Quaderni delle Interferenze (Italian Edition)


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The primary source of data for our analysis The primary source of data for our analysis will be linguistic material drawn from popular Omani TV shows, although interviews recorded with native speakers will be employed as well. The questions will be addressed of what the nature of these changes is, and what social and political forces are propelling and directing them. The main linguistic features under analysis will be verbal morphology, possessive constructions, negative particles, relative pronouns, the agreement system and some phonological features of interest. Nov 5, Conference Start Date: Despite the fact that in Modern Standard Arabic plural human controllers categorically require strict agreement i.

A number of factors have been found to influence the kind of agreement which a given plural referent attracts, and these are: The present work focuses on a largely under-researched variety of spoken Arabic, Omani Arabic, a dialect which - unlike many major dialects of North Africa and the Levant - still retains gender distinction in the plural forms of the verb, adjective and pronoun.

This additional morphological option renders agreement patterns in Omani Arabic even more varied and complex than they are in other Arabic vernaculars: This corpus has been statistically analyzed with respect to the syntactic categories mentioned above e. This fact would seem to suggest that the loss of a morphological category i. In this respect, the study of agreement in Omani Arabic may help improving our understanding of the history of the Arabic language s. Sep 3, Conference Start Date: According to prescriptive grammars of Modern Standard Arabic, plural non-human referents categorically require feminine singular agreement in any syntactical environment.

In a later article Belnap , analyzing patterns of agreement with plural referents in the dialect of Cairo, found a type of variation which resembled that observed in his study on pre- and early-Islamic texts. The present paper focuses on patterns of agreement in Omani Arabic. The statistical analysis of data drawn from Omani TV shows yields results comparable to those obtained by Belnap for both Cairene Arabic and Old Arabic, although with some important differences.

In the first place, Omani Arabic still retains specific morphemes for marking gender distinction in the plural of both the verbal and pronominal systems a distinction which has, conversely, been lost in the major urban dialects of North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf Coast. Secondarily, the percentage of targets depending from inanimate controllers and bearing strict i. The conditions which trigger the emergence of strict agreement with non-human plural heads are investigated as well: Finally, in the light of the above, a tentative conclusion is proposed: If Belnap, Shabaneh and Beeston are right in their assertions, then it follows that the agreement systems of many modern Arabic dialects are more similar to that of the pre- and early-Islamic period than they are to the system of Modern Standard Arabic.

In this respect, then, the study of Omani Arabic may help improving our understanding of the history of the Arabic language. If an evolution can be postulated from a system such as the one Belnap and Shabaneh describe for pre- and early Islamic Arabic to the one employed by modern Cairene Speakers, in fact, then that would imply a shift from a system where both singular and plural markers of feminine gender were employed to refer to a plurality of entities characterized by low or zero animacy, to a system where gender distinction in the plural was lost.

As a consequence of this, feminine singular morphological markers remained the only option to refer to a collectivity of inanimate entities thus rendering agreement with human referents largely the preserve of masculine plural morphemes. The fact that dialects such as Omani Arabic where gender distinction in the plural is still operative show a higher percentage of nonhuman plural referents attracting plural agreement might substantiate this theory. Feb 27, Conference Start Date: May 28, Conference Start Date: University of Torino Italy More Info: Mar 28, Organization: Linguistic Variation in Qatari Arabic: University of Texas at Austin More Info: Feb 22, Conference Start Date: Is there a Qatari Dialect?

Many morphological traits that T. Johnstone reported as being characteristic of Qatari Arabic in his "East Arabian Dialect Studies" seem to differ or not to be present at all in modern texts gathered in Doha namely: This might be due to the processes of koineization and interdialectal leveling which are at present taking place troughout the Gulf region, or because of internal variation within the boundaries of Qatar in particular, various Bedouin dialects are spoken in Qatar, while sedentary varieties are regarded as a more or less homogeneous linguistic entity [NOTE: Anyone interested in reading a pre-print version of the article can contact me directly].

Doha, Qatar More Info: Nov 13, Conference Start Date: October the 27th, University of Vienna Event Date: Oct 27, Organization: This paper proposes a re-discussion of the question of the number of genders in Arabic. Only varieties of Arabic that display gender distinction in the plural are considered here. In these varieties, it is argued, all nouns fall into one Quoties in conviviis imperium transtulimus in lulium pontificem et summum pontificium in Maximilianum Caesarem!

Deinde collegia monacharum — 35 — Luca D'Ascia matrimonio copulavimus coUegiis monachorum. Mox descripsimus ex illis exerci- tum adversus Turcas, deinde colonias ex iisdem in novas insulas. Breviter univer- sum orbis statum vertebamus. Sed haec senatusconsulta non inscribebantur aureis tabulis, sed vino, sic ut sublatis poculis nemo meminisset quid a quo dictus esser" This freedom in banquets and friendly conversations pleases me, and I often over-indulge in it, assessing the minds of others from the standpoint of my own.

How often in conversation did we transfer the empire to Pope Julius and supreme power to Emperor Maximilian! Next we joined in marriage the commu- nities of nuns to the communities of monks. Soon from them we formed an army against the Turks, then from the same we established colonies on new islands. In short time we overturned the entire state of the world. But such "Senate decrees" were not inscribed in gold tablets, but in wine, so that once the glasses were born away, nobody remembered what was said by whom.

Agnosco errorem, tu deinceps mihi eris pro Gratiano Pasquille. Sane debebas ista in triviis declamitare. Non tamen id me puderet, nisi timerem decretum Pontificis illius Germani revocatum iri I acknowledge the error; you will stand then for me in place of Gratianus, Pasquillus. Clearly you were obliged to declaim those things in the streets. Namely, to those listening porters. However it wouldn't shame me, unless I feared that the decree of that German pope would be revoked I would not like this meeting of ours to be known to everyone, when already the truth, which is diligently sought in your presence here, is despised by all.

