An Italian Renaissance Sextet
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An Italian Renaissance Sextet : Six Tales in Historical Context

3.31 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

An Italian Renaissance Sextet is a collection of six tales offering a unique view of the history of Renaissance Italy, with fiction and fictional modes becoming gateways to a real, historical world. All written between 1400 and 1500 - among them a rare gem by Lorenzo the Magnificent and a famous account featuring Filippo Brunelleschi - the stories are presented here in lively translations. As engrossing, fresh, and high-spirited as those in Boccaccio's Decameron, the tales deal with marriage, deception, rural manners, gender relations, social ambitions, adultery, homosexuality, and the demands of individual identity. Each is accompanied by an essay, in which Lauro Martines situates the story in its temporal context, transforming it into an outright historical document. The stories and essays focus mainly on people from the ordinary and middling ranks of society, as they go about their ordinary lives, under the pressure of a highly practical, conformist, pleasure-loving (but often cruel) urban society.
Revealing the concerns of a searching historical work with a combined anthropological, demographic, and cultural slant, An Italian Renaissance Sextet shines a probing light on Italian Renaissance culture.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 27mm | 560g
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0802089933
  • 9780802089939

Back cover copy

This unique collection offers six tales as enticing views into the history of Renaissance Italy, with fiction and fictional modes thus becoming gateways to a real, historical world. All written between 1400 and 1500-- among them a rare gem by Lorenzo the Magnificent and a famous account featuring Filippo Brunelleschi-- the six stories are presented here in new and lively translations. As engrossing, fresh, and high-spirited as those in Boccaccio's "Decameron", the tales deal with marriage, deception, rural manners, gender relations, social ambitions, adultery, homosexuality, and the demands of individual identity. Each is accompanied by an essay, in which Lauro Martines situates the story in its temporal context, transforming it into an outright historical document. The stories and essays focus mainly on people from the ordinary and middling ranks of society, as they go about the daily give-and-take of city life, under the pressure of a highly practical, conformist, pleasure-loving (but often cruel) urban society. "An Italian Renaissance Sextet" reveals the concerns of a searching historical work with a combined anthropological, demographic, and cultural slant; what emerges is a fascinating range of issues: gender, age, sexuality, blasphemy, forms of social address, and, above all, the invasive gaze of a community that kept an ever vigilant eye on its public spaces.
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Review quote

"... as the friar continued to beg the damsel to satisfy his love, and the young priest continued to refuse, the friar became all inflamed with desire. And unable to change his mind with prayers, gifts, and extravagant promises, he seized him and threw him on the bed. Now the young priest, finding himself on his back and thinking it was time to reveal his identity, suddenly changed his fake Florentine accent and spoke in the accent of Arezzo, saying: "My dear sir, don't overexert yourself, for I am more a man than you are." Amazed and wanting an immediate explanation, the friar put out his hand and felt that the "young lady" was a very well-endowed young man. But seeing how handsome he was, feeling all aflame with desire, and determined to satisfy his unruly appetite, he said: "Very well I like you no less as a man than as a woman." Then the young priest, rather alarmed by this, quickly pushed his feet against the friar's shameless breast, knocking him backward, and jumped off the bed... From 'Friar and Priest'"
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About Lauro Martines

Murtha Baca is head of the Standards and Vocabulary Programs at the Getty Research Institute.
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Rating details

16 ratings
3.31 out of 5 stars
5 6% (1)
4 38% (6)
3 44% (7)
2 6% (1)
1 6% (1)
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