Contrary to the promise made on the title page, that is to present a collection of notable proverbs, Erasmus of Rotterdam opened his first print publication, the Collectanea adagiorum (1500), with an obscure aphorism that had only been transmitted in one place. Also, unlike other adages, this one also did not really catch on. Yet despite the seemingly infelicitous opening, the article takes this beginning chosen by Erasmus seriously and asks about the channels of communication it opened up, the concerns it responded to, the implications it carried, and the claims to use it encoded. It will be shown how proverbiality was in fact manufactured in the Collectanea and how this contributed to the creation of a transtemporal community. The concept of festivitas, the subtle humour attributed to the proverbs, underwent a significant semantic transformation in this context and became a pledge of friendship. Finally, the media history of the adages opens up perspectives on the archaeology of the digital between codex and scroll.
This article shows how a particular stylistic quality in Dante, here termed asprezza (‘harshness’), is discussed and imitated by 16th century Italian authors and how this process contributes to an awareness of stylistic options beyond mainstream Petrarchism. After a brief examination of Dante’s own theory and poetic practice of harshness, its reception and transformation in the Renaissance is analysed, including its role in fine art and music (especially Luca Marenzio’s 1599 setting of one of Dante’s canzoni petrose). It is argued that, paradoxically, High Renaissance attempts at decanonizing Dante in favour of Petrarch on stylistic grounds, especially for his ‘harsh’ writing, indirectly contributed to new aesthetic options, for which Dante became a kind of alternative model.
Es ist gute Tradition, dem ersten Heft einer neuen Zeitschrift ein Avertissement, eine Einladung oder gar ‚Entschuldigung‘ des Unternehmens vorauszuschicken. Im Fall von Artes – Zeitschrift für Literatur und Künste der frühmodernen Welt scheint das in besonderem Maße geboten. Das neue Journal stellt nämlich einen der ältesten Systembegriffe der vormodernen Ästhetik ins Zentrum: artes, die ‚Künste‘, den Gegenbegriff zum modernen Kollektivsingular Kunst, der seit der Wende zum 19. Jahrhundert unser Verständnis von Ästhetik prägt. Genau hier – in der Spannung zwischen Vormoderne und Moderne – liegt die produktive Kraft unserer Neugründung:
Carlo Goldoni’s comedy La locandiera as well as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s tragedy Emilia Galotti expound the problems of the order of the household in the early modern period. Both dramas focus on the power and the position of the father in the Enlightenment in order to reflect the transformations of the household and the dynamics due to the changing of positions in the family. These shifts become visible in the interaction of fathers and daughters with two remarkable effects: The presence of the father results in the daughter being incapable of acting, like Emilia Galotti, while his absence provokes an overacting of the daughter, like Mirandolina. Both women were not educated by their fathers and/or mothers to act self-aware and self-regulated in private and public spaces. On the contrary, they act in the name of the father without being able to reflect their actions and especially the consequences and effects of their activities – for themselves and others.
This contribution argues against the widespread assumption that early modern Latin school drama is primarily confessional and propagates either Catholic or Protestant values. Rather, its raison d’être is seen in general pedagogical purposes and the teaching of transconfessional moral and Christian values. Latin school theatre could express confessional concerns, but when it did so at all, this usually happened less explicitly and polemically than in other media. Especially the most successful dramas were free of polemical tendencies and often enjoyed great popularity across denominational boundaries. Moreover, with the end of the period of so-called ‘confessionalization’, during the seventeenth century, Protestant and Catholic school theatre turned more strongly to non-religious themes and the denominational struggle lost much of its relevance as a potential frame of reference.
In 1528, the Erfurt humanist and rex poetarum Helius Eobanus Hessus who had come to Nuremberg only two years earlier, wrote a funeral poem (Epicedion) in honour of his deceased friend Albrecht Dürer. Hessus tried to use this occasion to establish himself in the ‘humanistic field’ of the city of Nuremberg, an attempt that had only limited success. Based on Hessus’ Epicedion, the article attempts a critical revision and methodological reconception of a social history of literature. Occasional poetry plays a central role in this project. Through a ‘thick description’ of the epicedion and its contexts, the article attempts to reconstruct Hessus’s aims and strategies. Based on the new methodological approach of the Tübinger SFB 1391 ‘Andere Ästhetik’, the paper seeks to outline both the ‘autological’ (the artistic logic) and ‘heterological’ (social practice) aspects of the text.
The article undertakes a reading of Ben Jonson’s country house poem To Penshurst with regard to the relation between the two semiotic systems of architecture and poetry. Taking into account Ben Jonson’s activities both in his youth, as a bricklayer, in making houses and later, as a poet, in making texts, the argument proposed reads the poem as a poem on a building, which, though constantly talking about the estate, on the one hand carefully eschews either a mimetic description or an ekphrastic depiction or an intermedial transposition of its (admittedly medieval, Gothic) architecture whilst, on the other – in its precise neoclassicist rhetorical construction – it systemically follows the basic principles of humanist architectural art (simplicity, clarity, harmony, proportion) so as to present Penshurst as if it were the epitome of a Renaissance palace. This means that Jonson’s poem does not so much mimetically refer to the house’s architecture, nor does it altermedially try to rebuild it with verbal means, but rather it intermedially, and encomiastically, simulates it as something which it quite obviously is not – but which fulfils its spirit much better than any other house in the country.
Expressions and gestures of mourning for the loved one have been a theme of religious art from early on. In the Middle Ages, after the discovery of the suffering Christ (“Christus patiens”), they are shown in numerous depictions of the crucifixion, especially in those of the taking down of the cross.
Since the 13th century, the attitude of “compassion”, which commemorates Christ’s act of redemption and, according to theological interpretation, thereby brings about one’s own salvation, has promoted empathy with the other. After the theme had been increasingly treated aesthetically in painting, non-religious models of mourning also appeared in poetry from the 16th century onwards, whose actions were oriented towards the respective epoch-specific image of man (passion, ecstasy). The article analyses relevant poetic and musical works.
Printed anonymously in 1587, the henceforth immensely successful Historia von D. Johann Fausten is both a textual and a narratologic provocation. This is brought about by the polyphony of sources and genres compiled by its author which do not produce a homogeneous whole. But it is also the result of a specific, hybrid conception of text and narration, which intendedly creates ambiguity and scatters irritation everywhere. A valid interpretation is thereby sheerly impossible, which presumably is the most significant reason for the long and controversial discussions among readers and re-tellers, running from Christopher Marlowe (1592) and the Wagnerbuch (1593) up to Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus (1947). This article explores some essential textual aspects of this inexhaustible narrative, such as the discursive and hermeneutic predominance of intradiegetic instances (first of all Mephostophiles) and the decommissioning of the narrator by inserted documents, transtextual references, and primarily by paratexts which almost lead a life of their own on the margins of the story in a proper sense. In this way, the text gets fluid, and its reception becomes an endless search for a coherent meaning which isn’t right there.