Typical of this way of proceeding is the reference to Saint Michael. Curione argues against the legend which claimed that the Archangel had installed himself on Mount Gargano. The cowherd, from whom the mountain had supposedly got- ten its name, had gone in search of a lost bull. Upon finding him, he fired a poi- sonous arrow at him in a fit of anger, an arrow that instead turned around and struck the person who had fired it. Saint Michael announced to the citizens of the area that he would from then on establish himself on the mountain as guardian cf Jacobus de Voragine [sic].

Curione further distorts the text of the Golden Legend: Dicebant ilium esse D. M[arphorius] Ilium qui in monte Gargano dicitur amasse taurum? They used to say he was Saint Michael. You mean he who is said to have loved a bull on Mount Gargano? But above all he invents in pure legendary style the struggle between the Archangel and the devil not found in Jacopo da Varagine for the possession of a soul: Angered, [Michael] struck the demon with his sword, and he threatened him with the red cross which he bore on his chest and ordered him to be quiet.

Indeed, the demon, reduced at last to obedience, stood with his head bowed, just as a fox will do who has stolen away a hen. If the peasant comes upon him and threatens him with a stick, he withdraws completely, nevertheless still holding the hen in his teeth. This comparison has an exactness that recalls Dante, and is very far from Cinquecento canons of decorum, especially in connection with the Last Judgement; the humanistically educated reader cannot but exclaim with Marphorius: Moreover, before I would accept these arguments, painters themselves often caused me to have doubts about this [purgatorial] fire.

For when they depicted men with their feet and hands raised in the air, showing their bodies complete and their hair and beards unharmed, I thought that this fire was not greatly effective. Oportet te scire, esse magnam dififerentiam inter solem et lunam qui hunc orbem quotidie ambiunt, et inter eos qui banc reginam [the Lady of the Papist heaven] vestiunt. You should know that there's a great difference between the sun and the moon, which circle this world daily, and between those who dress this queen.

If it is that difference which is found between fictional or depicted things and real things, certainly the difference will be great.

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Don't persuade yourself, Pasquillus, that this giant was ever so large, but rather it was an invention of the ancient and wisest Greeks during the time when the Christian republic was still growing. Desiring to explain to everyone the com- plete Christian man and his life, they combined everything in a single image, which they called Christopher: Cf Curionis, Araneus seu de Providentia Dei: Adeo periculosum est, Paradoxa et remotiores paulo sententias efFerre: Since Pythagoras, that founder of recondite philosophy, somewhat more subtly disput- ed these things, they were accepted, as they were then new, but had deserved oth- erwise to be accepted; and he himself was exposed to mockery through the base envy of certain people.

Therefore it is dangerous to express paradoxes and some- what more obscure opinions. He who considers in what way the pleas of Christ were accepted, when they were first spread among the people, will easily discover this to be true. Curione's positive assessment of Pythagoras derives naturally from the Florentine Platonic tradition: It was the custom of Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato everywhere to conceal divine mysteries in figurative guises, discreetly to distinguish their wisdom from the boasting of the Sophists, to joke with serious intent and to play most studiously.

Opera inedita et pauca separatim impressa. Fate and Fortune, in Dinner Pieces. The Satires of Ludovico Ariosto: Artemidorus The Interpretation of Dreams. Menippean Satire in the Renaissance. Araneus seu de Providentia Dei. North Holland Publishing Co. Collected Works of Erasmus, Literary and Educational Writings. Collected Works of Erasmus Classical Tradition and Humanist Innovation. Erasmo in Italia Diffusione e metamorfosi d'un libello antiromano del Cinquecento," in Forme e destinazione del messaggio reli- gioso.

Aspetti della propaganda religiosa nel Cinquecento. Alberti," in Le due Rome del Quattrocento. DalTanabattismo al socinianesimo nel Cinquecento veneto. Ex officina Henricpetrina, University of Chile, Editorial Universitaria, De vero falsoque bono. Voragine [sic], Jacobus de. Readings on the Saints. Princeton University Press, While discussing some original traits of certain dialogical texts, ones involving the 'fantastic,' I had occasion to refer in passing to problems related to 'vision' and, to put it in more secular and mundane and, hence, modern terms, to the visual element in Anton Francesco Doni's concept of the theatre of the world.

I begin with the same basic concepts, but with the goal of carry- ing out a more careful analysis of the hidden meaning of the relationship between the theoretical-practical elaboration of dreams and the highly salvific function of fantastic writing, which Doni establishes with exem- plary clarity. His writing has two levels of meaning: His characters, members of what he calls the Academy of the Pellegrini or Pilgrims, display a highly articulated and ambiguous familiarity with the masters of great visionary literature. He does so for the sake of a thoroughly deliberate game that does not lack its own cynical ambi- tion.

Through the sophisticated mechanism of burlesque discourse, this lusus attempts to cast doubt on both the absolute meaning and the moder- Quaderni d'italianistica. This process is conceived as an approach to the meaning of modernity, of that mannerist modernity of the sixteenth century which, even while following the script of a fiction enacted by a burlesque confraternity, involves a collective voyage by the members of the Academy of the Pellegrini.

Their voyage exorcises the idea of a mystic immobility, of a solitary conquest: Its ambition is to place the subject in a different perspective, in the unprecedented context of plurality and contiguousness. This fictional subject is destined to travel unharmed along the impractica- ble and ideologically risky itinerary of late-Renaissance mannerism, which saw the fading of the dreams of renewal that the severity of the Counter-Reformation attempted to render even darker and more prob- lematic.

First and foremost, it is noteworthy that the debate in Doni's Mondi on the nature of dreams with relevant confirmation in his work entitled Marmi [Marble Steps] and elsewhere is, in the end, nothing but a mime- sis of that problematic utopia of playful knowledge. First of all, plurality. It is a space presented to the readers who, in this situation, are themselves in need of a different imagi- native order.

