This new and exciting study is the first scholarly critical edition and the first ever translation into English of Berni's "Dialogue Against Poets." The original publication of the dialogue in 1526 set it historically in the highly charged context of Rome and the court of the Medici pope, Clement VII. Not only is Berni presented here with reference to his historical and literary status, but other contemporary figures are also sketched against the politico-cultural background of Rome in the 1520s: the humanist poet, secretary, and envoy to Henry VII, Giovanni Battista Sanga; Bishop Giovan Matteo Giberti, Clement's datary and Berni's patron at the time of composition of the dialogue; the notorious poet and publicist, Pietro Aretino, indirect target of many of the barbs of the dialogue; Alessandro and Ippolito de' Medici; Desiderius Erasmus; and the printer and publisher of the first edition, Francesco Minizio Calvo.
Although there is a considerable literature on Berni's poetry, there is relatively sparse comment on his life as a "letterato "and no extended investigation of his first published work. This study seeks to redress this imbalance and to illuminate the dialogue's literary and historical dimensions. Berni's place in history is ripe for re-evaluation: "Dialogue Against Poets" reflects Berni's contemporary Italy in innumerable and the high level of its literary allusiveness is a model of Renaissance and humanist literary practice.
This new presentation reveals the impact which Berni had upon his contemporaries. Berni was an original writer who thought deeply about the intellectual and religious debates of the age and who, as a humanist secretary resident in the Vatican palace, experienced its political and other crises first-hand.
Garland Publishing Inc
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