions of nature and all pervaded by a warm and sweet spirit of love, which never abandons itself to vulgar jubilation, but rejoices in temperance of joy; which never darkens with black despair, but softly veils itself of tender melancholy, it lives on a perennial original inspiration, which in the old Petrarchan and Virgilian sounds infuses a new soul.

But the fullness of poetry which the Boyar’s soul is capable of is in the poem, trembling with the fervent longing of a loving and heroic humanity. The union of the Carolingian epic cycle with the Arthurian, of which the poet of Orlando Innamorato is usually proud, it is the spontaneous form of his soul, living in the dream of that world of love, courtesy and heroism. The poet smiles at certain immeasurable strokes of the sword and spear and does not scruple to cast ridicule on Orlando and on the good King Charles. These are the tricks and wits of the narrator, who from time to time winks maliciously as if to keep in close spiritual communion with his educated listeners, suggesting that he agrees with them in not believing, despite the authority. of Turpino, to the portentous adventures, to the magic, to the enchantments and in enjoying the ingenuity, the awkwardness, the good humor that he attributes to the creatures of his imagination. But towards these he is full of sincere sympathy, and he would be sorry if for those few jokes others thought that he wanted to make a caricature or satire of them.In love ?

From this ideality adored by the count draw the heartbeat of life and light of poetry the innumerable and variously conceived figures of his poem, those who migrated there from the old world of chivalry and he freely remake them, shaping them  from scratch  with beautiful resoluteness of traits, and those that he created with ingenious fecundity: Brandimarte, Rodamonte, Agricane, Marfisa, Angelica. He roughs up his figures with quick presentations and narrating their action with the effectiveness of incisive touches, rather than finishing them with minute psychological analyzes. And this is one of the characteristics that give the Lover that I don’t know what simple, rough, archaic, which forms one of its main attractions. They also give it the style, alien to rhetorical ornaments, the amiably scruffy and sour verse, the language steeped in dialectal elements. A poem of full and varied humanity, the Enamored  marks the triumphant culmination of Italian humanism of the fifteenth century, fresh from his good-natured bourgeois courtesy, young with his refined primitivism.

Italy Literature - Latin Humanism and Vulgar Humanism 3