Onde si ritroveranno, al par di voi, per aven- tura a godere il bene dell'intelligenza di quest'opera. Now we proceed to print not, as was planned, the Greatest Worldhxxt the Imagined World, We wish to relieve him somewhat with some curious inventions. If, spiritual readers, these pleasantries should bring you some annoyance, the very book which you have in your hands will be able to satisfy you as far as doctrine and the spirit are concerned, because, by finding the things written for your benefit, you may feed on them.

And the others, who are not yet so perfected in matters pertaining to God, will make themselves ready with these means, because they will find certain hidden stairways by which to climb higher. Like you, they will find themselves, by chance, enjoying the advantage of understand- ing this work.

Here then begins the new World [i. This composite mode of writing also allows for a different way of read- ing. This is the logic of the hypertext; that is, of a work capable of ensuring, beside the 'spiritual' reader, the presence of a different reader, on another wavelength, one more attentive to its curious inventions. Only in this way can the 'alchemy' of such an anomalous text be guaranteed or rather protected — 43 — Raffaele Girardi from censorship.

It is presented, moreover, from the very beginning by Elevato himself as a great mass of writings, some true, some doubtful, and some resolved "scritti, parte veri, parte dubbiosi e parte risoluti" 6. The addition of meaning, ensured by the hypertext,5 is precisely the goal sought by the adventuresome Pellegrini through dream. By means of both practice and narration the playful rhetoric of the harangue, or solemn discourse, distorts the tradition of persuasive oration in a burlesque key. It does so in order to narrate in a fuller imaginative space a topos much loved by Doni, i.

It actually aims, in the very spirit of a singular hyper- textual voyage, to create a space for writing that is free and arbitrary. The organic unity of the world, regulated by the logos — the rational order of the universe — opens the way to a fantastic multiplicity, to an invisible cosmography. In this way, as Heraclitus had already seen in the relationship between wakefulness and sleep, the norm of daily order is replaced by what lies outside of it — a plurality that is wholly individual and the disorder of dream.

It involves a dia- tribe launched in collaboration with another Academy present on the stage, that of the Vignaiuoli or Vine Dressers of Rome. It ends in an incon- clusive manner, and not without a burlesque reminder of other, ancient forms of voyages to salvation for example, the naval voyage in Lucian's True History and the earthly voyage in Dante. This blasphemous taste for controversy in connection with the theme of the mode of ascesis proposes a subtle distinction that involves the very nature of the visionary design: Non voglio or dire che la fantasma [mi] abbia qualche volta stretto il cuore sul principio del dormire, innanzi che io abbi appiccato il sonno.

We were on a pil- grimage of jests and wild fancies of gluttony, as was seen in Fichi [Figs], Nasi [Noses] and other very lively witticisms, and not a pilgrimage of devotion. You, then, should pray, that you may have some vision, which will teach you how to get to heaven; or aJlegorically, through the medi- um of dream [sonno] , you could learn how easy or how difficult is the thing which you are seeking. In the insogno, which is the ordinary dream of humans, we have had many of these, which I believe are not true, because they have been caused by various accidents, mixed according to one's type of constitution: I do not wish to say now that fancy has on some occasion wrung my heart at the beginning of sleep, before I had begun to doze.

But no more of this, because they are not suitable means for such a high ascent. They do not pertain to these pilgrims who are without a fixed sanctuary, as Artemidorus, an authority on the theory of dreams well known to the members of Doni's circle, would have it. There remains only one form of oneiric creativity that is fully human insofar as it is tied to the various acci- — 45 — Raffalle Girardi dents of the human physical constitution, namely the insogno or enhyp- nion.

VVnother and more complex dimension is the concrete- ness of Doni's writing, in which the expectation of knowledge and the prospect of artistic synthesis — that is, a ratio, even if fantastic in nature, to be put into practice through the representation of dreams — are not by any means discarded. They are still present. Furthermore, there is an important reference to the same "wise" dream of the pilgrimage in Artemidorus himself, according to whom this is to be interpreted in light of the expectation lying at the depths of consciousness: Instead the idea of flight was more acceptable.

It was more in keeping with the re-invention of scenery that was playfully mysti- cal and aerial, and designed to receive in the intermediate spaces between the Mondi the Mondo immaginato, misto, risibile and savio Imagined, mixed, laughable and wise Worlds the old archetypes of the divine lusus, namely Jove and Momus.

The mediator-shaman himself is authorized to solve on a playful level in reality with desperate irony and disenchantment the enigma of visions, of the world seen from outside. This is because in lusus there is hidden an evidently inescapable truth content, even if at times it is inexpressible inso- far as it is outside reason and, so to speak, officially extraneous to the logos. In the imagination of the Pellegrini dream hardly ever evokes the idea of solitude.

It always takes the form of a socializing story that turns quick- ly into an emblem, and becomes the subject matter of collective narration. At times, in fact, its oneiric derivation is recognized and certified a posteri- ori, after having been already received as a story.

Leggiadro utters the following: But the most active and significant concentration of Doni's antinomies occurs in Mondo savio, which not by accident has the task of completing, in the form of a climax, the itinerary of the intermediate worlds; it is the epilogue of a discourse which, with the dialogue between Pazzo Madman and Savio Wise man , has reached the highest level of concentration and, so to speak, of symbolic inflation.

When it comes time to reach some pro- visional conclusion about this rapid excursus, then the truly fundamental significance which this inflationary result assumes for the entire develop- ment of the discussion on meaning and currency should become clear. In the universe of dream, there is no logos that provides reassurance about the unity of the world, and the word can do nothing more than predicate an eternal plurality and disorder of meaning.

