University of Notre Dame

Italian Studies


Research Seminar: “Alberti’s Dog, Fly, and Autobiography: Life-Writing as Humanistic Mosaic” - Martin McLaughlin (Oxford)

Thu Apr 4, 2013 4:30PM - 6:00PM Calendars: Lectures and Seminars

The Italian Research Seminar

Martin McLaughlin (Oxford) - “Alberti’s Dog, Fly and Autobiography: Life-Writing as Humanistic Mosaic”

Thursday, April 4th at 4:30pm in Special Colletions, Hesburgh Library

Martin McLaughlin is Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian at Oxford, and a Fellow of Magdalen College.  He has published widely on Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present, including Literary Imitation in the Italian Renaissance (OUP, 1995) and Italo Calvino (Edinburgh UP, 1998). He has co-edited and contributed to a number of volumes: Petrarch in Britain (British Academy/OUP, 2007), Dante the Lyric and Ethical Poet (Legenda, 2010), The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy (Ashmolean Museum, 2010).  He has also translated works by Italo Calvino – Why Read the Classics? (Cape, 1999), Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings (Cape, 2003), The Complete Cosmicomics (Penguin, 2009), Into the War (Penguin, 1911) – and Umberto Eco – On Literature (Secker & Warburg, 2005).

Suggested Readings

(Please read these materials in the library instead of checking them out, so that others may do so as well. Those materials marked with an asterix are particularly recommend.)

Primary Texts

Canis (The Dog) and Musca (The Fly)

* Leon Battista Alberti, Apologhi ed elogi, ed. Rosario Contarino (Genoa:  Costa & Nolan, 1984) contains Canis (pp. 141-69), and Musca (pp. 171-95) (Latin with Italian translation) [not yet available]

Vita (Autobiography)

Riccardo Fubini, A. Menci Gallorini (eds), "L’autobiografia di Leon Battista Alberti. Studi e edizione," Rinascimento, 12 (1972), 21-78 (Latin only)

* R. Neu Watkins, "L. B. Alberti in the mirror: an interpretation of the Vita with a new translation," Italian Quarterly, 117 (1989), 5-30 (English translation, not always accurate) [access via e-reserves]

* Leon Battista Alberti, Autobiografia e altre opere latine, ed. L. Chines, A. Severi (Milan: Rizzoli, 2012) (Latin with Italian transaltion) [not yet available]

Secondary Works

Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, tr S.G. C. Middlemore, new intro. by P. Burke, notes by P. Murray (Harmondsworth:  Penguin, 1990), pp. 102-04

Rosario Contarino, Leon Battista Alberti moralista, Presentazione di Francesco Tateo (Caltanissetta-Roma: Salvatore Sciascia, 1991), pp. 185-88

Anthony Grafton, Leon Battista Alberti. Master Builder of the Italian Renaissance (Harmondsworth: Allen Lane, 2000)

David Marsh, "Alberti and Apuleius: comic violence and vehemence in the Intercenales and Momus," in Leon Battista Alberti:  Actes du congrès international de Paris (Sorbonne-Institute de France-Dollège de France, 10-15 avril 1995), ed. by F. Furlan, et al., 2 vols (Paris-Turin: Vrin-Aragno, 2000), I, 405-26

David Marsh, "The self-expressed: Leon Battista Alberti’s autobiography," Albertiana, 10 (2007), 125-40

Martin McLaughlin, "Biography and autobiography in the Italian Renaissance," in P. France, W. St Clair (eds.), Mapping Lives.  The Uses of Biography (British Academy, London:  Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 37-65

Martin McLaughlin, "Alberti’s Canis: structure and sources in the portrait of the artist as a Renaissance dog," Albertiana, 14 (2011), 55-83

Mariangela Regoliosi, Linee di filologia albertiana:  il De commodis litterarum atque incommodis e il Canis, in Leon Battista Alberti umanista e scrittore.  Filologia, esegesi, tradizione.  Atti dei Convegni internazionali del Comitato Nazionale VI centenario della nascita di Leon Battista Alberti (Arezzo, 24-25-26 giugno 2004), a cura di Roberto Cardini, Mariangela Regoliosi, 2 vols, Florence, Polistampa, 2007, I, pp. 221-44