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It is not surprising, then, that the mediator-shaman Savio himself remains trapped in the insurmountable dilemma of the antinomic rapport between Wisdom and Folly. He is uncertain as to how to name the reality of utopia, that is the new world. On the threshold of recounting a new vision, he demonstrates his vexation to the readers through another of the numerous harangues: Voi avreste forse piacere di sapere quello ch'io aveva pensato in tanti ri- voltamenti Prima inalberai con il nome, se io doveva chiamarmi il Savio o il Pazzo: O il dirti savio non monda nespole: Se ben voi lo chiamaste ermafrodito, non ve ne darei una castagna.

You would perhaps like to know what I had thought during many rumi- nations Or to tell you 1 am wise won't make any difference; the response to this is that the insane do not consider themselves mad, but wise. If, then, you were to call me by my own name, it would not be of any significance, because "wise" in Italian literally means a "public madman.

If you were to put a bridle around the neck of this name, it could run recklessly among the wise and the mad, so that you may call it and me mad and wise, wise and mad, as you wish. If you were indeed to call it hermaphrodite, I wouldn't care. It is, nonetheless, a fixed time, an ironic fiction, one that jokingly suggests the futility of the dilemma. The incipit of Savio s account of his vision in the utopiaii Mondo nuovo is a rapid attack, a quick change of scene that is decidedly theatrical: Ben mi pareva sogno, ben diceva io: Comincia adunque insino dal principio del sogno.

Clearly it appeared to me to be a dream, and indeed I said: Sometimes dreams come true, but, from what you had said before — that is, that you had never seen such a beautiful thing — , you can, if you wish, do me a great favour: It truly seems to me a great novelty that there exists a world in which everyone enjoys all that we enjoy here in our own world, and that men have a single thought, and all human passions are taken away.

Start, then, right from the beginning of the dream. A single stage direction was enough for Doni, at the opening of the dialogue between Savio and Pazzo, to inform the reader that the object of this umpteenth reverie — demonstrated by Jove, its inventor, dressed as a Pilgrim along with Momus — was in this instance undoubtedly a vision, despite all doctrinal distinctions, h is above all a vision that produces delight; it is unpredictably capable again of evoking a possibility "Tal volta vengano veri i sogni," sometimes dreams come true , a logic of a sense of perspective, a prophetic force, which here renounces any diminution of the ordinary, common, and bestial insogno.

You were speaking of dreams in the sense of dreams that have come true, but who doubts — confirms Jove, who had in the meantime revealed himself to Savio and Pazzo — that, when we gods intervene in your affairs, everything does indeed happen? As confirmation of your dream and the city that we have shown you, I'll tell you about some. This is the introduction to a review of 'historic' visions, one of many in Mondi, which tends to represent a kind of series of imagi- native events that are linked together: After the detailed digression on the marvelous architecture of the great city built in the shape of a perfect circle, and on its natural and commu- nistic customs, one can understand why Savio counters Pazzo's desire for philological precision with subtle perplexity.

Pazzo would love to see books and sources quoted for that Utopian depiction. What does this matter? He who is learned, and has read Plato's Republic, the laws of the Lacedemonians, of the followers of Lycurgus, of the Romans, and even of the Christians, knows where the devil keeps his tail; but he who is not an expert of books, has no need of official intro- ductions. It suffices for him to know that this is a dream, this is wisdom, this is the opinion of men, this is folly.

The very logic of dreams — this time of dreams in general — belongs to a dimension that is wholly human, even when, in the light of the same phenomenon in ancient civilizations, it is revealed to be a pure anthropo- logical fact, in its fundamentally demoniac quality. In that crowded region of the memory, which is the memory of civilization, of the construction or machine of the world, the word, following in the footsteps of Giulio Camillo, retains both the free flux of narration as well as oneiric conden- sation, and it frees itself from the risks of becoming a mere catalogue of solemn tales.

To dream in Inferni, instead, is to experience the labyrinth, but with- out a guide. This is what Disperato the Desperate One complains about to Pluto from the very beginning. It is a journey without structure, one that instead grows and expands upon itself through a chaotic accretion of materials that flow according to a new kind of allegory into the general aggregate of the book.

The emphasis on the power of new scenarios, and of new subjects, aims to exalt this disquieting visionary experience as an unavoidable occasion for knowledge, and for the foreshadowing of death "premeditazione della morte" , and revelation: Adunque, per via di sonno vi sono ito in sogno: But in the foreground there is constantly present the problem of rele- vance, of the very qualifications of the guides.

It is a dilemma that concerns the validity of the authorities: Leggendo adunque lo stupendo poeta, il nostro Dante, mi son cre- duto un tempo di trovar quella selva e caminar dietro alle sue pedate Menippo ebbe al suo tempo quella ventura d'uno incantatore, d'un negromante che lo volle servire; adesso va', trovagli tu, chi sa far fare i diavoli a suo modo non si cura che gli altri abbino questo contento.

Egli poi sapeva la via. But in vain I walked and in vain I made my voyages through these forests of life, and I am now convinced that the forest that he found has been cut and cleared, and that no one will ever be able to find it again. I have found no one, either on the high seas, in caves, in caverns or lakes, or in the terrifying mountains, who can give me news of Virgil's Sibyl. In his day Menippus had that adventure with a magician, a necro- mancer who wanted to serve him.

Now you go find him; he who knows how to make devils do what he wants does not care that others have this satisfaction. Orpheus had the virtue of knowing how to play the rebec, and he made marvellous compositions. There is no need for me to get involved in this undertaking, because I would not get any honour from it. In the opening pages of Mondo grande. Doni had made the following assertion: No one can know this yet except God most high; but, as far as one can comprehend through conjecture, we are close to the end, for every virtue has reached its height and every vice its extreme.

It is not fortuitous that Doni, at the very beginning of Inferni, should take up once again the discussion of the nature of dreams and their change- able truth content which again raises the problem of "knowing the way" , a subject which he approaches on the basis of Saint Augustine's distinction between sensorial vision, spiritual vision, and intellectual vision. Yet, how- ever much these infernal dreams may be very lowly things "bassissime cose" , and considering that, as Doni claims, some dreams, in his opinion, seem to him to have a divine origin, but, like the good seed that is over- shadowed by thorns, they are not seen clearly "Alcuni altri sogni, al mio giudicio, mi par ch'abbino principio dal divino, ma, offiiscati come il buon seme dalle spine, non vengano a luce chiara" , the perspective offered by demoniac visions appears to be much more open than the Augustinian premise would authorize us to believe.

This openness, in fact, inspires the iiminal notice proffered by Disperato: Utili credo ben io che le saran- no The visions that I have seen while dreaming I shall narrate them all to you, writing them down one by one, and I shall leave it up to your judgment to decide to which categories they belong.

I truly believe that they will be useful And yet, still on the threshold of this great medley of dreams — umpteenth prelude to the actual presentation of the visions — a page appears loaded with names, and only names, in the manner of Rabelais: The first thing that strikes us is the serialization of the guides. In the declara- tion of the first vision for example. Agustine, Chrysostom, Bernard, Fiugo, and Gregory are invoked.

With the guides, the game is a different one, as is seen in the exchange between Momus, Disperato, and Dante. The hier- archies disappear, and it is the guide who desires to know: Our ancients did not penetrate so deeply. Momus, who has the task of responding, signals a profound change of horizon: And Disperato has the task of explaining the novelty of the strange vision: The promise of a new kind of allegorical dream, through the imagina- tive variation of the endoscopic' contact with Lucifer which again recalls Rabelais , translates into a surreal distorting of the archetype Dante, — 53 — Raffaele Girardi Inferno, If in the "new manner," as Dubbioso reveals, Lucifer sig- nifies the world "Lucifero But his tale is the partial result of a word pronounced on the thresh- old.

It retells the experiences of a character who has reached the vision by another road "per un'altra strada" , one who is incapable of judging and unable to mete out punishments. This is the other indication — the most remarkable perhaps in the autumnal condition of sixteenth-century mannerism- 1 — of a hidden truth, one that the allegory of the body of Lucifer portrays as a great implosion, as the effect of the end of a cycle. The more advanced phase of the voyage, in fact, is dominated, in an ever growing fashion, by a game of unveiling, one which is designed grotesque- ly to lay bare the mechanisms and structure of vision, beginning with Menippus and the incredible, futile, invention of wings and of flight: Lo esser tanto curioso come sei stato tu non mi va per fantasia.

Che accadeva far quei trovati d'ale e dir di essere stato in Cielo, se non era vero? Being so full of curiosity as you were does not suit my fancy. What need was there to invent those wings and to say that you went up to Heaven, if it wasn't true? Then, to pretend to have gone to the Inferno on such a minor pretext was not at all believable. To name the instruments and techniques, to burst as a desecrator into the laboratory of the great builders of dreams and voyages, means to demythol- ogize and reify the charisma and the very act itself of fantastic creation, that is of the fiction, and to put them back into contact with the adult and dis- enchanted reality of the moderns.

Metaliterary irony is thus in Doni the result of a profane scepticism. At a certain point, this scepticism manifests itself in Savio as the unresolved contradiction between the two ambiguous faces of visionary experience. It is a contradiction between, on the one hand, the "mad" usage of words on — 54 — Anton Francesco Doni and the Building of Dreams the infernal stage a usage to be unveiled through the mechanisms of its fic- tion , and, on the other, the wise inexpressibility of true knowledge: A che siamo, o Savio?

Ultimately, when I have resolved everything, I must decide whether it would be a good thing to write something useful about this Inferno. First, I know for certain that he who allows himself to be deceived by his own foolish knowledge cannot arrive at true wisdom. I know that man's primary wisdom must be the life that is praised by God. Where are we, oh Savio? Let's go on further. True wisdom is not that which carries fame around in words, but that which is recognized in facts. Thus, from the point of view of an anomalous wisdom that of Savio , the discussions on the threshold of hell testify to the meaninglessness of words, to their saturation through an absence of wonder in the face of the peak of civilization, at which point everything has already occurred.

It is true that I have a certain something of the wise, something that I cannot express, which is to say that I do not wonder at anything that may occur, because I have always seen beforehand whatever is to be seen, and for me nothing new ever happens in the world. And yet dream, like life, does not live except in the word, that is, in writ- ing. Of this human obstinancy. Do not be at all amazed, because the reasons that make people write are many.

First there is whim, furour, the abun- dance of words and subject matter. Then there is love, hatred, necessity. And in the end, naturally, there is madness, smoke, and the conceit of knowing "la pazzia, il fummo e l'opinione di sapere" The umpteenth and final image of Doni's chameleon is precisely that of Ostinato Obstinate.

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Occurring in the epilogue to the voyage in hell, it is charged with an extreme, disenchanted warning to the readers: For no reason other than for having understood that obstinacy is a resolve to do something at all costs; but I have not found a better means of disposing one's soul to do this than to deem all the things of the world to be a fable, to consider them a painting, to believe that they are smoke, and to be always ot the opinion that this life is a spinning toy or a fluttering around a light.

And over this tangle of life in distress I wish to glide for a while. Thanks to the multiform and illusionistic prodigy of the hypertextual voyage, the whimsical chameleon was able to "glide" on the great sea of life life as seen through books and through the Babel of languages, with the proviso that the control over the world seen "from outside", that is, dreams in the infinite mass of their fable-like simulacra or in their disenchanted and playful sequences , should become, more than an exception, the total form of reality itself — perhaps the only one capable of representing it.

I will cite from this edi- tion from here on, calling it Mondi or indicating in parentheses only the page — 56 — Anton Francesco Doni and the Building of Dreams numbers. To Pellizarri's bibliography one needs to add, for the editions and for the criticism on Doni before , the book by Cecilia Ricotini Marsili Libelli. It is detected, for exam- ple, in a bizarre discussion in Marmi on madness and on the revision of the theo- ry of the immobility of the earth: Se tu non hai il cervello storpiato tu e partito in mille parte, non vaglia.

Oh tu ti fai strolago! Come gira il sole? My opinion, Ghetto, is that mad means lame in the brain and having the brain in pieces. If you don't have a crippled brain, one divided into a thousand pieces, it doesn't count. Oh you want to be an astrologer! Now I'll see whether you know a fact or two.

How does the sun move? The sun doesn't move, we move; it is the earth that turns, don't you know that the sky is called firmament? Focussing on these sweet and desired fantasies to know that which is in us, above and below For their minds are not muddled by fears or by expectations but, indeed, they control the desires of their bodies.

In short, enhypnia and other irrational fan- tasies do not appear to a serious man. For whatever the masses desire or dread, they also see in precisely that form in their sleep. Instead he will dream that he is flying or he will see an earth- quake, a war, a thunderbolt or anything else that symbolizes a dream" Alexander was feeling uneasy and disturbed because of the great loss of time and dreamt that he saw a satyr dancing on his shield. Alexander was in Tyre at the time, in attendance on the king while he was waging war agains the Tyrians.

By divid- ing the word Satyros into sa and Tyros Tyre is yours , he encouraged the king to wage the war more zealously with the result that he took the city" 4. S'io non avessi paura di fastidire te e me a un tratto, io allegherei sempre a ogni cosa che tu di': Cose tutte da demoni e da pazzi, proprio da fare un mondo di pazzi. These are ali things of demons and of madmen, things with which to construct a world of mad- men.

Those who did similar things were none other than demons; our ancients called them Gods, others demons and men; then another wiseman added Heroes, believing that the men who lived at the time of Saturn in that golden age were, after death by order of Jove, transformed into good earthly demons, who were the guardians of men, and thus they go about all surrounded by air, taking care of all good and bad works; and, what's more, they say they give riches to us. For the allusion to Hesiod in this passage, mediated by the modern reading of Lupano in his Torricella, and for other borrowings of a Neoplatonic stamp by Doni, see Masi Inferno of students and of pedants; of the unhappily married and of lovers; of the greedy rich and of the gen- erous poor; of whores and ruffians; of ignorant doctors, artists and lawmakers; of poets and composers; of lazy soldiers and captains, etc.

See Del Fante , and now the rich apparatus of bibliographical references offered in the com- mentary of Pellizzari. But there is also a nymphean animism of a Delminian matrix see Bernheimer Ma sono entrati, come vedete, per un'altra porta, e mettono, con questo dar fuori una parte per Inferno, il pie su la soglia dell'uscio" The Interpretation of Dreams. Trionfi e canti carnascialeschi del Rinascimento. Girardi, Raffaele, "Dialogare 'fuori del nostro intendere': Studi sul dialogo latino e italiano del Rinascimento.

Walter Geerts et al Rome: Libelli, Cecilia Ricotini Marsili. Doni scrittore e stampatore. Bibliografia delle opere e della critica e annali tipografici. Vittore Branca et al. Carlo Ossola, Autunno del Rinascimento. Studi in onore di Bruno Nardi. I begin by summarizing Macrobius's five main categories of dreams: All dreams may be classified under five main types: The causes of these last two kinds of dreams, more- over, are wholly material, and grounded fully in the concerns of this world.

The nightmare, Macrobius writes, is caused by one of three things: Examples of physical distress have to do with the extremes of over-indulgence or near total deprivation. These kinds of dreams are best illustrated either by the person "who has overindulged in eating or drinking and dreams that he is either choking with food or unburdening himself," or by the person who "has been suffering from hunger or thirst and dreams that he is craving and searching for food or drink or has found it" Macrobius points out the "lover who dreams of possessing his sweetheart or of losing her" 88 as an example of a dreamer subject to mental distress.

A second and more sig- Quaderni d'italianistica. Equally important for our purposes is the nightmare of the man who, because of anxiety about the future, "dream [s] that he is gaining a prominent position or office as he hoped or that he is being deprived of it as he feared" Importantly, Macrobius argues that dreams stemming from such causes, causes "that [irritate] a man during the day and consequently [disturb] him when he falls asleep," vanish into thin air as soon as the person awakes They are thus false dreams insofar as they have no importance or meaning once they are gone.

The last type of dream categorized by Macrobius is the phantasma or visum, the apparition. This type of dream, he writes, "comes upon one in the moment between wakefulness and slumber, in the so called Tirst cloud of sleep'" Significantly, the dreamer in this condition "thinks that he is still fully awake and imagines that he sees specters rushing at him or wandering vaguely about" Macrobius, finally, places the incubus among these kinds of dreams, asserting once again that neither the insom- nium nor the visum offers any assistance in foretelling the future.

Macrobius's treatment of these last two classes of dreams forms the basis of Tasso's treatment not only of Argillano's dream but also of his char- acter and his mental disposition. Our first encounter with Argillano comes in a night sequence in Canto 8 of the Liberata.

While everyone else falls into oblivious asleep, Argillano alone is kept awake by his agitated and dis- turbed thoughts: Argillan, you alone, are brooding low with bitter darts of anguish in your mind. Your eyes are still wide open, and your breast is too perturbed to know the calm of rest. Unable to sleep most of the night, Argillano at dawn falls finally into a confused and anxiety-ridden slumber: Tasso also describes Argillano as a figure responsible for much of the bloodshed and depredation of his homeland. He is thus an exile who has joined the crusade almost as a last resort: Argillano, then, is clearly characterized as a man predisposed toward anxiety about political matters, about matters regarding his future place in the world.

When he addresses his fellow Italian soldiers the morning after his dream, his emphasis falls squarely upon the spoils and honours of war due to the Italian contingent. Not only does he remind them about the death of the greatest Italian hero Rinaldo, killed apparently by the barbaric and suppos- edly fraudulent Goffredo, but he emphasizes the martial achievements of Tancredi, the benefits of which have thus far gone only to the French: Taccio che fu da l'arme e da l'ingegno del buon Tancredi la Cilicia doma, e ch'ora il Franco a tradigion la gode, e i premi usurpa del valor la frode.

As witness to the justice of his claims, Argillano calls upon the author- ity of God — "il Cielo" literally heaven — who has spoken to him in a dream. For Argillano, rhetoric and reasoned argument are not sufficient; sleep is the medium through which God in the language of dreams reveals His most profound truths: Ma che cerco argomenti? Il Cielo io giuro il Ciel che n'ode e ch'ingannar non lice , ch'allor che si rischiara il mondo oscuro, spirito errante il [Rinaldo] vidi ed infelice.

Here I swear by God [God Who now hears and cannot be betrayed] that, as a dawn peeped faint on this dark earth, I saw Rinaldo's erring, helpless ghost. Yet it is in this very claim to divine authority through dream that Argillano betrays the falseness of his vision. It is also here that Tasso most clearly draws upon JVlacrobius's commentary and makes implict use of it to suggest the extent of the falseness of Argillano's vision. IVIacrobius claims that the person subject to the incubus believes that he is fully awake and not dreaming when he sees a ghost or specter Argillano makes pre- cisely this claim to his fellow Italian troops, arguing that the "spettacolo" sight he has just seen is real and not a dream: Quai frode di Goffredo a noi predice!

Io '1 vidi, e non fia sogno; e ovunque or miri, par che dinanzi a gli occhi miei s'aggiri. What frauds of Godfrey's did he come to tell? I saw him, wide awake, and now, wherever I look, before my eyes he is forever. Argillano's false vision of the supposedly dead Rinaldo is thus the cul- minating point of his rhetoric, the most certain proof that Goffredo is a — 65 — Mario D'Alessandro fraudulent tyrant.

From here Argillano moves to the peroration of his speech of rebeUion and sedition, a peroration requiring no less than two and a half stanzas 8. Yet the concluding verses of Argillano's speech are not without importance, for they recall the concluding hortatory words spoken to Argillano by Rinaldo's headless ghost.

In his speech to the troops Argillano speaks of "valore" 8.

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If Argillano gives emphasis to that valour which is the distin- guishing characteristic of the traditional epic warrior, then Rinaldo's ghost does no less when it claims that it will be Argillano's minister of arms and ire, of strength and courage, in his rebellion against Goffredo: Strength and courage "la destra e il seno" are valour in its most con- crete manifestations. As most every commentator of Tasso has pointed out, Gofifredo's dream in Canto 14 of the Gerusalemme Liberata is clearly modeled after Scipio's Dream.

Goffredo like Scipio has a vision of the heavens, he learns of the insignificance of the earth, and is told of his future place in the celestial city. All the defining elements of Macrobius's first three classes of dreams, more- over, are present: Gofifredo's dream is oracular insofar as the Christian leader encounters the revered Ugone, former captain of the French forces; the dream is prophetic insofar as it predicts the fall of Jerusalem and the suc- cessfiil outcome of the war; finally, the dream is enigmatic because Ugone predicts in somewhat veiled language the union of Gofifredo's house, the House of Lorraine, with Rinaldo's house, the House of Este.

The truthfulness of Gofifredo's dream, moreover, is marked by the fact that it comes to him during a calm sleep "un cheto sogno". Calm sleep is also a precondition for the truthfial dreams of Tancredi and of Arsete, Clorinda's guardian, in Canto Yet the contrast between these two dreams points to something much deeper at work in the universe of Tasso's epic masterpiece.

Ha la corazza indosso, e nobil veste riccamente Tadorna oltra '1 costume. He shook his golden scepter, and with that weapon alone he braved the ardent rage. Goffredo succeeds in quelling the rebellion with a speech that lasts exactly two and a half octaves or twenty verses, slightly less than one-third the length of Argillano's verse oration to his fellow insurgents. The unarmed Goffredo, therefore, is a much more effective warrior than the fully armed and fully eloquent Argillano. Yet Goffredo is also armed symbolically with a "novo lume," a new light which Fredi Chiappelli calls "eccezionale, mai prima vista su di lui" exceptional, never before seen on him Chiappelli also points out that in this episode the "aureola cristiana si sovrappone alla figura epica tradizionale del guerriero a capo e mano ignuda" the Christian aureola is superimposed on the traditional epic figure with bare head and hands Moreover, Tasso reports that a winged angel armed with a shield — "un alato guerrier [o]" — was present to protect Goffredo from any danger: E fama che fu visto in volto crudo ed in atto feroce e minacciante un alato guerrier tener lo scudo de la difesa al pio Buglion davante, e vibrar fulminando il ferro ignudo che di sangue vedeasi ancor stillante.

The unarmed Goffredo represents here the new Christian heroic ideal in contrast with the traditional epic warrior of Homer and Virgil decayed to its lowest level in Argillano. This decay is fully illustrated by Tasso's description of Argillano's entry into battle in Canto 9. Having been imprisoned by Goffredo for his insur- gency, Argillano breaks free in order to join the Christian soldiers in battle against the powerful forces of Solimano.

This episode is interesting for two reasons. First, Tasso uses the simile of the "destriero" or war-horse that has broken free from its stall and goes running unfettered to its favorite river: Come destrier che da le regie stalle, ove a l'uso de l'arme si riserba, fugge, e libero al fin per largo calle va tra gli armenti o al fiume usato o a l'erba: Yet, if Argillano's action is meant to recall the tragic fate of Turnus and the terrible destruction of Troy, it also points out just how far it falls short of its classical predecessors.

In his description of Paris's return to battle. Homer is careful to make reference to the glorious armour of Helen's lover: And Paris did not dally long in his high house, but once he had put on his glorious armour of intricate bronze, he dashed through the city, sure of the speed of his legs. As forTurnus, he, with emulous fury, girds himself for the fray. And now he has donned his flashing breastplate and bristles with brazen scales; his legs he had sheathed in gold, his temples are yet bare, and his sword he had buckled to his side. Glittering in gold, he runs down from the fortress height; he exults in courage, and in hope even now seizes the foe.

Fairclough The two classical intertexts are thus clear about one specific point: Paris and Turnus each dresses in his own glorious armour. It is no accident then if, before entering battle in Canto 9 of the Liberata, Argillano dresses in the "uncertain arms" which fate or chance offers to him then and there: Argillano's dressing himself in unfamiliar arms thus indicates the extent of the gap which Tasso seeks to establish between himself and his classical forerunners.

Indeed, Tasso's description of Argillano's return to battle reads much like a parody of the classical models. We get a very strong sense that Argillano unlike Paris or Turnus enters the battle not fully or properly armed, and that this fact is meant to recall subtly the image of the unarmed Goffredo who quashes the insurrection in his own camp.

And this brings us to our second point, for the contrast between the dream of Argillano and the dream of Goffredo goes even fiarther: Not only does Argillano's return to battle prove to be a parody of its classical mod- els, but his wearing "arme incerte" proves to be an ironic parallel to Gofifredo's unarmed strength and command. Argillano's strength and courage, his "destra" and his "seno," are thus the antithesis of the new Christian heroism that Goffredo embodies and most fully symbolizes in his unprotected hands and face.

Yet — 69 — Mario D'Alessandro Argillano's desire for redemption leads nowhere. He is killed by Solimano as revenge for the treacherous killing of Lesbino and is never heard from again. With him Tasso appears to bury the last vestiges of the traditional or classical warrior, the warrior motivated above all by ire and relying wholly upon the strength of his arms for success. If Argillano's false dream is the perfect antithesis of Goffredo's true vision, then the kind of heroism he seeks to embody also proves to be antithetical to the new heroism repre- sented above all by Goffredo.

Tasso's description of Solimano's reaction of insane fury to the sight of Argillano's corpse is high- ly significant: Oh d'immenso dolor vano conforto incrudelir ne l'insensibil terra! O empty comfort of a boundless pain, to rage against a dull, insentient clod! Argillano fails where Clorinda succeeds precisely because he seeks redemption according to the dictates and principles of the traditional hero- ism embodied by Paris and Turnus.

The upward direc- tion of Clorinda's metamorphosis founds itself upon the significance of her — 70 — Dream and Vision in Tasso's Epic Poetry last-minute baptism. He wants the one whose life denied His love to find in death His pardoning arms above. Argillano too had sought "novi metti" and "novi onori," but not in those same terms which the "novo spirto" dictates to Clorinda. Argillano, meanwhile, by adhering strictly to the traditional pagan or gentile virtues, has no hope of tran- scending his condition as type, of becoming the antitype of his former self and thus rising above the world of human history.

For Tasso the supreme heroic act remains Christ's sacrifice; all previous notions or concepts of heroism and heroic virtue remain mere shadows or figures of this supreme event in human history. The one and the other nevertheless were the shadow and the figure of Christian charity, which began with the birth of Christ, and in Christ had its perfection, when, in order to save humankind from the hands of the Devil, it voluntarily withstood death; and the many who lived with him, following the example of his charity, and the many who afterward have imitated him, were full of excessive charity.

For Tasso the solution seems to involve a kind of typological rhetoric,-- a rhetoric in which the old hero- ism is redefined as the type of which the new "charitable" heroism is the antitype. By linking the traditional virtues of strength and courage to the nightmare and incubus. Tasso points to their inherent incompleteness within a Christian context. Clorinda's upward metamorphosis, the transcendence of her for- mer self, indicates Tasso's need to give expression to a new notion of hero- ism, one which imitates the most pressing belief of his time and of his soci- ety — Christ's mayrtrdom, death and resurrection.


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Antonio Garzya provides a recent Italian translation of Synesius. White's translation of Artemidorus's The Interpretation of Dreams. Or to refresh their souls, now took their ease, Some on soft beds and others on hard stones, Some on the grass, still others in the trees; But you, Orlando, amid tears and groans, Your eyelids scarce have closed to gain release. Those irksome, goading thoughts give no respite, Not in your sleep, so fitful and so light. David Quint too points out that "the dream vision of Alecto in the guise of the mutilated Rinaldo is drawn from Dante's head- less figure of Bertran de Born" 4.

And each of these appetites, I mean love, the desire to possess, and ambition, is divided into many others; and all are directed toward a particular object which impresses itself upon the imagination: Quint argues that "Tasso may have modelled Argillano upon a particular historical bandit, Mariano Parisani, who was active around Ascoli in the s" 8. Machiavelli personi- fied them as the lion and the fox, the force and cunning which together make up the strong prince. George appears to Arsete twice in dreams.

After her death, Clorinda appears to Tancredi in a dream only after sleep has taken him: He repeats Rinaldo's own earlier act of insub- ordination against Goffredo: Rinaldo's refusal to submit to Goffredo's judgement in Canto 5 after he has killed the insulting Norwegian prince Gernando 74 Dream and Vision in Tasso's Epic Poetry Argillano's rebellion thus inflicts the civil strife and wounds on the Christian body politic which Rinaldo had been on the point of inflicting himself.

Conversely, RinaJdo's eventual decision to leave the Crusader camp in exile is much like the schismatic departure from Jerusalem that Argillano will later urge upon his followers" On the question of exemplarity in Tasso, see Hampton In reference to the Bible and in particular the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, Frye writes: The Bible and Literature. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Renaissance Literature. Cornell University Press, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio.

Columbia University Press, Milton and the Renaissance Hero. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, The importance attributed to dream and vision derives from the fact that they allow man contact with the supernatural, the mysterious, the fantastic.

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